A relativistic particle undergoing successive boosts which are non collinear will experience a rotation of its coordinate axes with respect to the boosted frame. This rotation of coordinate axes is caused by a relativistic phenomenon called Thomas Rotation. We assess the importance of Thomas rotation in the calculation of physical quantities like electromagnetic fields in the relativistic regime. We calculate the electromagnetic field tensor for general three dimensional successive boosts in the particle's rest frame as well as the laboratory frame. We then compare the electromagnetic field tensors obtained by a direct boost [Formula: see text] and successive boosts [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] and check their consistency with Thomas rotation. This framework might be important to situations such as the calculation of frequency shifts for relativistic spin-1/2 particles undergoing Larmor precession in electromagnetic fields with small field non-uniformities.
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This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics, under Award Number DE-SC0014622.
Malhotra, Lakshya; Golub, Robert; Kraegeloh, Eva; Nouri, Nima; and Plaster, Bradley R., "Effect of Thomas Rotation on the Lorentz Transformation of Electromagnetic Fields" (2020). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 677.
Published in Scientific Reports, v. 10, article no. 5522.
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