Electrostatic and scalar fields

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The theory of electrostatics is embedded within Maxwell’s electrodynamics, which is one of the most successful physical theories ever produced. However, a more direct generalisation of electrostatics to make it compatible with relativity would have been to replace it with the sourced massless Klein-Gordon equation. This paper gains insight into these two theories by comparing their structures and consequences in the static limit, finding that the two agree in terms of the field dynamics, but differ substantially in terms of how charged particles interact with the fields. These differences are most prominent for ultra-relativistic particles interacting with strong fields, conditions relevant to the new generation of high power laser facilities. Further connections between electrodynamics and scalar dynamics are explored by unifying the theories in higher dimensional spacetime, analogously to the Kaluza-Klein unification of electrodynamics and gravity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
Subtitle of host publicationRelativistic Plasma Waves and Particle Beams as Coherent and Incoherent Radiation Sources IV
EditorsDino A. Jaroszynski, MinSup Hur
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781510643918
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2021
EventSPIE Optics + Optoelectronics - Online only
Duration: 19 Apr 202123 Apr 2021


ConferenceSPIE Optics + Optoelectronics
Internet address


  • electrostatics
  • relativistic scalar fields
  • extra dimensions


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