This is the fifth installment in a series devoted to explaining Maxwell’s equations, the four mathematical statements upon which the classical theory of electromagnetic fields – and light – is based. Previous installments can be found on Spectroscopy’s website (whose URL can be found throughout these issues). Maxwell’s equations are expressed in the language of vector calculus, so a significant part of some previous columns have been devoted to explaining vector calculus, not spectroscopy. For better or worse, that’s par for the course, and it’s my job to explain it well – I trust readers will let me know if I fail! The old adage “the truth will set you free” might be better stated, for our purposes, as “math will set you free”. And that’s the truth.
Ball, David W. (2012). Maxwell’s Equations, Part V. Spectroscopy, 27(1), 24-33