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Some Methodological problems of the electrodynamics o moving bodies|Views: 1.125|Likes: 8

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- 1.1. Temptations
- 1.2. Miracles
- 1.3. Path toward understanding?
- 1.4. Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics?
- 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
- 2.4. Electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion: with or without special
- 3. A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory
- 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
- That Einstein’s special relativity - from its advent until today - continues
- C equidistant from A (Figure 1)
- In one moment two identical signals from A are emitted toward B and
- C. On reception of these signals the motors of B and C are ignited and they
- Another case of “methodological wonders” appears in electrodynamics of
- Lorentz transformations appear as “the Fates” whose power over destiny of
- Let us suppose that natural laws known as Maxwell’s equations hold in
- English contemporaries as “the brilliant baseless guess of an Irish genius”
- A lot of paper was consumed in clarifying this formulation of Einstein’s
- Born’s counter-argument runs as follows. Dingle falsiﬁes special relativ-
- (“observer”) has no physical sense. (In the same way as the question whether
- 1987) are approximations. (These derivations lead to Einstein’s Doppler
- Fermat’s principle). Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully
- Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the
- Minkowski’s method was formulated by the famous physics teacher Arnold
- In this work we shall not give an exposition of Minkowski’s theory which
- The conventional interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment was re-
- Einstein and Laub. Since the experiment was consistent with predictions of
- Several authors questioned the validity of the PS argument (Burrows
- Wilson-Wilson experiment cannot detect a diﬀerence between the LI and
- Hertzberg et al (2001). Their “homogeneous” cylinder was made of yttrium-
- PS theory (the relative error of their measurement was 1%). The original
- Laub (1908a) is diﬀerent from that ascribed to Einstein and Laub in the
- Lorentz’s theory by that alternative method. Cullwick points out that there
- EEE. The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher
- ﬁeld EEE. The measurement of this interaction energy for a molecule moving
- Consider a ﬁlamentary circular current loop C with stationary current I
- In what follows under Maxwell’s theory we shall strictly mean:
- Φ=−ρ/ε0 (6)
- (RED) is obtained. The additional hypothesis reads
- ﬁeld BBB of our current loop C in motion
- The possibility that the plane of the circuit does not contain the ‘absolute’
- Let VVV be the instantaneous velocity of a charge q with respect to the
- 32-33; the method was recently “rediscovered” by Dmitriyev (2002).]
- The alternative method described above of ﬁnding −gradΦR was also
- Geraint Rosser in a letter to the present author of 20. March 2003. agreed
- 10. Relationships among the principle of relative motion, the corresponding
- Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). They have shown that the principle
- The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of rela-
- The present author has become aware of this adherence of the “old”
- Maxwellians were on the threshold of a discovery of special relativity (Redˇzi´c
- Cullwick E G 1959 Electromagnetism and Relativity 2nd edn (London: Long-
- French A P 1968 Special Relativity (London: Nelson)
- Griﬃths D J 1999 Introduction to Electrodynamics 3rd edn (Upper Saddle
- Heaviside O 1892 Electrical Papers vol 2 (London: MacMillan)
- Acad´emiaia Kiado)
- Jeﬁmenko O D 1989 Electricity and Magnetism 2nd edn (Star City: Electret
- 3rd edn (New York: Freeman)
- (Oxford: Clarendon) (reprinted 1954 (New York: Dover) p 246)
- Møller C 1972 1972 The Theory of Relativity 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon)
- O’Rahilly A 1965 Electromagnetic Theory (New York: Dover)
- Pauli W 1958 Theory of Relativity (London: Pergamon) (reprinted 1981
- Purcell E M 1985 Electricity and Magnetism 2nd edn (New York: McGraw
- Rindler W 1991 Introduction to Special Relativity 2nd edn (Oxford: Claren-
- Sommerfeld A 1952 Electrodynamics transl. E G Ramberg (New York: Aca-

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

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

and must ﬁnally break.every moment the same velocity. Elementary explication. then as the rockets speed up. 5 . The answer is none the less wrong. in Bell’s formulation. because of its need to FitzGerald contract. goes as follows: “If the thread is just long enough to span the required distance initially. at a suﬃciently high velocity. it will become too short. was eventually reached: the thread would not break. and always be at the same distance from one another. we shall brieﬂy paraphrase Bell’s remarkable comment on the described situation which refers to the method of teaching special relativity. A clear consensus. Dewan 1963. then as the ships accelerate the thread travels with them. It must break when. the artiﬁcial prevention of the natural contraction imposes intolerable stress”.) Here. 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. (Cf also Dewan and Beran 1959. testiﬁes Bell. 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). Evett 1972. Evett and Wangsness 1960. 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. If the thread with no stress is just long enough to span the initial distance in question.

