It is shown that a well-defined expression for the total electromagnetic force fem on a point charge source of the classical electromagnetic field can be extracted from the postulate of total momentum conservation whenever the classical electromagnetic field theory satisfies a handful of regularity conditions. Among these is the generic local integrability of the field momentum density over a neighborhood of the point charge. This disqualifies the textbook Maxwell-Lorentz field equations, while the Maxwell-Bopp-Landé-Thomas-Podolsky field equations qualify, and presumably so do the Maxwell-Born-Infeld field equations. Most importantly, when the usual relativistic relation between the velocity and the momentum of a point charge with bare rest mass mb≠0 is postulated, Newton's law ddtp=f with f=fem becomes an integral equation for the point particle's acceleration; the infamous third-order time derivative of the position which plagues the Abraham-Lorentz-Dirac equation of motion does not show up. No infinite bare mass renormalization is invoked, and no ad hoc averaging of fields over a neighborhood of the point charge. The approach lays the rigorous microscopic foundations of classical electrodynamics with point charges.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Physical Review D|
|State||Published - Sep 18 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)