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Free keywords:
General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology, gr-qc,Mathematical Physics, math-ph,Mathematics, Mathematical Physics, math.MP, Physics, Classical Physics, physics.class-ph
Abstract:
This article serves as a pedagogical introduction to the problem of motion in
classical field theories. The primary focus is on self-interaction: How does an
object's own field affect its motion? General laws governing the self-force and
self-torque are derived using simple, non-perturbative arguments. The relevant
concepts are developed gradually by considering motion in a series of
increasingly complicated theories. Newtonian gravity is discussed first, then
Klein-Gordon theory, electromagnetism, and finally general relativity. Linear
and angular momenta as well as centers of mass are defined in each of these
cases. Multipole expansions for the force and torque are then derived to all
orders for arbitrarily self-interacting extended objects. These expansions are
found to be structurally identical to the laws of motion satisfied by extended
test bodies, except that all relevant fields are replaced by effective versions
which exclude the self-fields in a particular sense. Regularization methods
traditionally associated with self-interacting point particles arise as
straightforward perturbative limits of these (more fundamental) results.
Additionally, generic mechanisms are discussed which dynamically shift ---
i.e., renormalize --- the apparent multipole moments associated with
self-interacting extended bodies. Although this is primarily a synthesis of
earlier work, several new results and interpretations are included as well.