On the interaction of point charges in an arbitrary domain

A. Silbergleit, I. Nemenman, I. Mandel

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Abstract

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
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

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