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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

1

Table of contents 1. Recurrent topics in special relativity 1.1. Temptations 1.2. Miracles 1.3. Path toward understanding? 1.4. Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? Notes 2. Electrodynamics of moving bodies and the Wilson-Wilson experiment 2.1. Einstein, Minkowski 2.2. Einstein and Laub, the Wilson-Wilson experiment 2.3. Review of recent reexaminations of the classical interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment 2.4. Electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion: with or without special relativity? Notes 3. A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory versus relativistic electrodynamics 3.1. Setup of the problem 3.2. Solution in the framework of Maxwell’s theory 3.3. Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics 3.4. Experiments Notes

2

1

1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
**

Temptations

That Einstein’s special relativity - from its advent until today - continues to be a live source of stupefaction and wonders for both laymen and professional physicists is well known.1 One of the reasons for a rather emotional, almost passionate attitude toward that physical theory certainly lies in the fact that its basic concepts (time, length, mass) are fundamentally diﬀerent from the corresponding concepts that have been used with enormous success and without a trace of doubt by numerous generations of pre-relativistic physicists (and laymen). Unfortunately, these diﬀerent concepts have been labeled with the same terms and so, thanks to the power of habit, created an environment conducive to implanting the connotation of the old concepts within that of the new ones. As a rule, that happens: terminological confusion leads to confusion in sense. It is clear that new concepts need new terms, but in addition to the fact that physicists too are doomed to a life-long use of meta-language of everyday speech, the problem with physical concepts is that they constantly evolve. We remind the reader of a relatively benign but long-lived terminological problem concerning relativistic mass depending on speed (Okun 1989, 1998, Strnad 1991, Sandin 1991, Redˇi´ 1990a, 2002), zc which, according to the present author, can be simply eliminated by using Occam’s razor.2 Another less-known (and a lot less benign) terminological and conceptual problem concerns relativistic tri-force and quadri-force with diﬀerentiating “pure” and “impure” forces (cf Rindler 1991, Møller 1972, Leiboviz 1969, Carini 1965, Kalman 1961, Redˇi´ 1996). It is indicative, zc one can say, that Rindler, in his rightly acclaimed book on special relativity, as the general form of the transformation law of relativistic tri-forces presents equations in which, ﬁguratively speaking, “monkeys and donkeys” are mixed. To be a bit more precise, in the transformation law of quantities 3

On reception of these signals the motors of B and C are ignited and they accelerate gently along the straight line connecting them (Figure 2). Then (as reckoned by an observer in A) the ships will have at 4 . As an illustration for this state of aﬀairs might serve the following simple problem. to brood over them for several years and even to use them in everyday work. When a traveler through relativity somehow escapes from the quicksand of terminology. Three small spaceships A. with B and C equidistant from A (Figure 1). in purely geometric and kinematic relations). Let the ships B and C be identical. Figure 1 In one moment two identical signals from A are emitted toward B and C. for both “pure” and “impure” forces. it turns out that it is not suﬃcient to know of the FitzGeraldLorentz contraction and time dilatation. of course.4 Namely. just like in fairy tales. and have identical acceleration programmes. we all are groping our path toward understanding basic concepts. a little riddle with pictures suitable to a primer on relativity. without rotation and without relative motion. in Rindler appears also a time dependence of the relativistic mass. a conceptual mess. B and C drift freely in a region of space remote from other matter.3 The result is.e. obtained from the quadri-vector equation of motion (a purely dynamic quantity). as Bridgman (1963) put it in A Sophisticate’s Primer on Relativity.that represent a ratio of spatial components of a quadri-vector in Minkowski space and the corresponding relativistic factor gamma (i. more dangerous temptations lurk.

5 . in Bell’s formulation. Let us suppose that a fragile thread connects two identical projections placed exactly at the midpoints of the ships B and C before the motors were started (Figure 3).) It is observed that the setup of the problem has been altered for several years. it will become too short. Dewan 1963. because of its need to FitzGerald contract. at a suﬃciently high velocity. and always be at the same distance from one another. and must ﬁnally break. then as the ships accelerate the thread travels with them. we shall brieﬂy paraphrase Bell’s remarkable comment on the described situation which refers to the method of teaching special relativity. It must break when. the artiﬁcial prevention of the natural contraction imposes intolerable stress”.every moment the same velocity. then as the rockets speed up. A clear consensus. was eventually reached: the thread would not break. Evett 1972.) Here. a polemic over this old problem that was started once between him and a distinguished experimental physicist in the CERN canteen was eventually passed on to a signiﬁcantly broader forum for arbitration: the CERN Theory Division. Elementary explication. The answer is none the less wrong. Evett and Wangsness 1960. testiﬁes Bell. goes as follows: “If the thread is just long enough to span the required distance initially. If the thread with no stress is just long enough to span the initial distance in question. Will the thread break when the ships B and C reach a suﬃciently high speed? B B C C Figure 2 Figure 3 According to the testimony of a distinguished physicist John Bell (1976). (Cf also Dewan and Beran 1959.

5 It appeared to Bell that students who follow this longer. but as a natural oﬀspring of earlier physical ideas.2 Miracles It is time to mention a few of the host of small and big wonders of special relativity. have a stronger and more reliable intuition. as pointed out by Arthur Miller (1981) in his rich and 6 . cf Rindler 1991) sticks and clocks that move do not appear as a dry consequence of certain abstract mathematical transformations. One of famous such problems belongs to optics of perfect mirror in motion: what is the radiation pressure of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave on a planar perfect mirror. rather concise three pages. the scientiﬁc problems that have been solved earlier. as is the case in Einstein’s approach. The result is often the complete destruction of the student’s trust in perfectly safe and useful concepts acquired earlier. before relativity. merely by “pushing the button”. by “switching oﬀ” one inertial frame of reference and “switching on” another. FitzGerald. factually carried out e and freed from the “weak link” of Newton’s concepts of time and space. and that can be solved by using special relativity simply and elegantly. unexpected qualities of rigid (in relativistic sense. 1. Lorentz and Poincar´. However. but in a tedious and complicated way. Larmor. We neglect the fact that the chain of thought of the old pioneerswise men. Max Abraham (1904) needed forty pages of text for the solution of this problem. achieved from logically entangled postulates. classical road. which is uniformly moving with velocity perpendicular to the mirror’s plane. the radical breakup with the primitive concepts of space and time. whereas Einstein (1905a) used only three pages for the same thing in his epoch-making paper (honestly. The small wonders are the methodological ones.It is customary to emphasize the discontinuity. predicts both time dilatation and length contraction and leads eventually to the same conclusions as the Einstein’s theory.

Thomson and Oliver Heaviside. However. Heavy reading. has been sketched in an excellent monograph by Max Jammer (1961). a little cliﬀ-hanger that takes place in London. Searle (1897) was the ﬁrst to ﬁnd the correct solution: the image of a charged conducting sphere in motion is a uniformly charged line. a small group of eccentrics that will give much pain to historians of science (cf Brown 2001. 2003. He doesn’t yet know (and how could he?) that the bodies in uniform motion with respect to the ether do not have the same shape as when at rest.) Another case of “methodological wonders” appears in electrodynamics of moving bodies. (The present author admits that he has not read the Abraham’s article. very meticulously. the ratio of the length of the line and the diameter of the sphere is v/c.detailed monograph wherein Einstein’s Relativity Paper was analyzed sentence by sentence). b). dealt with this problem as well. The main characters are Maxwellians. as measured in laboratory?7 Famous J. It is well known that an isolated charged conducting sphere of radius R at rest in laboratory (an inertial frame of reference). A simple and elegant solution based on the recipe of special relativity has been recently published (Redˇi´ 1992a. Following Maxwell (1891). zc 7 .8 In the historical perspective. Lorrain et al 2000). Cambridge and Dublin in late 19th century. What is the image of a conducting body moving uniformly at speed v and at the same time having the shape and size of the sphere of radius R. produces in space outside the sphere the same electrostatic ﬁeld as the corresponding point charge at rest at the centre of the sphere. but has read the Einstein’s.) In his article Searle uses the contemporary scientiﬁc language (the sphere moves with respect to the ether). J. this point charge may be called the image of the conducting sphere. Searle’s cumbersome and complicated solution to the problem arouses admiration. and men able to recognize the essence. undoubted authorities in the ﬁeld of Maxwell’s electrodynamics. (The quest for the image of a moving sphere.

Even when this new concept of time is somehow ”swallowed” and the student of relativity yielded to his destiny expects new relativistic wonders. and a perennial question if it is possible that everything could be really so. Also. the fundamental prediction of special relativity. Such is the case with the distance between the spaceships B and C in the problem discussed above (Dewan 1963). b) the distance between the ends of a rigid (in a relativistic sense!) stick moving along its own direction. For example. a certain quality which is in an IFR purely spatial and timeindependent. in combination with the principle of relativity always give rise to the same dramatic eﬀect: the feeling of losing ground under one’s feet. These new. the following distances are not of the same kind: a) the distance between two unconnected material points that are moving at the same time with the same velocity (which can be time-dependent) along the same line with respect to some IFR. on such a heroic scale as in the case of special relativity. and sometimes rather inconspicuous. a pure thought has the power to leap ahead of the empirical frontier .10 And the miracles are numerous. Rindler. Einstein’s (1905a) deﬁnition of time and the principle of constancy of the velocity of light. but rarely. unexpected and amazing physical conclusions (“leaps ahead of the empirical frontier”) . notorious but not any less miracle over miracles: the period of a clock that is uniformly moving with respect to an IFR is longer than the period of identical clocks that are at rest with respect to the IFR. the disbelief and insecurity stay.all have the same powerful source: the concept of time. Time as a measurable physical quantity in inertial frames of reference has exactly those peculiar traits as predicted by the Einstein’s theory.11 On the other hand. can include dependence on time in another IFR.According to a nice metaphor by W.a feature of all good physical theories. disbelief and insecurity. Rindler emphasizes.9 on its own completely benign.12 Also.these true and great wonders of special relativity . if the clocks 8 .

Cornille 1988). the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame. a speciﬁc moving clock) are derived not from the structure of that system described in the inertial frame with respect to which the clock is in motion (“the laboratory”).13 Finally. features of a certain physical system (e. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. their purely instrumental character. 1. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. Even the creator himself of the theory of relativity that will soon become the special one pointed out this fundamental limitation of “the principle of relativity. when measured by the clocks at rest. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907).at rest are Einstein-synchronized. Is one reference frame (the laboratory) not quite suﬃcient? The Lorentz transformations appear as “the Fates” whose power over destiny of all physical systems (our moving clock included) is indubitable (as proven by experiments). but quite puzzling. Namely. that is. The fact that this conclusion is not just a casual intellectual game with Lorentz transformations (almost always with an implicit assumption that the clock’s own time doesn’t depend on its acceleration) is proven by a famous experiment in 1971.g.3 Path toward understanding? It seems that the feeling of discomfort that accompanies physicists (and laymen) about the slowing down of the clock in motion is a consequence of the opacity of the usual relativistic method of inferring. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. a clock that travels around the globe in a commercial airplane and comes back to the initial point is “younger” than an identical clock that has not moved from that same point. while mutually identical. 9 .

it is above all necessary to deﬁne the meaning of these fundamental quantities. if Einstein’s method were supplemented.15 Let us now suppose that a proton is at rest in laboratory. maybe vacuum?) In short. Einsteinsynchronization of an arbitrary number of clocks at rest with respect to the laboratory is a trivially possible procedure. Poincar´. we arrive at some unexpected conclusions. parallel to the plane of trajectory of the electron. this hydrogen atom partly follows the Bohr model. 1987). mutatis mutandis. the entire system will accelerate in the direction of the ﬁeld. (Since Maxwell’s equations imply the principle of constancy of the velocity of light. Say that x. y. Let us suppose that natural laws known as Maxwell’s equations hold in some inertial frame of reference (“the laboratory”). y. Taking into account that experiments show that the equation of motion of a charged particle in the electromagnetic ﬁeld has precisely the form suggested by Lorentz. For example. z and t. After turning oﬀ the external ﬁeld. or even completely removed. Lorentz. Somehow the electron manages to maintain its own energy constant. z and t have their usual meaning in the laboratory. and that an electron rotates uniformly around it on a circular trajectory of radius a under the action of the proton’s electrostatic ﬁeld. the proton 10 . and applying this equation of motion on the electron and the proton that form our hydrogen atom. in a way e suggested by Bell (1976. (Electron makes up for the energy lost as electromagnetic radiation by absorbing the needed amount from some inﬁnite reservoir of energy. with t we denote the reading of the synchronized clocks that are at rest with respect to the laboratory. and after dying out of transient eﬀects. such as x.Maybe the previously described feelings of unease and powerlessness that follow the understanding of basic results of special relativity could be attenuated.14. with reasonings of FitzGerald. If we now expose this hydrogen atom to a constant and weak electrostatic ﬁeld. Since the coordinates of position and time. always appear in the formulation of all natural laws. Here is a short sketch of Bell’s approach.