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

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

and sometimes rather inconspicuous. Rindler. on such a heroic scale as in the case of special relativity. 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. b) the distance between the ends of a rigid (in a relativistic sense!) stick moving along its own direction.a feature of all good physical theories. These new. if the clocks 8 . in combination with the principle of relativity always give rise to the same dramatic eﬀect: the feeling of losing ground under one’s feet.10 And the miracles are numerous.these true and great wonders of special relativity . 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. unexpected and amazing physical conclusions (“leaps ahead of the empirical frontier”) .11 On the other hand. Einstein’s (1905a) deﬁnition of time and the principle of constancy of the velocity of light. and a perennial question if it is possible that everything could be really so. Even when this new concept of time is somehow ”swallowed” and the student of relativity yielded to his destiny expects new relativistic wonders. Such is the case with the distance between the spaceships B and C in the problem discussed above (Dewan 1963). disbelief and insecurity. Also. Time as a measurable physical quantity in inertial frames of reference has exactly those peculiar traits as predicted by the Einstein’s theory.all have the same powerful source: the concept of time. but rarely.12 Also. the fundamental prediction of special relativity. the disbelief and insecurity stay. Rindler emphasizes.9 on its own completely benign. a pure thought has the power to leap ahead of the empirical frontier . a certain quality which is in an IFR purely spatial and timeindependent. can include dependence on time in another IFR. For example.According to a nice metaphor by W.

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 1971.3 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. but quite puzzling. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). 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). 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. features of a certain physical system (e. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). Namely. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame.g. 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”). 1. their purely instrumental character. 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. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. Cornille 1988).13 Finally. while mutually identical. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. 9 . when measured by the clocks at rest. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame.

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

it seems. thus.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place. Also.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. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. reveals. Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now. y. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. 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). the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments.18 1.17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. Although both light and 11 . light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. through the laboratory coordinates x. of course. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a.moves with constant velocity v . both “observers” are perfectly right. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. 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). circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. carried out completely in the laboratory frame.

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

almighty. i. chapter 3). Here. they revitalized the problem of the integration constant in the expression for the rest energy. 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. by using solely relativistic kinematics and the laws of conservation of energy and momentum in their most general form. without Maxwell’s electrodynamics. it would be hasty to conclude from the above discussion that the relativistic kinematics is free of Maxwell’s electrodynamics (cf Jammer 2000. the mass (the rest mass) appears in the non-relativistic limit of kinetic energy.to get to the equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy. which Einstein (1905b) “solved” by introducing the principle of equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy. as in Einstein. as well as the relativistic expressions for energy and momentum of a free particle in the most general form. Moreover. Of course. (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). e. These authors reached the same fundamental conclusion. but Feigenbaum and Mermin get the exact limit by calculating it.20 13 . This is an important result for which Einstein could ﬁnd only a partial justiﬁcation (Einstein 1935).) Furthermore. unlike Einstein who postulated it.

circus attractions of special relativity such as length dilatation and time contraction (Field 2000). 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 . and for a particle with rest mass m0 and instantaneous velocity in the S frame u = (ux . This introductory chapter contains the inventory of some recurrent topics in special relativity. Eriksen and Vøyenly (1976) state that the classical and the relativistic concepts of mass are “incommensurable” (cf Jammer 2000. so to say. m0u γu . Zigman 1997)) is not generally accepted. uz ). fx = law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force. For example. However. f = d(m0u γu )/dt. uy . where m ≡ m0 γu and γu ≡ (1 − u2 /c2 )−1/2 . [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.Notes [1] A fresh example are. the transformation according to Rindler. [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 ). taking into account that the relativistic tri-force is not identically equal the time derivative of the relativistic momentum of the particle. pp 57-61). reads. 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].

