Nonlinear electrostatics: steps towards a neoclassical electron model



The equations of electrostatics are presented in pre-metric form, and it is pointed out that if the origin of the nonlinearity is the constitutive law for the medium then the differential equations themselves remain linear, while the nonlinearity is confined to an algebraic equation. These equations are solved for a general class of electric fields that include the common textbook examples, namely, fields that are adapted to a coordinate vector field. The special forms that they then take for particular electric constitutive laws of quantum origin, namely, the constitutive laws derived from the Born–Infeld and Heisenberg–Euler Lagrangians, are then discussed. Finally, the classical problem of modeling the electron is redefined in light of the established facts of quantum physics.