carried out completely in the laboratory frame. it seems. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. through the laboratory coordinates x. the trajectory of the electron around the stationary (for that “observer”) proton is a circle of radius a (because his meters sticks are contracted by the same factor 1 − v 2 /c2 as well in the direction of motion).16 The period of motion of the electron on the ellipse around the proton in uniform translational motion is 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 times larger than the period of motion of the electron on the circle of radius a centered at the proton at rest. Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. thus. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. both “observers” are perfectly right. light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. Although both light and 11 . reveals. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton.17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion.moves with constant velocity v . Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. y.18 1.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place. and the period of the electron’s rotation is the same as in the case when the proton was at rest in the laboratory (because the seconds of the clock belonging to the “observer in motion” are 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 times larger than the laboratory seconds). of course. Also.

based on electrodynamic concepts (Einstein’s Lichtkomplex). the real basis of that theory. The possibility that the particles considered massless according to contemporary opinion (photons. in itself has nothing to do with Maxwell’s equations (Einstein 1935). without light. cannot be in accord with the principle of relativity. the principle of constancy of the velocity of light has to be dethroned as one of the pillars of special relativity. Rindler’s (1991) opinion is indicative in this connection: special relativity would exist even if light and electromagnetism were somehow eliminated from the nature.electrodynamics have played a central part in the historical development of special relativity. a hidden circular argument. Mermin’s method of synchronization of distant clocks by their “symmetric transport” (cf footnote 5 of his article) contains. At the same time. that the alternative methods of clock synchronization. the speed c can but does not have to be reachable by any physical object. the Lorentz transformations. the role of an inaccessible boundary. The same objection goes with a similar Mermin’s (1984) attempt to get the second postulate from the principle of relativity. according to some authors. which are indispensable for Rindler’s argumentation. however.19 It seems. which served Einstein (1905b) 12 . a recent demonstration of the power of relativistic kinematics should be mentioned. Feigenbaum and Mermin (1988) analyzed a mechanical version of the famous 1905 Gedankenexperiment. the constant c in the Lorentz transformations would play the same role as the absolute zero of temperature. In this context. Thus. If the transformations are Lorentz’s. then the constant c which appears in them represents the smallest upper boundary (the supremum) for the speed of particles in any inertial frame. it seems. neutrinos. gravitons) may have a nonzero mass was opened in this way (cf Vigier 1990). In addition to that. Starting from the principle of relativity and the invariability of causality. nor “freed” from circular reasoning. Rindler proves that all inertial frames are related by either Galileo’s or Lorentz’s transformations.

20 13 . Feigenbaum and Mermin showed that in the relativistic expressions for momentum and kinetic energy of a free particle the same mass-Lorentz scalar m appears. they revitalized the problem of the integration constant in the expression for the rest energy. Here. by using solely relativistic kinematics and the laws of conservation of energy and momentum in their most general form. which Einstein (1905b) “solved” by introducing the principle of equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy. chapter 3). but Feigenbaum and Mermin get the exact limit by calculating it. as in Einstein. it would be hasty to conclude from the above discussion that the relativistic kinematics is free of Maxwell’s electrodynamics (cf Jammer 2000. almighty. without Maxwell’s electrodynamics. This is an important result for which Einstein could ﬁnd only a partial justiﬁcation (Einstein 1935).) Furthermore. i. unlike Einstein who postulated it. (It is well known that Einstein was satisﬁed neither with that solution nor with the fact that the mass-energy equivalence was obtained by using Maxwell’s theory (Einstein 1935). Moreover.to get to the equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy. Of course. the mass (the rest mass) appears in the non-relativistic limit of kinetic energy. as well as the relativistic expressions for energy and momentum of a free particle in the most general form. These authors reached the same fundamental conclusion. e.

This introductory chapter contains the inventory of some recurrent topics in special relativity. Zigman 1997)) is not generally accepted. reads. circus attractions of special relativity such as length dilatation and time contraction (Field 2000). For example. it is clear that the transformation law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force must have the form fx = 2 f fx − v[f · u /c2 + (1/γu /c2 )F α Uα ] 1 − ux v/c2 f fx − vdm/dt fx − v[f · u /c2 + (1/γu )dm0 /dt] = 1 − ux v/c2 1 − ux v/c2 14 . where m ≡ m0 γu and γu ≡ (1 − u2 /c2 )−1/2 . so to say. m0u γu . the transformation according to Rindler. and for a particle with rest mass m0 and instantaneous velocity in the S frame u = (ux . [3] For two inertial frames of reference S and S in the standard conﬁguration (S is uniformly moving with respect to S along the common positive e x − x axis with velocity ve x ).Notes [1] A fresh example are. pp 57-61). Eriksen and Vøyenly (1976) state that the classical and the relativistic concepts of mass are “incommensurable” (cf Jammer 2000. uy . However. fx = law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force. [2] It is perhaps worthwhile to mention that the usual formulation of the relation between the rest mass and the Newtonian mass (“in all relativistic equations the mass (the rest mass) is the usual Newtonian mass” (Okun ˇ 1998. taking into account that the relativistic tri-force is not identically equal the time derivative of the relativistic momentum of the particle. But here we refer primarily to prosaic situations such as the one in which Zapolsky (1988) found himself: “not less than ﬁve” referees negated his conclusions paraphrased in the present note [12]. f = d(m0u γu )/dt. uz ).

[4] Perhaps the mentioning of fairy tales in this context is not completely devoid of sense. not just c young looking. in a similar way as statistical mechanics can oﬀer a much broader view than phenomenological thermodynamics. can lead to a fuller insight. both the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction and time dilatation occur. the last equation is obtained from the quadri-vector equation of motion. we use the standard metrics (1. less economic reasoning. of course. 15 . -1). According to Bell (1976). note how language is a problem). a quadri-force does not comply with the condition F α Uα ≡ 0. Møller 1972. Rindler 1991). Some of the conclusions of special relativity touch the archetypal dreams of humanity. It should be mentioned that Bell’s seminal essay gives only a sketch of the approach to special relativity through ideas of FitzGerald. [5] Analyzing a simple model of the hydrogen atom. that the dependence of the particle’s rest mass on time is in the general case given by c2 γu dm0 /dt = F α Uα . -1. in the general case. u ) is the quadri-velocity of the particle on which the force is acting. Lorentz and Poincar´. after many years of interstellar journey. but instead that a more cumbersome. e. -1. and U α = γu (c. en fran¸ais) comes home young (biologically young. when it is moving. γuf ) is the corresponding quadri-force. Langevin’s (1911) Traveler (La Voyageuse de Langevin. Bell mentions a monograph by L. the essence of his argument is not at all that Einstein was wrong in his 1905 “kinematic” analysis. contra-variant components of these quadri-vectors appear. i. Larmor. “based on special assumptions on the structure of matter”. Bell has shown that in that simple system. making use of the orthogonality of the particle’s quadri-velocity and quadri-acceleration (Rosser 1964.) We remind the reader that.where F α = (F 0 . As his only predecessor. e Yanossy (1975). using classical electrodynamics (which is a relativistic theory par excellence without knowing that). (Here.

R. Analyzing in 1905 how the shape of a body depends on reference frame in which it is measured. (The 16 to the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction. R. it seems that Searle almost touched that discovery. “If one saw an undistorted but rotated picture of a moving cube. Due measured in the laboratory.) The moral of the story seems to have been known to Democritus: things are not found therein where their picture is. “cube” is a body that has the shape of a cube when at rest. Einstein occasionally used the verb to observe (“betrachten”) instead of the verb to measure.[6] Recently. or photographed by a camera) of a body whose speed is comparable to that of light does not coincide with its measured shape. located at its centre (Searle 1897). Weinstein 1959. as measured in the body’s proper frame. if one calculated the dimensions of the cube allowing for the ﬁnite time of ﬂight of the light quanta from the various parts of the cube. Namely. of course.” (Here. It is a constant proper acceleration in question. as predicted by the theory of special relativity. cf also Rosser 1964) realized that a visible shape (the one that can be seen by the eye. We remind our reader of the traps of language in special relativity. then. [8] Today. a solution to the same problem in the case of a uniformly accelerated perfect planar mirror is published (Van Meter et al 2001). one would deduce that the length contraction had taken place. if we do not take into account completely ignored Lampa (1924). he recognized that the electromagnetic ﬁeld outside a charged conducting body in uniform motion at the speed v which has the shape of a Heaviside ellipsoid (an oblate spheroid whose semi-axes bear the ra tio 1 − v 2 /c2 : 1 : 1. [7] The conducting body has the shape of a prolate spheroid with semi axes R/ 1 − v 2 /c2 . the shorter semi-axis being parallel to the direction of motion) is identical to the ﬁeld of a point charge in uniform motion at the same speed as the ellipsoid. Many years after. physicists (Terrell 1959. the body is a sphere of radius R. post festum. as .

the ﬁeld outside a conducting sphere at rest is identical to the ﬁeld of a point charge at rest. unexpected.” velocity = A lot of paper was consumed in clarifying this formulation of Einstein’s. and thus one of the basic rules of valid deﬁnition is violated: of the present author.Wiechert potentials. “time interval” is deﬁned in Einstein’s §1 just by means of the velocity of light. Deﬁnitio ne ﬁat in orbem (A deﬁnition must not be circular). the circularity problem can be simply solved by reformulating the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (cf the note 15 below). Herein is light path . applying the principle of relativity to Maxwell’s electrodynamics we infer (cf Redˇi´ 2004a): a conducting body that has the shape zc of a Heaviside ellipsoid when in motion is obtained by the motion of the same conducting body which is a sphere when at rest (Figure 4)! Inference too strange. without the Li´nard e . time interval where time interval is to be understood in the sense of the deﬁnition in §1.electric and magnetic ﬁelds of a point charge in uniform motion through the ether were derived by Heaviside as early as 1888. located at the centre of the sphere. [9] Einstein’s original formulation of the principle of constancy of the velocity of light reads: “Any light ray moves in the ‘resting’ coordinate system with the deﬁnite velocity c. Namely.) On the other hand. In the view 17 . and without special relativity. and even terrifying for pre-relativistic physicists (excluding the brave FitzGerald whose 1889 speculations about deformation of bodies in motion through the ether were immediately recognized by his English contemporaries as “the brilliant baseless guess of an Irish genius” (cf Brown 2001)). which is independent of whether the light ray was emitted by a resting or by a moving body. From the preceding considerations.