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

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

and thus one of the basic rules of valid deﬁnition is violated: of the present author.electric and magnetic ﬁelds of a point charge in uniform motion through the ether were derived by Heaviside as early as 1888. which is independent of whether the light ray was emitted by a resting or by a moving body. unexpected. without the Li´nard e .) On the other hand. [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.” velocity = A lot of paper was consumed in clarifying this formulation of Einstein’s. located at the centre of the sphere. 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)). Herein is light path . Deﬁnitio ne ﬁat in orbem (A deﬁnition must not be circular). time interval where time interval is to be understood in the sense of the deﬁnition in §1. In the view 17 . 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.Wiechert potentials. the ﬁeld outside a conducting sphere at rest is identical to the ﬁeld of a point charge at rest. “time interval” is deﬁned in Einstein’s §1 just by means of the velocity of light. the circularity problem can be simply solved by reformulating the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (cf the note 15 below). From the preceding considerations.

[11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram. due to our pre-relativistic instincts. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . It is. 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. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. however. 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. 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). located at the centre of the sphere. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all.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. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics.

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

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. it is not the kind of acceleration appearing in case of two independent material points (cf also Nikoli´ 1999). special relativity permits the following argumentation.). k(ξ. One K-second of a clock at rest in the K frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 k-seconds. 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). those are two distinct 20 a valid scientiﬁc theory since it contains a contradiction. τ = γv (t − vx/c2 ).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 of a clock at rest in the K frame.According to Dingle. where ξ = γv (x − vt). It follows k-seconds of the same clock. (In the present note. (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. Dingle falsiﬁes special relativity. Dingle’s inference does not follows from special relativity. as measured by the system of Einstein-synchronized clocks at rest in the k frame. 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. Dingle addressed that one k. Born’s counter-argument runs as follows. however. Overall conclusion: special relativity is not to Professor Born to defend “the integrity of scientist” by replying to the challenge. According to Born. t) is the “resting” reference frame. etc. τ ) is the one “in motion”.(in which the proper acceleration continuously changes from end to end of the stick) leads to the Lorentz contraction. 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. the same notation as Dingle and Born’s will be used: K(x.

x. for obvious reason. Dingle has made the same kind of error the student usually makes: two diﬀerent quantities are denoted by one and the same symbol. A consensus was never 21 . SH. The issue provoked a prolonged polemic in the Nature that lasted several years. 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. 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). conjugate diameters = axes in K. Numerous participants “accused” each other for elementary misunderstanding of basic concepts of special relativity. by convention. those axes are mutually orthogonal. space calibration hyperbola. conjugate diameters = axis in k. time calibration hyperbola. section of light cone.ct b C a SH A B ct TH C SH x O x TH Figure 5 C. C. straight lines in Minkowski space (Figure 5). T H. cτ ). ct. OA. the axes of the “middle frame” for K and k are not represented. (ξ.

which were discovered before physicists began to deal with the problem of clock synchronization. fundamental. 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. Fortunately. Therefore any deﬁnition of the time coordinate based on a previously discovered law of nature is nothing but a circulus vitiosus. The fact that Maxwell’s equations are consistent with both principles is an excellent recommendation for the equations. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a). The fact that there exist physical laws (Maxwell’s equations) consistent with the second postulate. In this way. an immeasurable quantity. It is perhaps worthwhile to mention that Maxwell’s equations are a suﬃcient but not a necessary condition for the validity of the principle. [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. a universal constant. e. [15] Einstein’s second postulate (1905a). is of course a good recommendation for that postulate. primordial principle that conceptually precedes the principle of relativity. but nothing else. A deﬁnition of the space and time coordinates must precede the quest for the laws of nature. i.reached. states that in an IFR one way-two clock velocity of light. the meaning of time as a measurable physical quantity is postulated. 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. the physical laws apply 22 . In this sense the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (also known as Einstein’s second postulate) is essentially the ﬁrst. it is postulated that Einstein synchronization is a realizable procedure. always equals one clock-two way velocity of light which is a measurable quantity and. as measurements reveal.

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. 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!). one could infer that. 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”. on the basis of classical electrodynamics. cf also Dewan 1963). Of course. e [16] If v = vex . since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. By the way.in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. The thesis is 23 . 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. [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense. [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. 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. A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense. On the basis of the preceding considerations. this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates. were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b). The inference would be false.

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

Redˇi´ 1990b). in the case of the Doppler eﬀect its power is limited. Namely. kinematic derivations of the Doppler eﬀect (French 1968. (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. Peres 1987) are approximations.[20] For example.) The present author is o zc aware of only one attempt of an exact kinematical treatment of the Doppler eﬀect (Rothenstein 2002). 25 .

