Classical Electron Theory from a Modern Standpoint

by Sidney Coleman

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Abstract

The development, from first principles, of the theory of a charged point particle interacting classically with the electromagnetic field. The formalism is constructed to reveal the underlying physics and to stress the similarity between the classical theory and the corresponding quantum theory. Such points are discussed as the electromagnetic self-energy, the relativistic radiation-reaction equation, the occurrence and removal of runaway modes, the radiation from a uniformly accelerated charge, and the relation between Maxwell's electrodynamics and the action-at-a-distance theory of Wheeler and Feynman.

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