Applying the principle of relativity to Maxwell’s electrodynamics we infer (Redˇi´ 2004a): a charged zc conducting body in motion having the shape of a Heaviside ellipsoid is obtained by the motion of the same conducting body which is a sphere when at rest. located at the centre of the sphere. however. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram.y R E E* n E v´B O R/2 Q z Q x Figure 4 A conducting sphere of radius R and with total charge Q at rest in the laboratory frame creates the same ﬁeld as a point charge Q at rest. The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . due to our pre-relativistic instincts. The electromagnetic ﬁeld of a point charge Q in uniform motion with e velocity v = ve x is identical to the ﬁeld of a conducting body having the shape of a Heaviside ellipsoid which is moving with the same velocity. It is. The ﬁeld E ∗ = E + v × B is perpendicular to the surface of the Heaviside ellipsoid at a point arbitrarily close to the surface (Redˇi´ 1992a).

which is usually deﬁned in special relativity as the acceleration that causes no internal stress (cf Rindler 1991). the stick breaks. was nicely presented by Bell (1976). reminds Zapolsky. This means that the stick would tend to extend itself as measured by two observers “standing” at its ends. the distance between the two points. The distance between two unconnected material points that are at rest with respect to an IFR (the laboratory) is always Lorentz-contracted when it is measured by an accelerated observer (in his co-moving IFR). On the other hand. as measured in the lab. if the two material points are being uniformly accelerated with respect to the laboratory. however. If the internal forces can do that no more. The two material points are not connected. (A version of this problem. is a system of bound atoms. say along the line connecting them. In what follows we brieﬂy paraphrase Zapolsky’s argument. The conclusion is that restitutive forces in the stick will oppose the forces causing that the ends of the stick move with same acceleration. It is not diﬃcult to show that this kind of acceleration 19 . starting at the same moment of time from the state of rest with the same acceleration. One might wonder does this prove that an accelerated meter stick would also not be contracted. The answer is an emphatic “no!”.) It should be noted that the motion of the stick we discuss here is not “a rigid body acceleration”. is always one and the same. in the beginning they would tend to behave in the same way as two unconnected material points.appearance of the electric ﬁeld of steady currents in the framework of an elementary but non-trivial model (Zapolsky 1988). The result of measurement depends essentially on who is accelerated with respect to the lab: the material points or the observer. If we try to accelerate its two ends with the same acceleration. A meter stick. Each observer “sees” (at any instant of his time) that the other observer is going away from him. Insisting here on symmetry would be equally irrational as in the much better known “twin paradox”. and are completely ignorant of one another.

Dingle falsiﬁes special relativity. According to Born. (In the present note. it is not the kind of acceleration appearing in case of two independent material points (cf also Nikoli´ 1999). as measured by the system of Einstein-synchronized clocks at rest in the k frame. It follows k-seconds of the same clock.). Dingle addressed that one k. (A compound event that takes place at various spatial points of the K frame and has a duration of 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 K-seconds. τ = γv (t − vx/c2 ). the same notation as Dingle and Born’s will be used: K(x.second of a clock at rest in the k frame equals 1/(1 − v 2 /c2 ) . One K-second of a clock at rest in the K frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 k-seconds. Born’s counter-argument runs as follows. those are two distinct 20 a valid scientiﬁc theory since it contains a contradiction. k(ξ.According to Dingle. Overall conclusion: special relativity is not to Professor Born to defend “the integrity of scientist” by replying to the challenge. where ξ = γv (x − vt). and a compound event that takes place at one spatial point of the K frame and has a duration of 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 K-seconds must not be identiﬁed. however. c [13] The problem of reciprocity of the feature of the clock in motion was the issue of the famous “duel” between Herbert Dingle (1962) and Max Born (1963). the correct relativistic argumentation reads: One k-second of a clock at rest in the k frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 K-seconds as measured by the system of Einstein-synchronized clocks at rest in the K frame. t) is the “resting” reference frame. Dingle’s inference does not follows from special relativity. special relativity permits the following argumentation. τ ) is the one “in motion”. One K-second of the clock at rest in the K frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 k-seconds of the clock at rest in the k frame. etc.(in which the proper acceleration continuously changes from end to end of the stick) leads to the Lorentz contraction. One k-second of a clock at rest in the k frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 K-seconds of a clock at rest in the K frame.

conjugate diameters = axes in K. the axes of the “middle frame” for K and k are not represented.ct b C a SH A B ct TH C SH x O x TH Figure 5 C. (ξ. section of light cone. by convention. The issue provoked a prolonged polemic in the Nature that lasted several years. cτ ). ct. time calibration hyperbola. space calibration hyperbola. Numerous participants “accused” each other for elementary misunderstanding of basic concepts of special relativity. The “middle frame” is moving at the speed v/(1 + 1 − v 2 /c2 ) to the right with respect to K (and at the same speed to the left with respect to k). A consensus was never 21 . T H. conjugate diameters = axis in k. OA. represents the same time interval in K as OB in k: OA ∼ ct Oa > OB The clock at rest in K Oa ∼ cτ τ OB ∼ cτ Ob > OA The clock at rest ink Ob ∼ ct t OA ∼ OB ∼ OA > t ∼ OB > τ On this Born’s ﬁgure. straight lines in Minkowski space (Figure 5). for obvious reason. x. C. Dingle has made the same kind of error the student usually makes: two diﬀerent quantities are denoted by one and the same symbol. those axes are mutually orthogonal. SH.

Therefore any deﬁnition of the time coordinate based on a previously discovered law of nature is nothing but a circulus vitiosus. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a). It is perhaps worthwhile to mention that Maxwell’s equations are a suﬃcient but not a necessary condition for the validity of the principle. an immeasurable quantity. always equals one clock-two way velocity of light which is a measurable quantity and. is of course a good recommendation for that postulate. In this sense the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (also known as Einstein’s second postulate) is essentially the ﬁrst. The present author pointed out the episode in the life of special relativity just for illustrating the thesis that time dilatation also belongs to relativistic miracles. [14] The statement that the principle of constancy of the velocity of light is already contained in Maxwell’s equations appears occasionally in the literature (Einstein 1905b. primordial principle that conceptually precedes the principle of relativity. but nothing else.reached. Fortunately. as measurements reveal. fundamental. The fact that there exist physical laws (Maxwell’s equations) consistent with the second postulate. [15] Einstein’s second postulate (1905a). A deﬁnition of the space and time coordinates must precede the quest for the laws of nature. states that in an IFR one way-two clock velocity of light. e. it is postulated that Einstein synchronization is a realizable procedure. The assumption that Maxwell’s equations apply in the lab takes for granted the validity of the principle of constancy of the velocity of light or some other equivalent method of clock-synchronization. cleaned up from the circular argument. In this way. a universal constant. the meaning of time as a measurable physical quantity is postulated. the physical laws apply 22 . The fact that Maxwell’s equations are consistent with both principles is an excellent recommendation for the equations. i. which were discovered before physicists began to deal with the problem of clock synchronization.

A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates. since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. one could infer that. By the way. [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. The thesis is 23 . e [16] If v = vex . This is clearly seen by passing from a passive to an active interpretation of the Lorentz transformations (Bohm and Hiley 1985). for the same “events”. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense. the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. The inference would be false.in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. On the basis of the preceding considerations. The laws according to which the states of physical systems undergo changes do really have the same form in all inertial frames of reference (the principle of relativity does apply!). on the basis of classical electrodynamics. Einstein would begin his answer to the last question by the query: real with respect to what?) Physical realities of various inertial “observers” may be almost comically diﬀerent. cf also Dewan 1963). Of course. the thesis that both the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction and time dilatation are nothing but subjective phenomena was a continuing subject of lively discussion among physicists and philosophers. by a suitable choice of the initial moment t = 0 the equation 2 of the ellipse reads (xe − vt)2 /(a 1 − v 2 /c2 )2 + ye /a2 = 1. were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b). and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense.

Overall conclusion: if the phase velocity of the light is less than c. unfortunately. because the time is in accord with Einstein’s theory. the relativistic limiting speed c. the whole cosmos. the velocity of the source toward the “observer” relative to the medium vs . if the phase velocity of the light exactly equals c. [19] Bachman (1982) derived a relativistic Doppler formula for waves whose phase velocity relative to the medium is u f = f0 The equation expresses the frequency f of the wave detected by the “observer” through the proper frequency of the source f0 . also took part in them (cf Einstein c 1911. and the velocity of the “observer” toward the source relative to the medium v0 . Vladimir Vari´ak. of course. it seems that Newton’s absolute time is perfectly consistent with the illusive subjective feeling that thought “at one instant” can encompass everything. is not consistent with the time as a measurable physical quantity. and Occam’s razor solves the problem (Mirabelli 1985). Miller 1981). If the phase velocity of the wave exactly equals c. The formula is derived under the assumption that the velocities of the source and detector are along the line connecting them. and only then. u + v0 u − vs 2 1 − vs /c2 2 1 − v0 /c2 1/2 . As a curiosity. the detected frequency f depends only on the velocity of the source as measured in the proper frame of the detector. we mention that in the ﬁrst.presumably a consequence of the mess about the concept of time. when the discussions about the subjective nature of time were most lively. That subjective feeling. then. the ether must exist. in inertial frames. a Yugoslavian physicist. however. Namely. the phase velocity u. then the ether may but need not exist. 24 . heroic years of the special theory of relativity. regardless of the velocity of uniform motion of the medium relative to the source or detector.

[20] For example. kinematic derivations of the Doppler eﬀect (French 1968. Namely. in the case of the Doppler eﬀect its power is limited. Peres 1987) are approximations. (These derivations lead to Einstein’s Doppler formula which deals with the plane wave approximation (for a diﬀerent look at that formula see Schr¨dinger 1922. 25 .) The present author is o zc aware of only one attempt of an exact kinematical treatment of the Doppler eﬀect (Rothenstein 2002). Redˇi´ 1990b).

2 2. he interpreted 26 . In this way he obtained the formulae expressing the Doppler principle and the light aberration “for arbitrary velocities.”2 Then he calculated the radiation pressure of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized wave on a perfect planar mirror in uniform motion and also the transformation law of the energy of a strange entity that he called the light complex (Lichtkomplex). refers. in a certain sense. The law states what could be a physical law but the principle is mute about which is a physical law (contrary to. Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”. for example. electrodynamics of moving bodies is quite in second place.3 Only the last. Fermat’s principle). Einstein derived the correct equation of motion of a point charge in the electromagnetic ﬁeld in the special case when the instantaneous velocity of the charge is parallel to one of the coordinate axes. tenth paragraph of the paper. the principle of relativity as well determines nothing but the general condition that must be satisﬁed by “the laws according to which the states of physical systems change”.ﬁelds to the case of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in vacuo. Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully. Minkowski As it was hinted above. as is well known. Like the well known biological principle that ontogeny is a short and quick repetition of phylogeny. entitled “Dynamics of a (slowly accelerated) electron”.1 In the electrodynamic part of the paper Einstein proved that the Maxwell-Hertz equations in vacuo are Lorentz-covariant. Applying the principle of relativity. to the electrodynamics of moving bodies. in that work. the principle of relativity is essentially a metaprinciple (the term is Rindler’s (1991)).1 Electrodynamics of moving bodies and the Wilson-Wilson experiment Einstein. and then applied the derived transformation laws for the E .and B . however.

