Symmetries and Couplings of Non-Relativistic Electrodynamics

Guido Festuccia, Dennis Hansen, Jelle Hartong, Niels A. Obers

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We examine three versions of non-relativistic electrodynamics, known as the electric and magnetic limit theories of Maxwell's equations and Galilean electrodynamics (GED) which is the off-shell non-relativistic limit of Maxwell plus a free scalar field. For each of these three cases we study the couplings to non-relativistic dynamical charged matter (point particles and charged complex scalars). The GED theory contains besides the electric and magnetic potentials a so-called mass potential making the mass parameter a local function. The electric and magnetic limit theories can be coupled to twistless torsional Newton-Cartan geometry while GED can be coupled to an arbitrary torsional Newton-Cartan background. The global symmetries of the electric and magnetic limit theories on flat space consist in any dimension of the infinite dimensional Galilean conformal algebra and a $U(1)$ current algebra. For the on-shell GED theory this symmetry is reduced but still infinite dimensional, while off-shell only the Galilei algebra plus two dilatations remain. Hence one can scale time and space independently, allowing Lifshitz scale symmetries for any value of the critical exponent $z$.
Original languageEnglish
Article number37
Journal Journal of High Energy Physics
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • hep-th


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