A Model of Topological Quantization of the Electromagnetic Field

  • Antonio F. Rañada
Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 73)


A recently proposed topological model of the electromagnetic field is described, which is based in the existence of electromagnetic knots, standard solutions of the Maxwell equations, characterized by the linking numbers n and m of the electric and magnetic vectors, the magnetic and electric helicities having the values h mag = 2, h el = 2. The model coincides locally with the classical Maxwell standard theory, but it is globally nonequivalent because its topological properties imply what is called a hidden nonlinearity: the fields span only a nonlinear subset of the solutions of a linear equation. Two consequences of the topological structure are important: the classical expression for the difference between the numbers of right handed and left handed photons is equal to n + m, having thus a topological interpretation, and the electric charge is quantized, the fundamental value being close to 14/3 times de electron charge.

Key words

topological quantization electromagnetic fields knots. 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio F. Rañada
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Física TeóricaUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain

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