D ∂D . The operations curl and div in (AS1) refer of course. (AS 2). on the groundwork laid by Lorentz (1895) Poincar´ (1906) and Einstein. ∂t D divD = . E J = σE (AS2) These constants have the same values as if the body were at rest with respect to the laboratory.” 27 . (AS1) apply once more if all primes are omitted. H curlH = J + B divB = 0. in view of the basic property of covariance of the Maxwell equations with respect to the Lorentz transformations. since it knows nothing of its motion. whose ideas represent the starting point of all subsequent researches in the ﬁeld. t.4. take on a new form. to the primed system. t for the description of the processes in the neighborhood of P. Eqs. z . Let P be transformed to rest by the introduction of the coordinates x . let it have the velocity v . y . In this system Maxwell’s equations for a state of rest apply to the quantities E . J . H B = µH . D . which transforms the primed system back into the original one of the laboratory. just like the time t . transformed to the unprimed system. ∂t (AS1) with material constants diﬀering from those for vacuum E D = εE . were constructed e by Hermann Minkowski (1908). In the latter Eqs.5 Fundamental equations of the phenomenological electrodynamics of moving bodies. Now the inverse Lorentz transformation is to be carried out. However.the obtained equation in a cumbersome way. H . Consider a point of space-time P of a body moving with respect to the laboratory at the laboratory time t. “Minkowski’s logic was simple: The Maxwell equations for a state of rest apply within the laboratory. B . Here we give how the essence of Minkowski’s method was formulated by the famous physics teacher Arnold Sommerfeld (1952). : E curlE = − B ∂B .

one of the crucial experiments of the electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion. put the authors. as is usually the case with special relativity. In the present chapter we shall deal with interpretations. were unusual. by using that theory we shall attempt in the following chapter to analyze a simple problem from a somewhat unusual perspective. which is uniformly moving at a speed v through the plate condenser of inﬁnite extent at rest. homogeneous and isotropic dielectric of relative permittivity εr and relative permeability µr . In this work we shall not give an exposition of Minkowski’s theory which was presented in detail in the classical monographs by Pauli (1958). we ﬁnd it useful to derive the fundamental equations in an elementary way which. 2. Namely. fundamental equations for the electromagnetic phenomena in moving bodies Minkowski expressed through tensors in a (pseudo-) Riemannian four-dimensional Minkowski space. where εr µr > 1. that the work of Minkowski in the mathematical sense imposes too severe conditions before its reader. however. their inferences. Cullwick (1959).7 Physicists were far away from acquiring the “tensorial mentality”.) Einstein and Laub immediately applied the new tool of theoretical physics to an exotic system.b) derived the same fundamental electromagnetic equations for bodies in motion. some old some new. of the Wilson-Wilson experiment.2 Einstein and Laub. Mathematical apparatus known today to every physics student was used then for the ﬁrst time. Consider an inﬁnite slab made of a linear. When a potential diﬀerence is applied between the 28 . Einstein and Laub (1908a. which was not at all the case with the mathematical “apparatus” he was using. the Wilson-Wilson experiment Several months after the publication of the Minkowski paper. Instead. Møller (1972). now following Einstein’s “elementary path”.Minkowski’s physical ideas were simple indeed. (Taking into account. Rosser (1964). essentially corresponds to Minkowski’s method.

from 1905 until today.. Einstein and Laub wrote. We remind our reader of the fact that the human race has learnt. ﬁlled the space between the plates of a cylindrical condenser. appears occasionally in the laboratories.plates. even when it deals with such a kind of problems. Their recipe was as follows. a magnetic dielectric “with considerable magnetic permeability” was created by Wilson and Wilson (1913). and 29 . They used small 1/8 in. then it would be possible to choose experimentally between the theories of Lorentz and Minkowski. Whatever does not exist in the nature. steel balls “and each one was coated thinly with sealing-wax. (The present author still remembers that. and if the plates are connected by a thin conducting wire. however. the length of the cylinder was 9 · 5 cm. Lorentz’s non-relativistic electron theory gives. after reading the above Einstein and Laub’s conclusion for the ﬁrst time. made of brass.) If a constant magnetic ﬁeld. In order to check up the theory of Einstein and Laub. is applied to the system considered. parallel to the plates and perpendicular to the velocity of the dielectric slab. where v∗ ≡ c/ εr µr denotes the velocity of of the electromagnetic waves in the magnetic dielectric when it is at rest. D then a simple relationship between the electric displacement (D ) and the H magnetic ﬁeld strength (H ) in the dielectric is obtained in the framework of Minkowski’s theory of the ﬁrst order in v/c. with εr = 6 and µr = 3. however.” This magnetic dielectric. tending to inﬁnity when √ v tends to v∗. that one should respect theoretical physics. Such bodies.8 If there existed. a diﬀerent relationship between D and H for the same system. the surface charge density on the plate which is at a higher potential is positive when v < v∗ and negative when v > v∗. despite the fact that the system considered is impracticable. he had experienced a certain frisson mystique. The coated spheres were packed tightly and melted paraﬃn was poured into the empty spaces between them so as to form a solid mass. dielectric bodies with a considerable magnetic permeability. did not exist.

The fact that in the local frame the material point of the dielectric instantaneously at rest (its immediate neighborhood also being instantaneously at rest) has a non-zero acceleration should not represent a problem. e. (Cullwick (1959) gave a detailed analysis of the Wilson-Wilson experiment.the inner and outer diameters of the solid dielectric tube were respectively 2 cm. as it is usually euphemistically said. both the special and the general one. and 3 · 73 cm.) As it is well known. is that both length contraction and time dilatation are determined only by the relativistic factor γ. The condenser was uniformly rotated at a speed of about 6000 r. cf Møller 1972). An electrometer was connected by means of stationary leads to brushes which made contact with the inner and outer cylindrical plates of the rotating condenser.10 The reader has certainly noted that Wilson and Wilson. 30 . the potential diﬀerence between the plates of the condenser was measured. they do not depend on instantaneous acceleration (the clock hypothesis and the stick hypothesis. in the axial magnetizing ﬁeld of a coaxial solenoid.m. somewhat modiﬁed the original “experimental set-up” of Einstein and Laub. Namely. was replaced by the uniform rotation of a long cylindrical tube made of magnetic insulator. inaccessible to experimental veriﬁcation. In the experiment. From the viewpoint of Minkowski’s theory.p. the substitution is perfectly legal: arbitrarily small neighborhood of any rotating point of the dielectric is at rest in the corresponding local IFR.. one of the fundamental assumptions of Einstein’s theory of relativity. The uniform translation of an inﬁnite slab. the results of the experiment eliminated Lorentz’s theory. i.9 That was a triumph of both special relativity and Minkowski’s phenomenological electrodynamics of moving media.

3 Review of recent reexaminations of the classical interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment The conventional interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment was recently questioned by Pellegrini and Swift (1995). 31 . the constitutive equations inside the rotating cylinder have exactly the form predicted by the “simple” Minkowski’s theory. p 103. None of the critics found an error in the PS calculation. Pauli 1958. Ridgely 1998). Several authors questioned the validity of the PS argument (Burrows 1997. claim Pellegrini and Swift. The authors pointed out that the fundamental Minkowski’s hypothesis was that any material point of the rotating cylinder may be treated as if it were in the local inertial frame of reference (LI) in which the point is instantaneously at rest. the critics contested their starting fundamental physical assumptions [the use of an unacceptable coordinate system (Burrows). Ridgely (1999) analyzed in detail the constitutive equations for the polarization and magnetization in a uniformly rotating frame. p 545). instead. The ﬁnal outcome of their analysis based on the assumed nature of a medium in motion diﬀers from the result obtained by following the “elementary path” of Einstein and Laub. in the lab. g. the current density) in the rotating frame due to the problem of clock synchronization (Weber)]. Griﬃths 1999. errors in deﬁning basic physical quantities (e. Pellegrini and Swift (PS) argued that a correct analysis must take into account the fact that a rotating frame is not an inertial frame.2. transforming back to the laboratory frame he obtained that. a fundamental conﬂict between theory and experiment. Since the experiment was consistent with predictions of Minkowski’s theory (which is incorrect!) one has. Their “corrected analysis” borrowed from the general theory of relativity necessary tools for dealing with electrodynamics in an accelerated frame of reference. Weber 1997. g. starting from the corresponding constitutive equations for D and B in the Lorentz-covariant formulation (cf e.

as measured in the lab frame S. P = (1/c2 )v × M . unknown in non-relativistic theories.Krotkov et al (1999) gave a quite unexpected direction to the recent reexamination of the classical interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment.12 The appearance of charges inside the current loop in uniform translation is a consequence of the relativistic transformation law for the charge density. Namely. as measured in the lab. (The appearance of electric dipole moment of a current loop in motion is. arbitrarily small segment of the current loop is electrically neutral. in its proper frame of reference S . any. In that frame. in the current loop that is now uniformly moving with velocity v there is a charge distribution over the loop and it possesses the corresponding electric dipole v moment p = (1/c2 )v × m . n0 of those magnetic dipoles per 32 is usually derived by using relativistic transformations for the ﬁelds. the charge distribution stems. from relativity of simultaneity. in the framework of v ﬁrst order theory. a purely relativistic phenomenon. the essential diﬀerence between Minkowski’s and Lorentz’s electrodynamics of moving media lies in the fact that only the former predicts that a magnetized medium in motion (with a non-zero magnetization M in the proper inertial frame of the magnetic S ) possesses. which . as Rosser (1964. thus. As is well known. where v denotes the velocity of the considered point of the magnetic. This relationship are obtained as a consequence of the Lorentz-covariance of Maxwell’s equations (cf Rosser 1964). according to the classical. A justiﬁcation of the speciﬁcity of their analysis needs some introductory remarks. consisting of atoms or molecules. 1993) pointed out. For ordinary media. in the long run.) Due to the Lorentz contraction. a non-zero polarization given by. microscopic approach. however.11 In the lab frame S. there is another. where m denotes the magnetic dipole moment of the loop in its proper frame S . Amp`rian model. a magnetic dipole can be represented by a closed cone ducting loop with a stationary (conduction) current.

The authors analyzed a steel ball (a highly conductive and a highly permeable medium!) in uniform rotation about an axis outside the ball. is somewhat problematic. In the WilsonWilson experiment. p and m could only be the average values of the corresponding . in the quantum-mechanical operators. based on the classical concepts. e.to macro-quantities by averaging over physically inﬁnitesimally small regions of space and time intervals).13 Krotkov et al claim that the result can be generalized 33 v m the “relativistic” (1/c2 )v ×m term. and thus the contribution to the polarization in the S frame due to v the motion of the magnetic is given by the expression P = γ(1/c2 )v × M . The preceding considerations reveal that not only the theories of Minkowski and Lorentz but also the modern analyses by Pellegrini and Swift and their critics. Consequently. Krotkov et al (1999)point out that neither the LI nor the PS approaches are applicable to this macroscopically inhomogeneous medium. that the resulting electric dipole moment of the ball is the sum of two terms: the ﬁrst is the well known electric dipole moment of a conducting ball in the eﬀective electric ﬁeld v × B0 . where m is the magnetic dipole moment best case. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory in v/c. and found. This conclusion is reached by using only Maxwell’s equations in the lab frame. in a constant external magnetic ﬁeld B0 parallel to the rotation axis. It is clear that the “microscopic approach”. they all use the usual method of the theory of continuous media (the transition from micro. “magnetic dielectric” was constructed of small steel balls of diameter about 3 mm embedded in the paraﬃn wax. or any assumption on physics in the ball’s proper frame. i. the concentration of the corresponding electric dipoles in the S frame equals n0 γ. without the use of special relativity. and the second is of the ball and v is the velocity of its centre as measured in the lab.m3 in S takes the volume (1/γ)m3 as measured in S. v p since p = (1/c2 )v × m and P = n0 γp . however. all lie within the standard framework of the classical ﬁeld theory.

to the magnetic dielectric from the Wilson-Wilson experiment. An experiment with such a material has been recently performed by Hertzberg et al (2001). where electric conductivity is high. The analysis made by Krotkov et al. in the case of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. exist only in the steel balls. Their argument is based on the fact that inside the material consisting of the host of steel balls embedded in the wax the magnetization. Experimental results. In this case too the results took sides of Minkowski’s theory. all models that take for granted Maxwell’s equations lead inevitably to the LI results of Minkowski’s theory. The original Wilson-Wilson experiment with the inhomogeneous dielectric constructed from steel balls embedded in the wax was also repeated. Krotkov et al did not venture on ﬁnding the polarization and magnetization of the WilsonWilson magnetic dielectric as a function of the electric and magnetic dipole moments of the steel balls. were for 6% diﬀerent from the predictions of the PS theory (the relative error of their measurement was 1%). Their “homogeneous” cylinder was made of yttriumiron-garnet “which is a magnetic insulator even on the molecular scale”. In this way. should be) a microscopically homogeneous medium (we remind our reader that Rosser (1964) suggested this long time ago). claim Krotkov et al. the rotating magnetic insulator must be (i. pointed out the essential fact that in experiments of the WilsonWilson type. regardless of the validity of their ﬁnal conclusions. and thus also the electric dipole moment due to the motion of magnetic dipole. 34 . (Needless to say. whose objective is to make a choice between several classical ﬁeld theories. very convincingly consistent with the LI predictions of Minkowski’s theory.) The ﬁnal conclusion of those authors is that the Wilson-Wilson experiment cannot detect a diﬀerence between the LI and PS predictions since the composite steel-wax cylinder is highly conductive in the regions with appreciable magnetization. e.

