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Q & A: magnetic charge and Maxwell's equations

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Most recent answer: 06/27/2011
Q:
What is magnetic charge? How can it be explained on the basis assumptions on of Maxwell's equations?
- Abdullah (age 50)
Calicut,Kerala,India
A:
There's no magnetic charge in Maxwell's equations as we know them. To add a magnetic charge, analogous to the electric charge, you'd change the equations in two ways:

1. Instead of setting the divergence of magnetic field B to zero, it would be some (units-dependent) constant times the magnetic charge density.

2. The curl of the electric field E would have an extra term,  some (units-dependent) constant times the magnetic current density.

That would make a nice symmetrical set of relations between electricity and magnetism. However, so far no one has found any magnetic charge or magnetic current.

Mike W.

(published on 06/27/2011)

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