Bouas, Jeffrey David (2011-05). Hertz Potentials and Differential Geometry. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • I review the construction of Hertz potentials in vector calculus starting from Maxwell's equations. From here, I lay the minimal foundations of differential geometry to construct Hertz potentials for a general (spatially compact) Lorentzian manifold with or without boundary. In this general framework, I discuss "scalar" Hertz potentials as they apply to the vector calculus situation, and I consider their possible generalization, showing which procedures used by previous authors fail to generalize and which succeed, if any. I give specific examples, including the standard at coordinate systems and an example of a non-flat metric, specifically a spherically symmetric black hole. Additionally, I generalize the introduction of gauge terms, and I present techniques for introducing gauge terms of arbitrary order. Finally, I give a treatment of one application of Hertz potentials, namely calculating electromagnetic Casimir interactions for a couple of systems.

publication date

  • May 2011