this is not so. e.4 Electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion: with or without special relativity? It is a commonplace that relativistic eﬀects disclose themselves only at speeds close to that of light. in the framework of a ﬁrst-order theory. at small speeds relativistic eﬀects may be ignored. However. Another problem. As is well known.q(E + v × B )+ the constitutive equations. and so it seems that the problem is already solved. at room velocities. Some diﬃculties. in experiments of the Wilson-Wilson type the maximum speeds of the points of the rotating cylinder are of order of several meters per second. i. Minkowski’s theory. Maxwell’s equations for material media (the so-called material equations) are Lorentz-covariant.15 The question arises whether a non-relativistic analysis.2. however. The answer to the query: electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion. based on the use of Galilei transformaslow motion. faraway from the phenomena of everyday experience. Einstein and Laub were not using electrodynamics of moving bodies but instead the electromagnetic theory of bodies at rest. of course. At ﬁrst sight it is a pseudo-problem. p 107) noted. is whether Minkowski’s phenomenological relativistic electrodynamics is correct at all. seems to be obvious. the true arena of special relativity is the exotic kingdom of great speeds. Before all. We saw that a correct interpretation of the results of those experiments without special relativity. that is without Minkowski’s theory. was not possible. the query necessitates a certain explanation.14 However. As it is picturesquely said. without or with special relativity. is suﬃcient for a correct electrodynamic description of bodies in very . Namely. As Cullwick (1959. together with a mathematical application of special 35 tion. the phenomenological electrodynamics of moving bodies in an inertial frame of reference consists of four Maxwell’s equations for material media + the Lorenz gauge condition + Lorentz’s expression for the force acting on a point charge in the electromagE netic ﬁeld. and that in favour of special relativity. should be pointed out.

relativity. electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion does not necessitate special relativity. more precisely. however. When magnetic dielectrics are discussed. and also as a by-product that Lorentz’s theory is deﬁnitively eliminated (which essentially could not be inferred on the basis of the original Wilson-Wilson experiment. it seems that in case of bodies in slow rotational motion. contrary to the generally accepted opinion). Although there seems to be a consensus that Minkowski’s recipe is valid in case of a uniform translational motion of a body. following his intuition) the question of whether special relativity is suﬃcient for giving successful predictions in case of slowly rotating magnetic insulators should be considered open. has no sound experimental basis. the answer to the query depends on the nature of bodies. On the basis of the considerations given in the preceding Section. Minkowski’s recipe. e. On the basis of the experiment by Hertzberg et al (2001) one could infer that the question is settled and this in favour of special relativity i. the conclusions reached by Krotkov et al (1999) are problematic. One should. however. remember the fact (already pointed out by Rosser (1964)) that there are conceptual diﬃculties also in case of the electrodynamics of bodies at rest. In the view of the present author. as far as the present author is aware. In case of microscopically homogeneous (or inhomogeneous) bodies. According to Krotkov et al (1999). because macroscopic behaviour of a large number of micro-systems is deduced from the classical (macroscopic) ideas about the micro-systems. in the view of the present author (or. Non-magnetic insulators in slow motion can be successfully described by using Lorentz’s non-relativistic theory (Pauli 1958). the query is “shifted” in the sense of necessity of either special or general relativity. Taking into account the relatively complicated theory of the experiment by Hertzberg et al. their analysis deals with macroscopically inhomogeneous bodies. 36 . the consensus. Howevere. one could infer that there is no unambiguous answer to the above query.

Bringuier 2004. the motion being a pure translation. in case of a uniform translational motion of a conductor of arbitrary shape.To this topic also belong the standard didactic problems dealing with electromagnetic phenomena in non-magnetic conducting bodies moving through a constant externally applied magnetic ﬁeld. a pure rotation. 37 . and also in the classical problem of a thin conducting ring uniformly rotating about its diameter in a constant externally applied magnetic ﬁeld perpendicular to the rotation axis. The present author recently pointed out that even at room velocities special relativity. seems to be indispensable for a correct derivation of basic inferences (cf Redˇi´ 2004b. or a combination of the two motions. Redˇi´ zc zc 2004c). that is Minkowski’s electrodynamics.

The observed phenomenon in this case depends solely on the relative motion of the magnet and the conductor. to elliptic polarization..” wrote Einstein. b).. The attempt contained a fatal ﬂaw (Redˇi´ zc 2000). to the electrodynamics of moving bodies in the usual sense only refers its introductory paragraph containing a very short discussion on “the electrodynamic interaction between a magnet and a conductor. that predicts a perfect (and not only to second order in v/c) symmetry.b) argued that in Einstein’s example of the interaction between a magnet and a conductor it is classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics. contrary to Einstein’s statement. While Rosser (1993) questioned the validity of the interpretation of Maxwell’s electrodynamics proposed by Bartocci and Mamone Capria.” (Einstein 1905a).leads to asymmetries that do not appear to be inherent to the phenomena . i. It is perhaps worthwhile to mention that the present author recently pointed out a clear asymmetry in Maxwell’s electrodynamics which is inherent to the phenomena and which. The special case of a circularly polarized wave was used in Dodd’s (1983) attempt to interpret the Compton eﬀect in the framework of classical electrodynamics. and not relativistic electrodynamics. 38 . if properly understood.as it is usually understood today . Many years after Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a.. zc [2] The formulae apply to arbitrary monochromatic plane wave. however. regardless of the error pointed out by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. zc necessitates a more detailed analysis than that given by Miller (1981. Einstein original example. e.Notes [1] In the whole Einstein’s paper. “opens the door to special relativity” (Redˇi´ 2004a).. This example has served to the author as an illustration for the thesis that “Maxwell’s electrodynamics . in the view of the present author their conclusions concerning the interaction between a point charge and a current loop in relative motion are correct (cf Redˇi´ 1993).. pp 146–9).

argued Planck . Einstein’s tour de force can be adequately appreciated only by a researcher who trailed the same dangerous mountain path (cf Schwartz 1977. for reaching a full insight it is indispensable to compare the pioneer attempts with the modern derivation of the “Lorentz force equation” through tensor calculus (cf e. While it seems that Kaufmann’s latest measurements disprove the principle of relativity introduced recently by Lorentz and. the grandeur of that scientiﬁc exploit.. the quantity of light). It seems that physics has not until very recently said its last word about the light complex (Redˇi´ and Strnad 2004). Einstein reached the correct ﬁnal result zc by making a methodological error. Recently.one cannot exclude the possibility that a more detailed elaboration of the experimental results will show that the principle (“such a simple and general physical idea”) is consistent with observations . Jeﬁmenko (1996a) derived in Einstein’s way the transformation law of the most renowned pure E v B relativistic tri-force. Of course. [4] Planck (1906) was the ﬁrst to derive and recognize the well known general form of the relativistic equation of motion of a charged particle in the electromagnetic ﬁeld (“the Lorentz force equation”). and only then will its appearance in the ﬁrst act become understandable. The “mysterious stranger” will appear on the stage just one more time (Einstein 1905b). [5] It should be mentioned that Einstein obtained his electrodynamic results without knowing of tensors in Minkowski’s space.[3] Lichtkomplex is a mysterious quantity in the framework of Maxwell’s electrodynamics and its appearance in Einstein’s paper is very strange. now under a new name (Lichtmenge. Rosser 1960). 39 . Namely. g.. In the view of the present author. by Einstein . and also that the role of logic in physical sciences is sometimes very tricky (Stachel and Torretti 1982). Møller 1972). Rosser 1964). Jeﬁmenko’s article is a natural complement of Planck’s paper mentioned above (cf also French 1968. in a more general formulation. The example of the light complex clearly shows that intuition is sometimes more important than knowledge. qE +qv ×B .

of course. in the SI system of units. Thus v need not be a pure translation and the body need not be rigid. For example. 2004b). t enters in the following Lorentz’s transformations. In Minkowski’s theory we start from the deﬁnition of the electric and the constitutive equation for the polarization of the “magnetic dielectric” which in the lab frame. reads (Rosser 1964) E v P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ) + (1/c2 )v × M .11). For example. that in the general case Sommerfeld’s remark does not apply. he works in a complex space (ict!) whose metric is Euclidean. 40 . instead of tensors of the ﬁrst (quadri-vectors) and second rank. in case of an axially symmetric charged conducting body that is uniformly rotating about its symmetry axis. respectively. in the ﬁrst-order theory. (1) Figure 6. For the quadri-gradient he uses a nowadays forgotten symbol lor. (2) where M is the magnetization in the proper frame of the magnetic. the application of the constitutive equation for the current density (the third equation (AS2))leads to a contradiction (cf Redˇi´ 2002. only the ﬁxed value of v in the space-time point P. (33. up to the second order terms in v/c. Here we sketch how one can reach these results which refer to the system shown in displacement D = ε0E + P . he speaks about space-time vectors of the ﬁrst and second kind. [8] Einstein and Laub’s result reads Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 .[6] In this place Sommerfeld made the following remark: “The motion may be variable in space and time and must merely be capable of quasi-stationary treatment in the sense of Eq.” It should be pointed out. and that of Lorentz’s theory Dz = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . zc [7] Minkowski’s nomenclature is diﬀerent from the present-day one. And. A simple analysis reveals that in the magnetic’s rest frame. however.

in the ﬁrst order theory. (2) and (3) we get v D = ε0 εrE + ε0 (εr µr − 1)v × B0 41 (4) . one has B (µr − 1)B 0 µr . (By the way. the result applies. of course.) From equations (1). and taking into account that all relevant quantities are of the type v × B . Eq. The magnetic dielectric in motion is also electrically polarized. in both reference frames. The electric ﬁeld in the dielectric vanishes when the dielectric completely ﬁlls the space between the plates.z x H _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ v v + + + + + + + + + + + v Figure 6 The slab made of magnetic dielectric and the condenser’s plates all move with e constant velocity v = vex in a constant externally applied magnetic ﬁeld whose magnetic ﬂux density is B0 = µ0 Hyey .and B . (3) is obtained by using the continuity of H and the relativistic transformation laws for the E .ﬁelds. it is not diﬃcult to verify that the magnetic ﬂux density inside the magnetic dielectric equals B = B = µr B0 . a charge appears on the plates. If the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead. (3) µ0 µr where B0 = µ0 Hyey is the magnetic ﬂux density of the externally applied M = magnetic ﬁeld in the lab frame.

We discussed here the version usually presented in the literature where the dielectric and the plates all move at the same velocity and a stationary conducting wire is in contact with the plates by means of brushes (Cullwick 1959. In Lorentz’s theory. the potential diﬀerence between the plates is zero. and thus in this case we have Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . Rosser 1964). In this place. in 42 . E = 0. where σf denotes the surface charge density over the lower plate of the condenser. (This version is closer to the Wilson. it follows that the electric ﬁeld inside the dielectric also vanishes. Dz = σf . the constitutive equation for the polarization of the magnetic dielectric contains only the E ﬁrst term on the right hand side of equation (2). however. If the gap between the dielectric slab and the condenser’s plates vanishes. otherwise very accurate Cullwick is wrong: namely. and since a stationary state is established. the condenser’s plates connected by a stationary lead are also at rest with respect to the lab. however. this is an irrelevant second order eﬀect.Since the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead through sliding contacts. Interestingly. so that in the same “experimental situation” we have DzL = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . Fortunately.Wilson experiment where the cylindrical condenser rotates together with dielectric. (5) Of course. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory. (6) It should be mentioned that the original system discussed by Einstein and Laub (1908a) is diﬀerent from that ascribed to Einstein and Laub in the literature in the following detail: in Einstein and Laub only the dielectric slab is moving.) Both versions give the same results. P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). Cullwick claims that Einstein and Laub identiﬁed without justiﬁcation the magnetic ﬁeld strength in the dielectric H (H ) and the magnetic ﬁeld strength of the externally applied magnetic ﬁeld H0 . Cullwick states.

