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In physics, the Poynting vector can be thought of as representing the energy flux (in W/m^{2}) of an electromagnetic field. It is named after its inventor John Henry Poynting. Oliver Heaviside and Nikolay Umov independently coinvented the Poynting vector. In Poynting's original paper and in many textbooks it is defined as
which is often called the Abraham form; here E is the electric field and H the auxiliary magnetic field.^{[1]}^{[2]} (All bold letters represent vectors.) Sometimes, an alternative definition in terms of electric field E and the magnetic field B is used, which is explained below. It is even possible to combine the displacement field D with the magnetic field B to get the Minkowski form of the Poynting vector, or use D and H to construct another.^{[3]} The choice has been controversial: Pfeifer et al.^{[4]} summarize the centurylong dispute between proponents of the Abraham and Minkowski forms.
Contents
Interpretation
The Poynting vector appears in Poynting's theorem, an energyconservation law,^{[2]}
where J_{f} is the current density of free charges and u is the electromagnetic energy density,
where B is the magnetic field and D the electric displacement field.
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