Maxwell's equations can be written

(1516) | ||

(1517) | ||

(1518) | ||

(1519) |

whereas the charge continuity equation takes the form

It is convenient to deal only with divergence-free fields. Thus, we use as our field variables, and

(1521) |

In the region external to the sources, reduces to . When expressed in terms of these fields, Maxwell's equations become

(1522) | ||

(1523) | ||

(1524) | ||

(1525) |

The curl equations can be combined to give two inhomogeneous Helmholtz wave equations:

and

These equations, together with , and , as well as the curl equations giving in terms of , and vice versa, are the generalizations of Equations (1455)-(1460) when sources are present.

Because the multipole coefficients in Equations (1479)-(1480) are determined, via Equations (1483)-(1484), from the scalars and , it is sufficient to consider wave equations for these quantities, rather than the vector fields and . From Equations (1462), (1528), (1529), and the identity

(1528) |

which holds for any vector field , we obtain the inhomogeneous wave equations

Now, the Green's function for the inhomogeneous Helmholtz equation, subject to the boundary condition of outgoing waves at infinity, is given by Equation (1509). It follows that Equations (1531)-(1532) can be inverted to give

(1531) | ||

(1532) |

In order to evaluate the multipole coefficients by means of Equations (1483)-(1484), we first observe that the requirement of outgoing waves at infinity implies that in Equation (1467). Thus, in Equations (1479)-(1480), we choose as the radial eigenfunctions of and in the source-free region. Next, let us consider the expansion (1517) of the Green's function for the inhomogeneous Helmholtz equation. We assume that the point lies outside some spherical shell that completely encloses the sources. It follows that and in all of the integrations. Making use of the orthogonality property of the spherical harmonics, it follows from Equation (1517) that

Finally, Equations (1483)-(1484), and (1533)-(1535) yield

The previous two equations allow us to calculate the strengths of the various multipole fields, external to the source region, in terms of integrals over the source densities, and . These equations can be transformed into more useful forms by means of the following arguments. The results

(1536) | ||

(1537) |

follow from the definition of [see (1438)], and simple vector identities. Substituting into Equation (1536), we obtain

(1538) |

where use has been made of Equation (1522). Use of Green's theorem on the second term in square brackets allows us to replace by (because we can neglect surface terms, and is a solution of the Helmholtz equation). A radial integration by parts on the third term (again neglecting surface terms) cause the radial derivate to operate on the spherical Bessel function. The resulting expression for the

(1539) |

Similarly, Equation (1537) leads to the following expression for the

(1540) |

Both of the previous results are exact, and are valid for arbitrary wavelength and source size.

In the limit in which the source dimensions are small compared to a wavelength (i.e., ), the above expressions for the multipole coefficients can be considerably simplified. Using the asymptotic form (1428), and retaining only lowest powers in for terms involving , , and , we obtain the approximate electric multipole coefficient

where the multipole moments are

(1542) | ||

(1543) |

The moment has the same form as a conventional electrostatic multipole moment. The moment is an induced electric multipole moment due to the magnetization. The latter moment is generally a factor smaller than the former. For the magnetic multipole coefficient , the corresponding long wavelength approximation is

(1544) |

where the magnetic multipole moments are

Note that for a system with intrinsic magnetization, the magnetic moments and are generally of the same order of magnitude. We conclude that, in the long wavelength limit, the electric multipole fields are determined by the charge density, , whereas the magnetic multipole fields are determined by the magnetic moment densities, and .