Like the well known biological principle that ontogeny is a short and quick repetition of phylogeny. Applying the principle of relativity. refers.ﬁelds to the case of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in vacuo. to the electrodynamics of moving bodies.2 2. as is well known. Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”.and B . 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”. 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. Fermat’s principle). tenth paragraph of the paper. In this way he obtained the formulae expressing the Doppler principle and the light aberration “for arbitrary velocities. and then applied the derived transformation laws for the E . in that work. he interpreted 26 .”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). in a certain sense. electrodynamics of moving bodies is quite in second place. Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully.3 Only the last. Minkowski As it was hinted above. entitled “Dynamics of a (slowly accelerated) electron”. 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. The law states what could be a physical law but the principle is mute about which is a physical law (contrary to. however. for example.1 In the electrodynamic part of the paper Einstein proved that the Maxwell-Hertz equations in vacuo are Lorentz-covariant.

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

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

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

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

transforming back to the laboratory frame he obtained that. Griﬃths 1999.3 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 . g. instead. Pauli 1958. the current density) in the rotating frame due to the problem of clock synchronization (Weber)]. Ridgely (1999) analyzed in detail the constitutive equations for the polarization and magnetization in a uniformly rotating frame. Their “corrected analysis” borrowed from the general theory of relativity necessary tools for dealing with electrodynamics in an accelerated frame of reference. p 545). 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. a fundamental conﬂict between theory and experiment. 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. Since the experiment was consistent with predictions of Minkowski’s theory (which is incorrect!) one has. None of the critics found an error in the PS calculation. errors in deﬁning basic physical quantities (e. g. starting from the corresponding constitutive equations for D and B in the Lorentz-covariant formulation (cf e. claim Pellegrini and Swift. Weber 1997. the constitutive equations inside the rotating cylinder have exactly the form predicted by the “simple” Minkowski’s theory. p 103. Several authors questioned the validity of the PS argument (Burrows 1997. 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. the critics contested their starting fundamental physical assumptions [the use of an unacceptable coordinate system (Burrows). in the lab. Ridgely 1998).

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

they all use the usual method of the theory of continuous media (the transition from micro. or any assumption on physics in the ball’s proper frame. and found. all lie within the standard framework of the classical ﬁeld theory. is somewhat problematic. based on the classical concepts. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory in v/c. p and m could only be the average values of the corresponding . without the use of special relativity. i. in the quantum-mechanical operators. 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 .13 Krotkov et al claim that the result can be generalized 33 v m the “relativistic” (1/c2 )v ×m term. Krotkov et al (1999)point out that neither the LI nor the PS approaches are applicable to this macroscopically inhomogeneous medium. v p since p = (1/c2 )v × m and P = n0 γp . in a constant external magnetic ﬁeld B0 parallel to the rotation axis. Consequently. It is clear that the “microscopic approach”. “magnetic dielectric” was constructed of small steel balls of diameter about 3 mm embedded in the paraﬃn wax. 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 . In the WilsonWilson experiment. however. and the second is of the ball and v is the velocity of its centre as measured in the lab. 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.m3 in S takes the volume (1/γ)m3 as measured in S. This conclusion is reached by using only Maxwell’s equations in the lab frame.to macro-quantities by averaging over physically inﬁnitesimally small regions of space and time intervals). where m is the magnetic dipole moment best case. e. the concentration of the corresponding electric dipoles in the S frame equals n0 γ. The authors analyzed a steel ball (a highly conductive and a highly permeable medium!) in uniform rotation about an axis outside the ball.

Their “homogeneous” cylinder was made of yttriumiron-garnet “which is a magnetic insulator even on the molecular scale”. should be) a microscopically homogeneous medium (we remind our reader that Rosser (1964) suggested this long time ago). 34 .) 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. An experiment with such a material has been recently performed by Hertzberg et al (2001). regardless of the validity of their ﬁnal conclusions. and thus also the electric dipole moment due to the motion of magnetic dipole. Experimental results. very convincingly consistent with the LI predictions of Minkowski’s theory. the rotating magnetic insulator must be (i. all models that take for granted Maxwell’s equations lead inevitably to the LI results of Minkowski’s theory.to the magnetic dielectric from the Wilson-Wilson experiment. e. The original Wilson-Wilson experiment with the inhomogeneous dielectric constructed from steel balls embedded in the wax was also repeated. Their argument is based on the fact that inside the material consisting of the host of steel balls embedded in the wax the magnetization. In this way. claim Krotkov et al. whose objective is to make a choice between several classical ﬁeld theories. (Needless to say. exist only in the steel balls. In this case too the results took sides of Minkowski’s theory. 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%). pointed out the essential fact that in experiments of the WilsonWilson type. The analysis made by Krotkov et al. where electric conductivity is high. in the case of the Wilson-Wilson experiment.

