• Electromagnetics I
  • Ch 7: Magnetostatics
  • Loc 7.1
  • Electromagnetics I
  • Ch 7
  • Loc 7.1

Comparison of Electrostatics and Magnetostatics

Students encountering magnetostatics for the first time have usually been exposed to electrostatics already. Electrostatics and magnetostatics exhibit many similarities. These are summarized in Table 7.1.1. The elements of magnetostatics presented in this table are all formally introduced in other sections; the sole purpose of this table is to point out the similarities. The technical term for these similarities is duality. Duality also exists between voltage and current in electrical circuit theory.

electrostaticsmagnetostatics
Sourcesstatic chargesteady current, magnetizable material
Field intensity
Flux density
Material relations
Force on charge qq
Maxwell’s Eqs.
(integral)
Maxwell’s Eqs.
(differential)
Boundary Conditions
Energy storageCapacitanceInductance
Energy density
Energy dissipationResistance

The technical term for these similarities is duality. Duality also exists between voltage and current in electrical circuit theory. For more about the concept of duality, see “Additional Reading” at the end of this section.

Additional Reading

  • “Duality (electricity and magnetism)” on Wikipedia.
  • “Duality (electrical circuits)” on Wikipedia.
 

Ellingson, Steven W. (2018) Electromagnetics, Vol. 1. Blacksburg, VA: VT Publishing. https://doi.org/10.21061/electromagnetics-vol-1 CC BY-SA 4.0

 
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