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ERIC Number: EJ931539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Visualizing Special Relativity: The Field of An Electric Dipole Moving at Relativistic Speed
Smith, Glenn S.
European Journal of Physics, v32 n3 p695-710 May 2011
The electromagnetic field is determined for a time-varying electric dipole moving with a constant velocity that is parallel to its moment. Graphics are used to visualize this field in the rest frame of the dipole and in the laboratory frame when the dipole is moving at relativistic speed. Various phenomena from special relativity are clearly illustrated by these graphics and explained with simple calculations; these include the constancy of the speed of light in inertial frames, the Doppler effect, the headlight effect, and the concentration of field lines. In addition, the energy and linear momentum of the radiated field are determined and shown to satisfy the transformation and invariance required by special relativity. (Contains 1 table and 8 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A