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. e. at room velocities.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. Minkowski’s theory.q(E + v × B )+ the constitutive equations. however. Maxwell’s equations for material media (the so-called material equations) are Lorentz-covariant. The answer to the query: electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion. i. should be pointed out. without or with special relativity. As is well known.2. is whether Minkowski’s phenomenological relativistic electrodynamics is correct at all. 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. of course.14 However. Namely. seems to be obvious. Einstein and Laub were not using electrodynamics of moving bodies but instead the electromagnetic theory of bodies at rest. the true arena of special relativity is the exotic kingdom of great speeds. faraway from the phenomena of everyday experience. However. the query necessitates a certain explanation. At ﬁrst sight it is a pseudo-problem. As it is picturesquely said. at small speeds relativistic eﬀects may be ignored. based on the use of Galilei transformaslow motion. in the framework of a ﬁrst-order theory. and that in favour of special relativity. together with a mathematical application of special 35 tion. We saw that a correct interpretation of the results of those experiments without special relativity. and so it seems that the problem is already solved. p 107) noted. As Cullwick (1959.15 The question arises whether a non-relativistic analysis. was not possible. Before all. Another problem. is suﬃcient for a correct electrodynamic description of bodies in very . that is without Minkowski’s theory. this is not so. Some diﬃculties.

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

the motion being a pure translation. The present author recently pointed out that even at room velocities special relativity. 37 . that is Minkowski’s electrodynamics. Redˇi´ zc zc 2004c). 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. Bringuier 2004. 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. seems to be indispensable for a correct derivation of basic inferences (cf Redˇi´ 2004b. a pure rotation. or a combination of the two motions.

Many years after Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. i. 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).. regardless of the error pointed out by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a.. to elliptic polarization. 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. pp 146–9). zc [2] The formulae apply to arbitrary monochromatic plane wave. and not relativistic electrodynamics. 38 . Einstein original example.. The observed phenomenon in this case depends solely on the relative motion of the magnet and the conductor. contrary to Einstein’s statement. “opens the door to special relativity” (Redˇi´ 2004a). e. that predicts a perfect (and not only to second order in v/c) symmetry. zc necessitates a more detailed analysis than that given by Miller (1981. 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.b) argued that in Einstein’s example of the interaction between a magnet and a conductor it is classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics.as it is usually understood today .. While Rosser (1993) questioned the validity of the interpretation of Maxwell’s electrodynamics proposed by Bartocci and Mamone Capria. if properly understood. This example has served to the author as an illustration for the thesis that “Maxwell’s electrodynamics . b).leads to asymmetries that do not appear to be inherent to the phenomena .Notes [1] In the whole Einstein’s paper. 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. however..” wrote Einstein.” (Einstein 1905a).

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

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

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

(5) Of course. otherwise very accurate Cullwick is wrong: namely. however. the condenser’s plates connected by a stationary lead are also at rest with respect to the lab. in 42 . the potential diﬀerence between the plates is zero. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory. where σf denotes the surface charge density over the lower plate of the condenser. this is an irrelevant second order eﬀect. and since a stationary state is established. 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 .Since the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead through sliding contacts. the constitutive equation for the polarization of the magnetic dielectric contains only the E ﬁrst term on the right hand side of equation (2). (This version is closer to the Wilson. it follows that the electric ﬁeld inside the dielectric also vanishes. If the gap between the dielectric slab and the condenser’s plates vanishes. E = 0. 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. however. Rosser 1964). P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). Dz = σf . (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. Interestingly. and thus in this case we have Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 .Wilson experiment where the cylindrical condenser rotates together with dielectric. In Lorentz’s theory. Fortunately. so that in the same “experimental situation” we have DzL = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 .) Both versions give the same results. In this place. Cullwick states.