The present author.b). by using Cullwick’s (1959) “component ﬁeld” method. [9] [9] The measured potential diﬀerence according to Einstein . e. 96. 2. 944 and 0. Cullwick points out that there is no consensus in the literature about what is the solution of the problem according to Lorentz’s theory. and consequently there is no contribution to the vector H due to the convection current of free surface charges. which for the Wilson-Wilson magnetic dielectric with εr = 6 and µr = 3 amounted to 0. 43 . [11] The proper frame of a conducting loop is the reference frame in which crystal lattice of the loop is at rest. The assumption that in the proper frame any segment of a current loop with a stationary current is electrically neutral is known in the literature as the Clausius postulate (O’Rahilly 1965. respectively. This assumption is found in many textbooks and therefore necessitates a comment. Some time ago Matzek and Russell (1968) pointed out the fact that in case of an inﬁnite straight cylindrical conducting wire with a stationary current the proper magnetic ﬁeld of the current gives rise to a redistribution of the current carriers i. among rare authors which warned to caution in relation with the generally accepted interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment was ever sceptical O’Rahilly (1965).Laub’s theory is proportional to the factor (1 − 1/εr µr ) and according to Lorentz’s theory to the factor (1 − 1/εr ). p 589. Einstein-Laub’s result (5) can be reached in another (the third one) way. however. 83.Einstein and Laub the condenser’s plates does not move. pp 606-613. has not succeeded in reaching the result (6) of Lorentz’s theory by that alternative method. The average value of experimental results for that proportionality factor was 0. In the analysis of the theory of the experiment (Cullwick pp 168-9) the central part is played by equation (4) from the preceding note. [10] As far as the present author is aware. to their concentrating towards the conductor axis (the “self-induced pinch-eﬀect”). as “observed” in the proper frame of the lattice. vol. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a.

p = (px . an electric dipole moment. it is necessary to mention how the relation p = (1/c2 )v ×m is derived in the general case. where γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 . my . The crucial assumption was the Clausius postulate. Gabuzda 1993. n0 magnetic dipoles in m3 in S occupy the volume (1/γ) m3 . pz ) as measured in the lab frame S with respect to which the magnetic is uniformly moving with velocity v . as measured in S. [12] This fundamental relation was exactly derived starting from the deﬁnition of the electric dipole moment. of the polarization vector of a magnetic dielectric in v M motion: P = γ(1/c2 )v ×M . Since the polarization in p S equals P = n0 γp . Rosser’s (1993) remark concerning the validv p = (1/c2 )v × m . mz ) in the proper inertial frame S in which the medium is at rest. One starts from the transformation law. without introducing any special assumption about the ity of the preceding elementary reasoning is worth mentioning: “According 44 . each of the same dipole moment m = (mx . and for a circular loop (Rosser 1993). The problem will be also discussed in the next Chapter. by assumption. The magnetization M in S is given by M = n0m . Let the magnetic medium consists of n0 atomic magnetic dipoles per cubic meter. Taking into account that the derivations are based on the classical model of v m magnetic dipole. py . did not provide a clear answer to the question: in what inertial frame is a currentcarrying conductor electrically neutral (Peters 1985.Subsequent elaborations of the problem of ﬁnding the charge distribution in a conductor with a stationary current for more realistic models. identical for all of them. Each of the atomic magnetic dipoles possesses. Due to the Lorentz contraction. from the preceding equations one immediately ﬁnds structure of magnetic dipole. Blackford 1994). Rosser 1964. in case of a planar closed current ﬁlament in a uniform translational motion in the proper plane. Redˇi´ zc 1998). up to all orders in v/c. where only the contribution to the polarization in S due to the magnetization of the magnetic in motion is taken into account (cf Rosser 1964). from the S to the S frame. for a rectangular loop whose direction of motion is parallel to one of its arms (Panofsky and Phillips 1955.

within an error of about 2%. the central conclusion reached by Krotkov et al (1999) can by no means be considered conclusive. then the second term in their key equation (13) does vanish and then the electric dipole moment of the sphere does have the value obtained by the authors. P.” Very soon. which is (1/) a (m × E ) · (v /c2 )dt for a molecule traveling from just the interaction energy between the ‘relativistic dipole’ p and the electric ﬁeld E . which is . a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. If. which implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms. The measurement of this interaction energy for a molecule moving at (essentially) constant velocity may be considered to be conﬁrmation of the Einstein-Laub analysis. The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher b m v phase shift. Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation.” [13] In the view of the present author. whose author passionately protests (on p 259) against this oversimpliﬁcation in the style unusual for textbook literature: “Who says relativity is important only for velocities comparable to that of light?” [15] In Lorentz’s non-relativistic electron theory. as Krotkov et al pointed out (1999): “The moving magnetic dipole was a magnetically polarized thallium ﬂuoride molecule in a molecular beam that passed through a region of constant electric ﬁeld E . the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . this result should be true if the atomic magnetic dipole moments arise from orbital electron motions or from electron spin or from a combination of the two. French (1968). however.to special relativity. Namely. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995). the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b. then the second term in their equation (13) neither vanishes nor has a simple interpretation.

for a linear. that is in the lab. as Miller (1981) pointed out. This assumption was also introduced in analysis of the Wilson-Wilson experiment (cf Cullwick 1959. Chapter 9). as Le Bellac and L´vy-Leblond (1973) pointed out. the idea is tempting of an electrodynamics that would be Galilei-covariant. However. Such an electrodynamics does exist. E J = σ(E + v × B ). (∗) (∗∗) (∗ ∗ ∗) The constitutive equations. µ0 µr E P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). the constitutive equations for bodies in v M slow motion diﬀer from these given above by a relativistic term (1/c2 )v ×M in equation (∗∗) for the polarization. There is no light. etc. Lorentz’s theory understood in this way represents “electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion without special relativity. researchers from the beginning of 20th century had mainly “cavalierly” assumed that Lorentz’s theory applies in the reference frame tied with the Earth. isotropic medium in motion at low speeds read µr − 1 M = B + P × v.” and can be obtained from the formulae of relativistic electrodynamics in the limit c −→ ∞ (of course. p 170). can be obtained. in that theory. In relativistic electrodynamics. Une fortunately. there is no reference frame in which complete Maxwell’s equations apply. in case of the last limit only the constitutive equations are in question). as is well known. as well as Maxwell’s equations for material media in slow translational motion. through a non-relativistic reasoning from the corresponding equations that apply to media at rest (Panofsky and Phillips 1955. In relation with the preceding considerations. pp 166-171). True. Condensers don’t work. It should be mentioned that various authors give diﬀerent answers to the question of what is the prediction of Lorentz’s theory in the case of the Wilson-Wilson experiment (Cullwick 1959. Lorentz’s original theory was formulated with respect to the ether frame. 46 .

The loop C at the moment of time t = 0 is given by parametric equations x = R cos θ. This problem. 0). b. respectively. Setup of the problem in the framework of Maxwell’s theory. which seems to be one zc of the simplest in electrodynamics of moving bodies. contrary to that of the present problem. y = R sin θ.) In addition. is very tricky (cf Teukolsky 1996).3 A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory versus relativistic electrodynamics Setup of the problem 3. will be solved in the laboratory reference frame in two ways: in the framework of classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics (henceforth.b).1 In this Chapter we shall deal with the electromagnetic interaction between a circular ﬁlamentary conducting loop with a stationary current in a uniform slow translational motion and a point charge which is at rest or is uniformly moving at the same velocity as the loop (Rindler 1989. and in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics. 0. Maxwell’s theory). Redˇi´ 1993). 47 z=0 (1) . the considered problem is a simple analogue of the famous Trouton-Noble experiment. [In this interpretation.] Our presentation closely follows that of Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. a variant of the problem will be analyzed under the assumption that Maxwell’s theory applies in the reference frame of the ether. Consider a ﬁlamentary circular current loop C with stationary current I which moves with respect to the IFR S with constant velocity v = (v. (The two methods of solving this and similar problems represent electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies without and with special relativity. the theory of which. Basic assumptions of Maxwell’s theory will be explicitly given. its natural habitat.

What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0. as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3.2 Solution in the framework of Maxwell’s theory In what follows under Maxwell’s theory we shall strictly mean: a) the system of four Maxwell’s equations B ∂B E curlE = − ∂t E ∂E B curlB = µ0 ε0 +j ∂t E divE = /ε0 B divB = 0 (2) (3) (4) (5) These equations reduce. L). A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) . to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ. in the standard notation. 0.

e. t− | r − r | /c) r Φ(r . we wish to point out that the opposite view (i. c2 ∂t (c2 = 1/ε0 µ0 ) (9) (The electric and magnetic ﬁelds are expressed through the potentials by A ∂A . y . Although this does not aﬀect directly our argument.”4 ] It is not diﬃcult to verify that charge conservation (8) is a suﬃcient condition for the retarded potentials Φ and A to satisfy the Lorenz gauge condition (9). we could add another hypothesis 49 . t) = dx dy dz 4πε0 | r − r | µ0 j (x . However. y . σ0 > 0) has been recently gaining adherents. Maxwell’s theory presented above applies.. t− | r − r | /c) A(r . where σ0 is the vacuum conductivity. t) = r dx dy dz 4π | r − r | (12) (13) [“Remark: In equation (3) it would be natural to add a term σ0E . (6) and (7) have a unique solution which is physically relevant.and the potentials A and Φ must satisfy the Lorenz1 gauge condition2 A divA = − the relations E = −gradΦ − b) The Lorentz force law A ∂A F = q −gradΦ − A + v × curlA ∂t (11) 1 ∂Φ . z . ∂t A B = curlA ) (10) c) An additional assumption that can be viewed as a restriction on the way ﬁelds “originate” from sources: we assume that for given and j . z . in a given inertial frame of reference S. namely the one given by the so-called retarded potentials3 1 (x . since in a noncosmological context (such as the one we shall be dealing with) σ0 seems to be really negligible. it can be argued that the conventional presentday choice of putting σ0 = 0 is not experimentally so well established as it could be. by assumption.

A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. 0 and j 0 . First. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric ﬁeld produced by a current. The additional hypothesis reads (c. one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion. j ) and (Φ/c. this assumption enables us to write Maxwell’s equations in a Lorentz-covariant form. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. however. (14) As is well known. Namely. Now we have almost all requisites necessary for solving our problem. it should be speciﬁed that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop. Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. it is clear that without more speciﬁc assumptions on the way simple physical systems have to be modeled the theory so far described cannot get very far as a physical theory. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the possibility of translating Maxwell’s equations into space-time geometric terms as nothing more than an interesting mathematical property. a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly deﬁned system. An essential detail. In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations. devoid of any physical content. we add a new hypothesis which we shall call the Clausius postulate (CP)5 : Any segment of a conductor at rest with a stationary current is electrically neutral. it is natural to take for granted that charge and current densities in case of a loop in motion are related with the corresponding densities for the loop at rest. 50 . Then. is missing.

in accord with our deﬁnition of MT. z. 0) E =− =− dθ. using the continuity equation and the CP we have (x. e. y. t) v j (x. (20) ﬁeld B of our current loop C in motion 2π 2π µ0 IR cos θ sin θ 2 2 A B = curlA = 1−β z dθ. z. 0) dθ D (19) and β ≡ v/c. we now only have to evaluate the retarded potentials (12) and (13). (17) (18) One can easily verify that and j satisfy the continuity equation if the same applies to the corresponding rest densities 0 and j 0 . y. y. y. z. 3 4π D D3 0 0 (21) 2π (x − vt − R cos θ) cos θ + (1 − β 2 )(y − R sin θ) sin θ − dθ . y. z. t) = j 0 (x − vt. y. y. (15) (16) where the notation is adapted to the present problem (the loop is moving along the positive x-axis). z). y. y. z) = 0 j (x.7 From (19) we get the following expression for the magnetic D2 = (x − vt − R cos θ)2 + 1 − β 2 (y − R sin θ)2 + z 2 . t) + 0 (x − vt. whereas for the vector potential A we have µ0 IR A= 4π where 2π 0 (− sin θ. y. i. z. that j 0 = j 0 (x. t) = 0 (x − vt. z. cos θ. Taking into account that a stationary current is considered.according to the Galilean law of composition of velocities (Redˇi´ 1993) zc (x. ∂t 4π D3 0 51 (22) . z). The electric potential Φ obviously vanishes. t) = j 0 (x − vt. t) = 0 (x − vt. D3 0 and for its electric ﬁeld E the expression A ∂A µ0 IvR 2π (x − vt − R cos θ)(− sin θ. (1 − β )z dθ. z. t)v . cos θ.

