Classical diamagnetism, magnetic interaction energies, and repulsive forces in magnetized plasmas

Authors: Essén, H.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Europhys. Lett.
Volume: 94   47003-1-5
Year: 2011


The Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem is often summarized as saying that there is no classical magnetic susceptibility, in particular no diamagnetism. This is seriously misleading. The theorem assumes position dependent interactions but this is not required by classical physics. Since the work of Darwin in 1920 it has been known that the magnetism due to classical charged point particles can only be described by allowing velocity dependent interactions in the Lagrangian. Legendre transformation to an approximate Hamiltonian can give an estimate of the Darwin diamagnetism for a system of charged point particles. Comparison with experiment, however, requires knowledge of the number of classically behaving electrons in the sample. A new repulsive effective many-body force, which should be relevant in plasmas, is predicted by the Hamiltonian.