has not succeeded in reaching the result (6) of Lorentz’s theory by that alternative method. to their concentrating towards the conductor axis (the “self-induced pinch-eﬀect”). Einstein-Laub’s result (5) can be reached in another (the third one) way. The present author. however. as “observed” in the proper frame of the lattice. 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). 944 and 0. 2. [11] The proper frame of a conducting loop is the reference frame in which crystal lattice of the loop is at rest. 43 . vol. and consequently there is no contribution to the vector H due to the convection current of free surface charges. e. This assumption is found in many textbooks and therefore necessitates a comment. 83.Einstein and Laub the condenser’s plates does not move.b). respectively. [10] As far as the present author is aware. pp 606-613. by using Cullwick’s (1959) “component ﬁeld” method.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. [9] [9] The measured potential diﬀerence according to Einstein . which for the Wilson-Wilson magnetic dielectric with εr = 6 and µr = 3 amounted to 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. 96. 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. The average value of experimental results for that proportionality factor was 0. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. Cullwick points out that there is no consensus in the literature about what is the solution of the problem according to Lorentz’s theory.

up to all orders in v/c. 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. by assumption. my . Rosser’s (1993) remark concerning the validv p = (1/c2 )v × m . [12] This fundamental relation was exactly derived starting from the deﬁnition of the electric dipole moment. mz ) in the proper inertial frame S in which the medium is at rest. Since the polarization in p S equals P = n0 γp . Redˇi´ zc 1998). Let the magnetic medium consists of n0 atomic magnetic dipoles per cubic meter. of the polarization vector of a magnetic dielectric in v M motion: P = γ(1/c2 )v ×M . py . without introducing any special assumption about the ity of the preceding elementary reasoning is worth mentioning: “According 44 . Blackford 1994). each of the same dipole moment m = (mx . for a rectangular loop whose direction of motion is parallel to one of its arms (Panofsky and Phillips 1955. The problem will be also discussed in the next Chapter. an electric dipole moment. Due to the Lorentz contraction. Taking into account that the derivations are based on the classical model of v m magnetic dipole. identical for all of them. from the S to the S frame. 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. where γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 . Each of the atomic magnetic dipoles possesses. The crucial assumption was the Clausius postulate. from the preceding equations one immediately ﬁnds structure of magnetic dipole. it is necessary to mention how the relation p = (1/c2 )v ×m is derived in the general case. 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). The magnetization M in S is given by M = n0m . One starts from the transformation law. and for a circular loop (Rosser 1993). in case of a planar closed current ﬁlament in a uniform translational motion in the proper plane. Rosser 1964. p = (px .

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. then the second term in their equation (13) neither vanishes nor has a simple interpretation. If. French (1968). The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher b m v phase shift. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right.” [13] In the view of the present author. within an error of about 2%. Namely. the central conclusion reached by Krotkov et al (1999) can by no means be considered conclusive. which is . 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.” Very soon. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. 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 . this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995).to special relativity. which implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms. Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. 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. P. however. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b. 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 . 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. [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A.

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

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

0. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ. L). in the standard notation.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. A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) .

”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). Maxwell’s theory presented above applies.. z . c2 ∂t (c2 = 1/ε0 µ0 ) (9) (The electric and magnetic ﬁelds are expressed through the potentials by A ∂A . (6) and (7) have a unique solution which is physically relevant. t− | r − r | /c) r Φ(r . z . σ0 > 0) has been recently gaining adherents. However. namely the one given by the so-called retarded potentials3 1 (x . ∂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 . we wish to point out that the opposite view (i. t) = dx dy dz 4πε0 | r − r | µ0 j (x . y . e. y . since in a noncosmological context (such as the one we shall be dealing with) σ0 seems to be really negligible. where σ0 is the vacuum conductivity.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 . t− | r − r | /c) A(r . in a given inertial frame of reference S. we could add another hypothesis 49 . Although this does not aﬀect directly our argument. it can be argued that the conventional presentday choice of putting σ0 = 0 is not experimentally so well established as it could be. t) = r dx dy dz 4π | r − r | (12) (13) [“Remark: In equation (3) it would be natural to add a term σ0E . by assumption.

Then. it should be speciﬁed that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop. An essential detail. however. 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. The additional hypothesis reads (c.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained. First. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out. (14) As is well known. 0 and j 0 . 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. is missing. one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion. devoid of any physical content. Now we have almost all requisites necessary for solving our problem. 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. j ) and (Φ/c. For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric ﬁeld produced by a current. A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations. Namely. 50 . Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. 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. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly deﬁned system. this assumption enables us to write Maxwell’s equations in a Lorentz-covariant form.

