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Solutions of the Wheeler-Feynman equations with discontinuous velocities
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We generalize Wheeler-Feynman electrodynamics with a variational boundary value problem for continuous boundary segments that might include velocity discontinuity points. Critical-point orbits must satisfy the Euler-Lagrange equations of the action functional at most points, which are neutral differential delay equations (the Wheeler-Feynman equations of motion). At velocity discontinuity points, critical-point orbits must satisfy the Weierstrass-Erdmann continuity conditions for the partial momenta and the partial energies. We study a special setup having the shortest time-separation between the (infinite-dimensional) boundary segments, for which case the critical-point orbit can be found using a two-point boundary problem for an ordinary differential equation. For this simplest setup, we prove that orbits can have discontinuous velocities. We construct a numerical method to solve the Wheeler-Feynman equations together with the Weierstrass-Erdmann conditions and calculate some numerical orbits with discontinuous velocities. We also prove that the variational boundary value problem has a unique solution depending continuously on boundary data, if the continuous boundary segments have velocity discontinuities along a reduced local space.
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