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ERIC Number: EJ829426
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Multipole Structure and Coordinate Systems
Burko, Lior M.
European Journal of Physics, v28 n3 p593-602 May 2007
Multipole expansions depend on the coordinate system, so that coefficients of multipole moments can be set equal to zero by an appropriate choice of coordinates. Therefore, it is meaningless to say that a physical system has a nonvanishing quadrupole moment, say, without specifying which coordinate system is used. (Except if this moment is the lowest non-vanishing one.) This result is demonstrated for the case of two equal like electric charges. Specifically, an adapted coordinate system in which the potential is given by a monopole term only is explicitly found, the coefficients of all higher multipoles vanish identically. It is suggested that this result can be generalized to other potential problems, by making equal coordinate surfaces adapt to the potential problem's equipotential surfaces. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A