The Lorentz Force Law and its Connections to Hidden Momentum, the Einstein-Laub Force, and the Aharonov-Casher Effect

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The Lorentz force of classical electrodynamics, when applied to magnetic materials, gives rise to hidden energy and hidden momentum. Removing the contributions of hidden entities from the Poynting vector, from the electromagnetic (EM) momentum density, and from the Lorentz force and torque densities simplifies the equations of the classical theory. In particular, the reduced expression of the EM force density becomes very similar (but not identical) to the Einstein-Laub expression for the force exerted by electric and magnetic fields on a distribution of charge, current, polarization, and magnetization. Examples reveal the similarities and differences among various equations that describe the force and torque exerted by EM fields on material media. An important example of the simplifications afforded by the Einstein-Laub formula is provided by a magnetic dipole moving in a static electric field and exhibiting the Aharonov-Casher effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6670795
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014



  • Equations
  • Force
  • Lorentz covariance
  • Magnetic field measurement
  • Media
  • Torque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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