Foundations of Physics

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 491–502 | Cite as

Can the macroscopic Maxwell equations be obtained from the microscopic Maxwell-Lorentz equations by performing averages?

  • C. C. Yan


It is shown that the usual procedures of obtaining the macroscopic Maxwell equations from the microscopic Maxwell-Lorentz equations by performing averages contain an arbitrary choice of gauge. By a suitable different choice of the gauge the so-obtained Maxwell equations can be cast back to the form of the starting Maxwell-Lorentz equations. Therefore one cannot consider the Maxwell equations to be obtainable from the Maxwell-Lorentz equations by simply performing averages. The implication of this result is that besides the electromagnetic fields produced by the moving electric charges, as given by the Maxwell-Lorentz equations, there may be some other agents that cannot be identified as some kind of motion of the electric charges and that participate in the production of the electromagnetic fields.


Electromagnetic Field Electric Charge Maxwell Equation Arbitrary Choice Usual Procedure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. C. Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de FisicaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro, RJBrasil

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