On the interaction of point charges in an arbitrary domain

A. Silbergleit, I. Nemenman, I. Mandel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We develop a systematic approach to calculating the electrostatic force between point charges in an arbitrary domain with arbitrary boundary conditions. When the boundary is present, the simple expression for the force acting on a charge as "the charge times the field it is placed in" becomes ill-defined. However, this rule can be salvaged if the field in question is redefined to only include all terms that do not diverge at the charge position, in particular, those due to the charge itself. The proof requires handling the self-action energy divergence for point charges, which is accomplished by means of a geometrical regularization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalTechnical Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

Cite this