3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary current I.L.z=L. cos θ. z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and. L) is given by the expression F = −q = A ∂A ∂t µ0 qIvR2 4π x=0.t=0 2π 0 Neglecting terms of second and higher orders in β in a series expansion of the integrand in (23) we have 3/2 e F ≈ (µ0 qIvR2 /4 R2 + L2 )e y .y=0. In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C.0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β. and the loop is circular.The required force acting by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the moving loop at the instant t = 0 on the charge q at rest at the point (0. 0. (24) cos θ (− sin θ. in the same approximation. Following 52 .0. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey .8 3. in the rest frame of the loop Srf . 3/2 e B 0. of course. 0) 3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that. y = 0. which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest.

then one applies the transformation law). the presence of a charge distribution in the current loop in motion is a purely relativistic eﬀect and is a consequence. mea sured of course in the Srf frame. [Since the magnetic dipole moment of e the loop in the Srf frame is m = IπR2e z . 0) dθ.] The scalar potential ΦR is readily obtained on the basis of the hypothesis (14). Comparing equations (27) and (19) one could infer that. for the vector potential of the electromagnetic ﬁeld due to the moving loop in the S frame we obtain µ0 IR AR = 4π where 2 DR = (x − vt − R 2π (− sin θ. of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). passing details. with stationary current I. there is no diﬀerence between the predictions of RED and MT. DR (27) and the subscript R indicates that the solution belongs to relativistic electrodynamics. the 1 − β 2 cos θ)2 + 1 − β 2 (y − R sin θ)2 + z 2 . in this case the crucial relation p = v × m /c2 is valid exactly. the standard procedure (ﬁrst one evaluates the potential A R in the Srf frame. 0 1 − β 2 cos θ. this is not so. 53 . (28) relativistic transformation law of charge and current densities implies that there is a charge distribution in the current loop in motion. while according to the CP each segment of the loop is electrically neutral in the Srf frame. as measured in the S frame. Finally. obviously. (29) to all the orders in β (Rosser 1993). in the long run.] In the case of our ﬁlamentary circular loop of radius R. and since v = ve x . taking into account that in the Srf frame ΦR vanishes (CP): ΦR = vARx . However. Namely. up to the second order terms in β. a rather simple calculation reveals that the electric dipole moment of the loop in the S frame equals e p = −e y vIπR2 /c2 . [As is well known.

(As is pointed out above.) The second. equations (31) and (26). in the transformation law of the charge density = γ + vjx /c2 ≈ + vjx /c2 . if it were = 0 in the Srf frame.t=0 ≈ ∂t 3/2 e ≈ (µ0 qIvR2 /2 R2 + L2 )e y . so that its trajectory is given by equation (25). Comparing the corresponding equations (30) and (24). for all reasonable values of drift velocity of current carriers in Srf . (30) up to the second order terms in β.10 In case q moves with the same velocity as the loop. according to RED. i. note that equations (24). The ﬁrst.the force acting by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the moving loop on the charge q which is at rest at (0. F ∗ R = 0. As can be seen. not less important reason is the Clausius postulate. 0. L) is. unknown in MT. and the predictions of the two theories would coincide at low speeds. Namely.y=0. which is used in both theories. in RED. this divergence in predictions arises from the following two reasons. the force on q exactly vanishes. given by the expression F R = −q( A ∂A R + grad ΦR )x=0. and from the relativistic transformation law of the Lorentz force. e. (31) which immediately follows from the fact that in the Srf frame the corre- sponding force vanishes. of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). we come to a conclusion that even at extremely low speeds the predictions of RED and MT are essentially diﬀerent. (26) and (30) are correct up to the second order quantities in β. in the long run. then the relation = would also apply in RED up to the second order terms in β.9. the ap- pearance of that term is a consequence. (32) there is a term vjx /c2 . whereas equation (30) is exact. our example reveals that in the 54 .z=L. Assuming the validity of the CP.

In this case the problem we discussed above suggests a new experimentum crucis discriminating between RED and MT. e Maxwell’s theory. and to other sources of systematic errors. It seems that the preceding considerations are only of academic interest. as Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a) pointed out. this result applies under the proviso that the velocity v of the Earth with respect to the ether is parallel v to the plane of the loop...general case relativistic eﬀects must not be ignored even at “room velocities” of macroscopic systems in translational motion. (−e y ) 55 . as equation (26) reveals. Moreover. The possibility that the plane of the circuit does not contain the ‘absolute’ velocity makes no harm. compared to c.) “The predicted force depends both on the intensity and on the direction of the current which should make it possible to separate a nonzero eﬀect from other disturbances due to constant ﬁelds existing in the terrestrial reference frame. equations (24) and (30) i. however. predicts that there exists a force −(µ0 qIv/4R)e y on the charge q. by increasing I and q we might be able to observe an eﬀect even if the velocity of the laboratory is very small. Namely. According to RED. where B is the magnetic ﬂux density at the centre of the loop due to the current in the loop. the ﬁeld due to a circular current loop of radius R with a stationary current I which is at rest in a pseudo-inertial reference frame tied with the Earth (the laboratory) exerts no force on a charge at the centre of the loop.11 (The force has the same unit vector as qv × B . However. obtaining a maximum eﬀect when this velocity lies in the plane .” (A simple analysis reveals that in the general case the force on e the stationary charge q at the centre of the loop equals −(µ0 qIv/4R)e y cos ψ. the situation is diﬀerent if we go back to the original Maxwell’s hypothesis that Maxwell’s theory is valid in the reference frame of the ether. (26) and (31) are presumably inaccessible to experimental veriﬁcation. e. as presumably it is. because one can repeat the observations for various choices of that plane. e where ψ denotes the acute angle between v and the plane of the cicuit.

) Bartocci and Mamone Capria proposed to call a possible experiment whose idea was presented above the Kennard-Marinov enthusiasts in the ﬁeld of classical electrodynamics. depending on the square of the current intensity.15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential. it seems that one should also listen lonely voices of those researchers in the ﬁeld of electrodynamics which are considered outsiders by the present-day scientiﬁc community (cf Maddox 1990). has never been performed. passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory.B is the unit vector of v ×B . where v is the carriers’ speed. Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. have been published (Edwards et al (1976). any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational. as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it. In addition. Taking into account delicacy of the interplay between theory and experiment (“experiment is theory of theory” (Popper 1982)). the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. 56 . The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting. intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3.14 Some experimental results.13 experiment. as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question. led by a “non-obvious suggestion” that magnitude of charge of current carriers is proportional to v 2 /c2 . as far as the present author is aware. Edwards et al (1976) found that there is a nonzero electric potential due to a stationary current in a closed superconducting coil. however.12. the Clausius postulate.

Maxwell’s equations are essentially Heaviside’s (Lorrain et al 2000. was corrected (cf Rohrlich (2002). Ludwig Lorenz. 1973).]..Notes [1] This is not a typographical error. 57 . from the point of view of the present consideration. and the lack of the physical relevance of the “anticipated” potentials. Chirgwin. Elementary Electromagnetic Theory. For example. [2] As is well known. H. the potentials A and Φ that satisfy the Lorenz gauge condition are not unique. Kilmister. The existence of this kind of solution of Maxwell’s equations suggests that Maxwell’s theory may be incomplete. the behaviour at inﬁnity of the ﬁelds. But we do not know how to modify the theory so as to rectify this defect. Vol. [. C. Thus. hypotheses about the way ﬁelds “originate” from sources. As far as the problem of the sources is concerned. and also O’Rahilly (1965)). It seems to lack some additional restriction in order that ﬁelds originate only from sources like charges and magnets. Perusal of the most recent literature reveals that the Lorentz gauge is mainly replaced by the Lorenz gauge. and the existence of nonzero and nonsingular solutions of the homogeneous wave equation we quote from B.that is. Plumpton and C. no sources of the ﬁeld anywhere or at any time. By making a gauge transformation Φ −→ Φ0 = Φ − ∂H . ∂t A −→ A 0 = A + gradH one could get another solution of equations (6).. also this standard choice depends on the acceptance of other “neutral”. 3 Maxwell’s Equations and Their Consequences (Pergamon Press. pp 549-550: “How is one to interpret such a solution of Maxwell’s equations? There are no singularities .” [3] By the way. (7) and (9) furnishing the same ﬁelds E and B when H = 0. pp 486-7). Scientiﬁc terminology is unfair occasionally. W. a long-lasting injustice toward the true author of that gauge condition.

Monti. z = z. and the primed and unprimed coordinates are related by the standard Lorentz transformation x = γ (x − vt) . Vol. and using the fact that on the basis of the CP Φ = 0. Panofsky and Phillips 1955). where γ ≡ (1−β 2 )−1/2 . [7] A proof of equation (19) is based on the formal covariance of MT with respect to the Lorentz transformations. . “The electric conductivity of background space. for instance. A ) formally looking are contra-variant components of a quadri-vector. one has Ax = γAx .” in Problems in Quantum Physics. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a) give only a sketch of the proof. with an obvious historical relevance. We do not claim that this version of MT does not require amendments in order to be proposed as a realistic physical theory (cf French 1968. For details. 58 t = γ t − vx/c2 . see. [5] See. p 589. y = y. R. Az = Az . Clausius stated that “a closed constant current in a stationary conductor exerts no force on stationary electricity. to analyze some of the implications of the relativistic assumptions. who has also shown its important large-scale consequences. Monti. O’Rahilly (1965). Gdansk 1987 (World Scientiﬁc. we present here a more complete variant. II. for instance. for us MT is mainly a tool. but our aim here is to show some consequences of MT in its most “classical” interpretation. Ay = Ay . 1988) or Vigier (1990). and the last section of this chapter. [6] Of course we might alternatively introduce some form of the FitzGeraldLorentz contraction hypothesis. Having in mind that (Φ/c.[4] The hypothesis σ0 > 0 has been recently revived by R.” Compare note [11] in the preceding chapter.

and (19) is reached by an elementary calculation. the errors are motivated only by the economy of writing. t ) = 4π r j (r 1 . Introducing new variables x1 /γ = ξ . but lead to the correct result. t ) = 4π −∞ {(x /γ − ξ )2 + (1/γ 2 ) [(y − η )2 + (z − ζ )2 ]}1/2 It is now natural to introduce the corresponding polar cylindrical coordinates by the relations ξ = ρ cos θ. at the instant t = 0. e j 0 = Iδ(ρ − R)δ(z)e θ η = ρ sin θ. z) = γjx0 (x /γ.Also jx = γjx0 (x − vt. η . y. tret ) 3 dr1 | r − r 1 | and our ﬁnal goal is to ﬁnd the vector potential A . A possible prescription is due to Maxwell: 59 . j y = jy . t ) = 4π j 0 (x1 /γ. z ). y . We point out that it is not very frame in the framework of MT. Since µ0 r A (r . z1 )dx1 dy1 dz1 [(x − x1 )2 + (y − y1 )2 + (z − z1 )2 ]1/2 The last two equations contain deliberate errors (the factor of γ!). j z = jz . ζ = z. and also µ0 r A (r . ζ )dξ dη dζ r A (r . However. In these coordinates dξ dη dζ = ρdρdθdz. it is obvious from obvious how to ﬁnd the electric and magnetic ﬁelds E and B in the Srf equation (26) that E + v × B = 0 in MT. y1 . using (17) and (18). since in the so-called Galilean limit of RED the electric ﬁeld in the Srf frame E = E + v × B and equals zero. QED [8] One would expect that E + v × B = 0 at the considered point. we can put A = A . z1 = ζ we have µ0 +∞ j 0 (ξ . y1 = η .

