Foundations of Physics

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 139–158 | Cite as

Maxwell electrodynamics from a theory of macroscopically extended particles

  • J. W. G. Wignall


It is shown that an approach to quantum phenomena in which charged particles are treated as macroscopically extended periodic disturbances in a nonlinear c-number field, interacting with each other via massless excitations of that field, leads almost uniquely to the five basic equations of classical electrodynamics: the Lorentz force law and Maxwell's equations. The fundamental electromagnetic quantity in this approach is the 4-vector potential Aα—interpreted absolutely as a measure of the local shift of each particle off its mass shell—rather than theE andB fields, and it thus provides a new viewpoint on the questions of Aharonov-Bohm phase shifts, the existence of magnetic monopoles, and the role of gauge invariance.


Phase Shift Charged Particle Basic Equation Lorentz Force Gauge Invariance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. W. G. Wignall
    • 1
  1. 1.School of PhysicsUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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