J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’

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                                phenomena of the induction of currents and the polarization 
of dielectrics, I wish merely to direct the mind of the reader 
to mechanical phenomena which will assist him in understanding 
the electrical ones All such phenomena in the present paper 
are to be considered as illustrative, not as explanatory. 

(74) In speaking of the Energy of the field however I wish to 
be understood literally. All energy is the same as mechanical 
energy whether it exists in the form of motion or of elasticity 
or in any other form. The energy in electromagnetic phenomena 
is mechanical energy. The only question is Where does it reside? 
On the old theories it resides in the electrified bodies, conducting 
circuits and magnets, in the form of an unknown quality 
called potential energy, or the power of producing certain 
effects at a distance. On our theory it resides in the 
electromagnetic field, in the space surrounding the electrified 
and magnetic bodies, as well as in those bodies themselves 
and is in <s>the form<\s> two different forms, which may be described 
without hypothesis as magnetic polarization and electric 
polarization, or, according to a very probable hypothesis 
as the motion and the strain of one and the same medium. 

(75) The conclusions arrived at in the present paper are independent 
of this hypothesis, being deduced from experimental facts of three kinds 
1 The induction of electric currents by the increase or diminution of neighbouring 
currents according to the changes in the lines of force passing through the circuit 
2 The distribution of magnetic intensity according to the variations 
of a magnetic potential 
3 The induction (or influence) of statical electricity through dielectrics 
We may now proceed to demonstrate from these principles the existence 
and <s>magne<\s> laws of the mechanical forces which act upon electric 
currents magnets and electrified bodies placed in the electromagnetic field. 

                            
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Manuscript details

Author
James Clerk Maxwell
Reference
PT/72/7
Series
PT
Date
1864
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J. C. Maxwell’s, ‘Dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field’, 1864. From The Royal Society, PT/72/7

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