One hundred and ninety years after Faraday’s discovery of electromagnetic induction, the takeover of physics by the describers rather than explainers has led some to question the validity of the premise in the first place. Faraday observed something, and Maxwell mathematically described it, but neither one of them explained what exactly was causing the phenomenon. The gradual creep of mathematics into the heart of physics, which can be traced back to Newton himself, has led to an arms-race of elegance and increasingly abstruse descriptive detail. But has it helped us come to a mechanistic understanding?
Supposing Faraday did not discover electromagnetic induction?
Are E and H in phase?