Classical Electron Theory from a Modern Standpoint

  • Sidney Coleman


This chapter is devoted to a development of the theory of a single charged point particle interacting with the classical electromagnetic field—classical electron theory. The formalism developed is used to derive some well known formulae (e.g., the energy radiated by an accelerating electron, the form of the radiation reaction), to analyze some famous problems (e.g., runaway modes, hyperbolic motion), and to discuss the relationship between the conventional electrodynamics of Maxwell and some well-known alternative formalisms (e.g., Feynman-Wheeler electrodynamics.)


Radiation Reaction Incoming Radiation Singular Function Bare Mass Outgoing Radiation 
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References and Suggested Reading

Key Articles and Reviews

  1. Bloch, F., 1952, Kig. Danske Videnskab Selskab Mat.—Fys. Medd. 27, No. 8.Google Scholar
  2. Dirac, P. A. M., 1938, Proc. R. Soc. (London) A167, 148.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Feynman, R. P., 1948, Phys. Rev. 74, 939.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Fulton, T., and F. Rohrlich, 1960, Ann. Phys. 9, 499.MathSciNetCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. Lehmann, H., K. Symanzik, and W. Zimmerman, 1955, Nuovo Cimento 1, 205. This is a famous paper on quantum field theory.MATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Norton, R. E., and W. K. R. Watson, 1959, Phys. Rev. 116, 1597. The model here discussed is quantum mechanical, but this is irrelevant to the first part of the paper.Google Scholar
  7. Pauli, W., and F. Villars, 1949, Rev. Mod. Phys. 21, 434. ( This issue of Review of Modern Physics is in commemoration of the seventieth birthday of Albert Einstein and has articles and papers by many well-known physicists such as R. A. Millikan, L. deBroglie, P. A. M. Dirac, and H. Yukawa.—ed. )Google Scholar
  8. Podolsky, B., and P. Schwed, 1948, Rev. Mod. Phys. 20, 40.MathSciNetCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. Wheeler, J. A., and R. P. Feynman, 1945, Rev. Mod. Phys., 17, 157.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Wheeler, J. A., and R. P. Feynman, 1949, Rev. Mod. Phys., 21, 425.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Authored Books

  1. Lorentz, H. A., 1952, The Theory of Electrons, edition of 1915 (Dover, New York), Note 6.Google Scholar
  2. Panofsky, W. K. H., and M. Phillips, 1955, Classical Electricity and Magnetism ( Addison-Wesley, Reading).MATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Thirring, W. E., 1958, Principles of Quantum Electrodynamics ( Academic Press, New York ), App. I I.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sidney Coleman

There are no affiliations available

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