Symmetric but non-local pure-field expression of EM interactions

Philip H. Butler, Niels G. Gresnigt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A fields-only formulation of EM interactions that does not invoke charge explicitly is presented. The EM interaction ceases to be the result of an asymmetric action of a field on a point charge locally, but instead is the result of applying Hamilton’s principle of virtual work to the symmetric but non-local interaction of space-filling EM fields themselves. The fields themselves are therefore the only fundamental entities. A fields-only understanding of EM interactions is important in situations where the EM fields are knotted, for example in plasma confinement and nuclear magnetic resonance devices where EM knots have been realised, as well as in models of elementary particles as knotted solutions of EM fields.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1681-1688
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electromagnetic Waves and Applications
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Field interactions
  • Lorentz force
  • electromagnetic knot
  • non-local interaction

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