The two "Laws" of ELECTRODYNAMICS - FARADAY'S LAW and AMPÈRE'S LAW - can be combined to produce a very important result.

First let's simplify matters by considering the behaviour
of electromagnetic fields in *empty space*, where

Our two equations then read

We can simplify further by assuming that the electric field is in the direction and the magnetic field is in the direction. In that case,

where the second equation has been multiplied through by .

If we now take the derivative of the first equation with respect to *x*
and derivative of the second equation with respect to *t*, we get

the combination of these two equations yields

which the discerning reader will recognize as the one-dimensional WAVE EQUATION for

is the propagation velocity. You can easily show that there is an identical equation for

In either form, this equation expresses the fact that, since a changing electric field generates a magnetic field but that change in the magnetic field generates, in turn, an electric field, and so on, we can conclude that

This startling conclusion (in 1865) led to the revision of all the "classical" paradigms of Physics, even such fundamental concepts as space and time.

Jess H. Brewer - Last modified: Wed Nov 18 12:33:07 PST 2015