Laws and initial conditions

Philosophy of Science 71 (5):696-706 (2004)
I discuss two case studies from classical electrodynamics challenging the distinction between laws that delineate physically possible words and initial conditions. First, for many reasonable initial conditions there exist no global solutions to the Maxwell‐Lorentz equations for continuous charge distributions. Second, in deriving an equation of motion for a charged point particle one needs to invoke an asymptotic condition that seems to express a physically contingent fact even though it is mathematically necessary for the derivation.
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DOI 10.1086/425056
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Mathias Frisch (2013). Conceptual Problems in Classical Electrodynamics: No More Toils and Trouble? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):527-531.
Igor Hanzel (2008). Idealizations and Concretizations in Laws and Explanations in Physics. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (2):273 - 301.

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