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

0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β.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.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 . 0.8 3. L) is given by the expression F = −q = A ∂A ∂t µ0 qIvR2 4π x=0. z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and. 0) 3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that.0. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt. of course. and the loop is circular.z=L.y=0. In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C. Following 52 . in the same approximation. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey .3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary current I. 3/2 e B 0. cos θ. in the rest frame of the loop Srf . y = 0. (24) cos θ (− sin θ. which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest.L.

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

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

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. and to other sources of systematic errors. (26) and (31) are presumably inaccessible to experimental veriﬁcation. (−e y ) 55 . where B is the magnetic ﬂux density at the centre of the loop due to the current in the loop. Namely. predicts that there exists a force −(µ0 qIv/4R)e y on the charge q.general case relativistic eﬀects must not be ignored even at “room velocities” of macroscopic systems in translational motion. equations (24) and (30) i. because one can repeat the observations for various choices of that 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.. Moreover..11 (The force has the same unit vector as qv × B . e Maxwell’s theory. as Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a) pointed out. however. It seems that the preceding considerations are only of academic interest. as presumably it is. 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. compared to c. as equation (26) reveals. However. In this case the problem we discussed above suggests a new experimentum crucis discriminating between RED and MT. According to RED. 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. e where ψ denotes the acute angle between v and the plane of the cicuit. The possibility that the plane of the circuit does not contain the ‘absolute’ velocity makes no harm. obtaining a maximum eﬀect when this velocity lies in the plane . by increasing I and q we might be able to observe an eﬀect even if the velocity of the laboratory is very small. e.) “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.

any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational. 56 .B is the unit vector of v ×B . Taking into account delicacy of the interplay between theory and experiment (“experiment is theory of theory” (Popper 1982)). however. passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory. as far as the present author is aware. intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3.12. as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question. In addition. has never been performed. where v is the carriers’ speed. Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. depending on the square of the current intensity. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential.14 Some experimental results. 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).) 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. have been published (Edwards et al (1976). led by a “non-obvious suggestion” that magnitude of charge of current carriers is proportional to v 2 /c2 . the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting.15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential.13 experiment. Edwards et al (1976) found that there is a nonzero electric potential due to a stationary current in a closed superconducting coil. as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it. the Clausius postulate.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment.

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

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

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

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

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

we come to a conclusion that the charge distribution which. [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.] Having in mind that the Lorentz contraction is a second order eﬀect. in a simple way. 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. Griﬃths and Heald 1991. exists on the current loop in motion contributes to the irrotational component of the electric ﬁeld of the loop. A R ≈ A R . where ΦR = vARx .) The result reached in this way coincides with that evaluated directly. 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). Incidentally. according to RED. 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. The alternative method described above of ﬁnding −gradΦR was also proposed by Rosser (1993). is conceptually tricky since it necessitates some non-obvious bution on the current loop in motion vanishes in the Srf frame. the real charge distri- while eﬃcacious. through the corresponding Coulomb ﬁeld. and thus negligible. this method. −gradΦR . it seems that the general form of the time-dependent Coulomb law (Jeﬁmenko 1989. In the view of the present author. Lorrain et al 1988) would be of no use here. the convection current arising from the charge distribution in motion may be ignored. For example. (As is mentioned above. −gradΦR . 62 .same charge distribution that would be at rest in the instantaneous position of the considered charge distribution in motion. and which “exists” in the Srf frame too. steps (not even mentioned by Rosser).

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

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

Somewhat unexpectedly. applies in RED but not in MT. together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. MT and RED were analyzed in detail by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). K. 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. Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. the principle of slow relative motion. Arnold. that is on the motion with respect to the ether. Relationships among the principle of relative motion. New York. Weinstein (Springer. in a certain sense. 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”). and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge. physical eﬀects depend only on the relative motion between ponderable bodies and on their mutual relative positions. 1978) p 10. 1904. their solution to the problem coincides. see Miller (1981)). [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which.the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT. I. Vogtmann and A. 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 . The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). however. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). an exception is V. FitzGerald. Lorentz. the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. transl. 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.

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

) On the one hand. in which also some other authors took part. Redˇi´ zc 1998). On the other c hand. 67 .(an inﬁnite one-dimensional system). 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.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. and thus annuls indirectly Ivezi´’s assumption. A discussion on this topic. without reaching some new essential conclusion. (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. Gabuzda 1993. the present author agrees with Bartlett and Edwards (1990) that what Ivezi´ considers a fatal defect of the standard relativistic electrodynamics c (Lorentz . lasted some time in the same journal.

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