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This book explores the fundamental but often overlooked connection between Maxwell's equations, as they are taught in undergraduate electrical engineering courses, and special relativity. Written for an audience of practicing engineers instead of theoretical physicists, it exposes the underlying contradictions brought about by the emergence of electromagnetic theory, one of the greatest triumphs in mathematical physics of all time that unified the phenomena of electricity, magnetism, and light, into a world in which the classical Galilean principle of relativity was thought incontrovertible. It explains how Einstein redefined the concepts of space and time and what it means to measure them, while altogether disbanding the notion of global simultaneity.
A manifestly relativistic formulation of electromagnetic laws is first presented and then applied to common engineering problems, like the interaction of electromagnetic fields at dynamic interfaces, the derivation of propagating modes in closed metal waveguides, and the foundations of microwave network theory. Mathematical toolkits for relativistic analysis, such as tensor notation and spacetime algebra, are explained. These tools are then used to analyze the consequences of motion at relativistic speeds upon otherwise well-known electromagnetic circuit behaviors.
Well-drawn and insightful diagrams along with articulate explanations help the reader to gain an intuitive understanding of four-dimensional spacetime and the nature of the electromagnetic field in that context, while summary tables and comprehensive appendices serve as a resource for further self-directed exploration. Readers trained in microwave engineering will learn to see their field from a new perspective, and shall gain from that new insight the ability to conceive of unexpected solutions to practical engineering problems that might otherwise defy one's intuition.
About the Author
Matthew A. Morgan received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1999, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2001 and 2003, respectively. He has authored over 60 papers and holds 17 patents in the areas of microwave monolithic integrated circuit (MMIC) design, millimeter-wave system integration and packaging techniques, reflectionless filter development, high-speed serial communication, and ultrawideband millimeter-wave antennas.
During the summers of 1996 through 1998, he worked for Lockheed Martin Federal Systems in Manassas, Virginia, as an associate programmer, where he wrote code for acoustic signal processing, mathematical modeling, data simulation, and system performance monitoring. In 1999, he became an affiliate of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. There, he conducted research in the development of MMICs and MMIC-based receiver components for atmospheric radiometers, laboratory instrumentation, and the deep-space communication network.
In 2003, Dr. Morgan joined the Central Development Lab (CDL) of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he now holds the position of Scientist/Research Engineer with tenure. He was project engineer for the K-Band Focal Plane Array development on the Green Bank Telescope, and technical lead for Band 6 (211-275 GHz) cryogenic IF amplifier production, Band 6 receiver cartridge testing, and Band 3 (84-116 GHz) and Band 6 Orthomode Transducer (OMT) production for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). Dr. Morgan is currently the head of the CDL's Integrated Receiver Development program, and is involved in the design and development of low-noise receivers, components, and novel concepts for radio astronomy instrumentation in the centimeter-wave, millimeter-wave, and submillimeter-wave frequency ranges.