Volume 20: Pages 473-477, 2007
The Illusory Currents of Classical Electromagnetism
G. B. Walker 1
111815‐93 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1B7 Canada
The Maxwell “displacement current” and the Lorentz “magnetization current” are important in the history of classical electromagnetism, but neither is a current. The popular belief that the former acts as a current is unfortunate since it hides the fact that there is a dual to the Faraday law, namely that a time‐varying electric field is accompanied by a magnetic field. The recognition of this as a fundamental law of nature provides a solid foundation for Maxwell's electromagnetic equations. According to Lorentz, the magnetization current is an average of the motions of electric charges in the atoms of a magnetized material. It is shown here that he was mistaken and that the error has gone undetected for over a century. As a result, the deduction that B and not H is the fundamental magnetic field vector is not substantiated.
Keywords: Maxwell's equations, natural laws, Lorentz averaging, B‐H controversy
Received: December 1, 2006; Published Online: May 26, 2009