Let V be the instantaneous velocity of a charge q with respect to the laboratory frame S (that is. vy .) circuits . z = z − vz t we have V = V + v . vz ) relatively to S. t). t) where r = r − v t. t) = Φ(x. On the basis of the Galilei transformation x = x − vx t. Formally. of course...” that is. in the ether frame). in Maxwell. y . for these electrodynamical systems the principle of relativity is valid in MT (an ideal example would be the Faraday-Neumann-Lenz law of electromagnetic induction) (cf. however. z . As can be seen from the example of equation (19). It should be stressed. z. vol. y. ﬁnding of A and Φ can be a cumbersome task.] in all phenomena relating to closed (emphasis added by D. z . interpretation. p 601). t) = A (x. 2. Maxwell is wrong here since in the S frame his E and B ﬁelds do not satisfy Maxwell’s equations. R. it is indiﬀerent whether the axes to which we refer the system be at rest or in motion. y . y. the meaning of the symbols we used is obvious. Essentially. and let V be the instantaneous velocity of the same charge with respect to an inertial frame S which is moving with velocity v = (vx . y = y − vy t. 60 “[. that Maxwell’s prescription makes it possible to ﬁnd A and Φ only when A and Φ are already known. and that now one has Φ (x . Maxwell’s. It is not diﬃcult to verify A A ∂A ∂A v A − − gradΦ = − − grad Φ + (v · grad )A ∂t ∂t and consequently − A ∂A A − gradΦ + V × curlA = ∂t A ∂A v − − grad Φ + V × curlA + grad (v · A ). We take that A (x . the Faraday-Neumann-Lenz law of electromagnetic induction is Galilei-invariant in the above. ∂t V B V v A that is E +V ×B = E +V × B + grad (v ·A ). Maxwell (1891). Maxwell’s interpretation of this result is very interesting: and the currents in them. z.

with respect to the axis of the circular loop. up to the second order terms in β. taking that the magnetic ﬁeld of the circular current loop just near the axis has the same value as on the axis (the last approximation is legal since we are looking for the partial derivatives). the Coulomb ﬁeld of the 61 The irrotational component of the electric ﬁeld. of course). z. and can be found in the immediate vicinity of the axis by applying Stokes’ theorem. the electric ﬁeld of an electrostatic (in its proper frame) charge distribution that is uniformly moving at speed v equals. more beauA A v A convective (Eulerian) derivative of A R . because one has exactly ΦR = vARx . tiful method of determining the solenoidal component of the electric ﬁeld of the loop in motion was proposed by Rosser (1993). stationary in its proper reference frame. the method was recently “rediscovered” by Dmitriyev (2002). can be solved in another. and A R at any point of space has only azimuthal component (the symmetry!.A [9] The problem of ﬁnding the vector potential A R . z). y. e. was used by Heaviside (1889. t) = A R (x − vt. for reducing some electrodynamic problems to the electrostatic ones (that is for reducing the inhomogeneous d’Alembert equation in case of a charge distribution in uniform translation to the Poisson equation. ∂A R /∂t = −v∂A R /∂x. on the basis of the transformation law. 1892). pp 32-33. can be eval- . and also by Lorentz (1895) in his Versuch. less formal way based on intuition and symmetry arguments. cf Panofsky and Phillips 1955. one has A R (x. y. within the considered approximation. On the other hand. ∂A R /∂t on the z-axis at the instant t = 0 in RED. The vanishing of the convective derivative of the quantities describing an electromagnetic system in uniform translation.] uated directly. This alternative. as is well known (Panofsky and Phillips 1955). [A historical remark is in order. Miller 1981. −gradΦR . Jammer 1961. i. The partial time derivative can be expressed through A A the partial derivative over the x coordinate. since the obviously vanishes in the problem we consider. up to the second order quantities in β. Namely. dA R /dt = ∂A R /∂t + (v · grad)A R .

[It is not diﬃcult to verify that the contribution of the vector potential to the electric ﬁeld due to a charge distribution in uniform translation (this potential arises from the corresponding convection current) is a second order quantity in β. −gradΦR . the convection current arising from the charge distribution in motion may be ignored. is conceptually tricky since it necessitates some non-obvious bution on the current loop in motion vanishes in the Srf frame. exists on the current loop in motion contributes to the irrotational component of the electric ﬁeld of the loop. and thus negligible. Incidentally. 62 .same charge distribution that would be at rest in the instantaneous position of the considered charge distribution in motion. through the corresponding Coulomb ﬁeld. the real charge distri- while eﬃcacious. it seems that the general form of the time-dependent Coulomb law (Jeﬁmenko 1989. according to RED. the real distribution is replaced by an equivalent (in the sense of ﬁnding −gradΦR ) ﬁctive charge distribution which is “one-component” (there is no current in the Srf frame for that distribution). The alternative method described above of ﬁnding −gradΦR was also proposed by Rosser (1993). where ΦR = vARx . In the view of the present author. This is the true meaning of Rosser’s (1993) statement that when evaluating the irrotational component of the electric ﬁeld of the moving current loop retardation eﬀects may be ignored.) The result reached in this way coincides with that evaluated directly. A R ≈ A R . (As is mentioned above. steps (not even mentioned by Rosser). which means that within the consid- ered approximation only the conduction current in the loop gives a relevant contribution to the solenoidal component of the electric ﬁeld. Griﬃths and Heald 1991. this method. in a simple way. Lorrain et al 1988) would be of no use here. −gradΦR .] Having in mind that the Lorentz contraction is a second order eﬀect. and which “exists” in the Srf frame too. we come to a conclusion that the charge distribution which. For example.

) Since the force by which the ﬁeld of the loop in motion is acting on the stationary q at the instant t = 0 is given by equation (30). 0. since q is stationary at (0. The explanation is conventional: the electromagnetic interaction between the current loop and the point charge is not a direct one. it seems that the principle of action and reaction is not satisﬁed. where u is the instantaneous velocity of the particle.[10] The force by which the ﬁeld of the charge q is acting on the loop in e motion at the instant t = 0 equals (−µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 )e y . (The situation is much more pleasing with illustrations for the angular momentum of the electromagnetic ﬁeld. L). as it is well known. and assume that 63 E would be natural to take the conventional form d(m0u )/dt = q(E + u × . in MT (in its original. and that the force is indeed given by the above expression. so that the total linear momentum of the system the current loop + the point charge + the electromagnetic ﬁeld is conserved (cf Tamm 1979).) [11] It is of some interest here to answer the question of what is the equation of motion of a charged point. “ether” variant. Namely. where E pf = ε0 (E × B ) dV is the linear momentum of the total electromagnetic ﬁeld. of course). there is a third “body”. which is obtained by applying the Coulomb law. It B ). and the charge distribution over the loop in motion is given by a relatively simple expression within the considered approximation. a medium in the interaction. (Professor Geraint Rosser in a letter to the present author of 20. which also possesses a momentum. it is not possible to verify by a direct calculation whether in this example the equation p dpf /dt = −µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 e y applies at the instant t = 0. with a charge q and with a mass m. March 2003. The preceding conclusion contradicts Rosser’s (1993) statement that the force vanishes. Simple calculations seem to be reserved for exotic systems (cf Butoli 1989). in the electromagnetic ﬁeld. Cf Griﬃths (1989) and references therein. the electromagnetic ﬁeld. agreed that in his original paper a mistake was made. Unfortunately.

as Bell (1987) pointed out. of the corresponding quadri-vectorial equation of motion. up to second order terms in βu (the last equation is exact for u = 0). By the way. the fundamental zc assumption on the time-independence of the Lorentz-scalar m0 . together with the “spatial” equation of motion (A) imply the “zeroth” component E d(m0 c2 γu )/dt = qE · u . In this way. (This postulate might.) As can be seen. (This neglected fact was recently pointed out by the present author (Redˇi´ 2002). (A) by making the same assumption on the mass. appealing to Kaufmann’s experiments (cf Miller 1981). The present author feels that it is indispensable to point out the fact neglected by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. in the long run. that are moving with respect to the ether. m0 .b): the here discussed problem of the electrodynamical interaction of the charge and the current loop at relative rest. dt dt dt where eu = u /u. is a timeindependent Lorentz-scalar. for the problem discussed here it is irrelevant which one of the two equations of motion we use. Thus. one could postulate that in the ether frame the equation of motion has the form E u d(m0u γu )/dt = qE + qu × B . However.the mass of the particle m0 is time-independent. one obviously has d(m0u γu )/dt = d(m0u )/dt. the quadrivectorial “Lorentz force equation” is tantamount to equation (A) complemented by the assumption that m0 is a time-independent Lorentz-scalar. was also 64 . [12] It happens sometimes that ideas and discoveries of “old” physicists sink into oblivion.) By using the identity e d du deu 3 (m0u γu ) = γu m0 eu + γu m0 u . lead to discovery of special relativity. in RED equation (A)is Lorentz-covariant if and only if the fundamental assumption is valid (starting from Einstein (1905a) and Planck (1906) always tacit) that the mass of the particle.

MT and RED were analyzed in detail by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). an exception is V. physical eﬀects depend only on the relative motion between ponderable bodies and on their mutual relative positions. applies in RED but not in MT.the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde. The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). pp 176-7) postulated that charges are induced on the current loop in exactly that amount which is needed to cancel the electrodynamic force due to the absolute motion of 65 . see Miller (1981)). together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. the principle of slow relative motion. Since in the considered problem MT predicts a nonzero force (our equation (26)) depending on unobservable speed v (the speed of the system with respect to the ether) Budde (1880) and Lorentz (1895. Lorentz. the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. 1904. Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. is in classical mechanics tantamount to the principle of relativity (“identical systems in any two inertial frames behave in the same way under the same initial conditions”). that is on the motion with respect to the ether. They have shown that the principle of relative motion does not apply in MT nor in RED. with what we think today to be the correct solution. Weinstein (Springer. FitzGerald. Somewhat unexpectedly. Arnold. however. New York. Relationships among the principle of relative motion. One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which. [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. I. 1978) p 10. and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge. in a certain sense. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). their solution to the problem coincides. Vogtmann and A. transl. K.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT.

[13] Cf. It is diﬃcult to discuss the validity of Ivezi´’s c attempt because of the obviously didactical nature of the considered model 66 denotes the conduction current density in the proper frame of the loop and . “Philos. IIX. introducing an ad hoc assumption on the Lorentz-contraction of the distance between electrons-current carriers in the laboratory reference frame. International Publishers “East-West”. Purcell 1985. Ivezi´ (1990) attempted to explain the Edwards I 2 . 179-190 (1917). and also Stefan Marinov. an inﬁnite straight cylindrical conductor with a stationary current (Feynman et al 1964. E. where J r the charges! The present author has become aware of this adherence of the “old” physicists to the principle of relativity also in the domain of electromagnetic phenomena only very recently. now in the context of a diﬀerent “philosophy” (Bartocci et al 2001).another experiment and its signiﬁcance as evidence for the existence of the aether. after the publication of his speculation that Maxwellians were on the threshold of a discovery of special relativity (Redˇi´ zc 2004a). FitzGerald. by c analyzing the classical illustration of the relationship between electromagnetism and special relativity. it seems that Bartocci and Mamone Capria should not have ignored Budde. Kennard. Ugarov 1979.potential. 33. Lorentz. H.the loop and the point charge. Mag. Their result for density of charges induced on the loop. For example. reads i = v · J r /c2 . “On unipolar induction . [14] A variant of that experiment has been realized. Having in mind the preceding note. the true authors of the proposed experimentum crucis. up to second order terms in β. preliminary experimental results indicate a violation of the local Lorentz-invariance. and perhaps most completely French 1968). Graz. 1982-1991. The Thorny Way of Truth. [15] Numerous references are given in a paper by Shishkin et al (2002). as the authors cautiously mention.

67 . the analysis presented by Zapolsky (1988) gives a theoretical justiﬁcation of the Clausius postulate in the framework of an elementary (but nontrivial) model of a circular current loop with a stationary current. (A somewhat more realistic model of an inﬁnite current-carrying wire implies a self-induced pinch-eﬀect and leads to new dilemmas (Matzek and Russell 1968. without reaching some new essential conclusion. and thus annuls indirectly Ivezi´’s assumption. On the other c hand.(an inﬁnite one-dimensional system). lasted some time in the same journal.non-invariance of the macroscopic charge of a segment of a closed current-carrying loop) is essentially a natural and necessary consequence of the relativity of simultaneity and the Clausius postulate. in which also some other authors took part.) On the one hand. A discussion on this topic. Redˇi´ zc 1998). the present author agrees with Bartlett and Edwards (1990) that what Ivezi´ considers a fatal defect of the standard relativistic electrodynamics c (Lorentz . Gabuzda 1993.

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