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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

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

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

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

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

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

at rest are Einstein-synchronized. when measured by the clocks at rest. 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”). Namely. 9 .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. Is one reference frame (the laboratory) not quite suﬃcient? The Lorentz transformations appear as “the Fates” whose power over destiny of all physical systems (our moving clock included) is indubitable (as proven by experiments). but quite puzzling. 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 1971.13 Finally. that is. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. 1. their purely instrumental character. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. 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. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). while mutually identical. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame.g. Cornille 1988). 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. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. features of a certain physical system (e.

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

Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments.18 1. Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. through the laboratory coordinates x. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. 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).17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. thus. 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). carried out completely in the laboratory frame.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. light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. reveals. both “observers” are perfectly right. Although both light and 11 . circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now. of course. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena.moves with constant velocity v . it seems. Also. y. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. 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). 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. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram. It is. however. due to our pre-relativistic instincts.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 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. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . located at the centre of the sphere. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all.

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

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

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

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

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. The thesis is 23 . 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. This is clearly seen by passing from a passive to an active interpretation of the Lorentz transformations (Bohm and Hiley 1985). for the same “events”. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense. cf also Dewan 1963). [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense. 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!). 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. Of course. one could infer that. the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. on the basis of classical electrodynamics. and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. On the basis of the preceding considerations. since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. The inference would be false. e [16] If v = vex . where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates. [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b).in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. By the way.

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

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

Minkowski As it was hinted above. The law states what could be a physical law but the principle is mute about which is a physical law (contrary to. Applying the principle of relativity. Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully.2 2. Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”. however. 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. electrodynamics of moving bodies is quite in second place. for example. tenth paragraph of the paper.1 In the electrodynamic part of the paper Einstein proved that the Maxwell-Hertz equations in vacuo are Lorentz-covariant.”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). 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”.1 Electrodynamics of moving bodies and the Wilson-Wilson experiment Einstein. Fermat’s principle). in that work. Like the well known biological principle that ontogeny is a short and quick repetition of phylogeny.ﬁelds to the case of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in vacuo.and B . refers. in a certain sense. entitled “Dynamics of a (slowly accelerated) electron”. and then applied the derived transformation laws for the E . the principle of relativity is essentially a metaprinciple (the term is Rindler’s (1991)). In this way he obtained the formulae expressing the Doppler principle and the light aberration “for arbitrary velocities. as is well known. he interpreted 26 . to the electrodynamics of moving bodies.3 Only the last.

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

were unusual. Einstein and Laub (1908a. essentially corresponds to Minkowski’s method. now following Einstein’s “elementary path”. which was not at all the case with the mathematical “apparatus” he was using. In the present chapter we shall deal with interpretations. Consider an inﬁnite slab made of a linear. put the authors.2 Einstein and Laub. that the work of Minkowski in the mathematical sense imposes too severe conditions before its reader. where εr µr > 1.7 Physicists were far away from acquiring the “tensorial mentality”. Mathematical apparatus known today to every physics student was used then for the ﬁrst time. the Wilson-Wilson experiment Several months after the publication of the Minkowski paper. When a potential diﬀerence is applied between the 28 . we ﬁnd it useful to derive the fundamental equations in an elementary way which. (Taking into account. Rosser (1964). one of the crucial experiments of the electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion.Minkowski’s physical ideas were simple indeed.) Einstein and Laub immediately applied the new tool of theoretical physics to an exotic system. their inferences. 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). by using that theory we shall attempt in the following chapter to analyze a simple problem from a somewhat unusual perspective. Instead.b) derived the same fundamental electromagnetic equations for bodies in motion. of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. which is uniformly moving at a speed v through the plate condenser of inﬁnite extent at rest. 2. some old some new. homogeneous and isotropic dielectric of relative permittivity εr and relative permeability µr . however. fundamental equations for the electromagnetic phenomena in moving bodies Minkowski expressed through tensors in a (pseudo-) Riemannian four-dimensional Minkowski space. as is usually the case with special relativity. Møller (1972). Namely. Cullwick (1959).

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

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

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

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

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

(Needless to say. in the case of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. Experimental results. and thus also the electric dipole moment due to the motion of magnetic dipole. In this case too the results took sides of Minkowski’s theory. e. should be) a microscopically homogeneous medium (we remind our reader that Rosser (1964) suggested this long time ago).) 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. whose objective is to make a choice between several classical ﬁeld theories. 34 . The analysis made by Krotkov et al. where electric conductivity is high. the rotating magnetic insulator must be (i. were for 6% diﬀerent from the predictions of the PS theory (the relative error of their measurement was 1%). exist only in the steel balls. Their argument is based on the fact that inside the material consisting of the host of steel balls embedded in the wax the magnetization. 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. Their “homogeneous” cylinder was made of yttriumiron-garnet “which is a magnetic insulator even on the molecular scale”. regardless of the validity of their ﬁnal conclusions. claim Krotkov et al. The original Wilson-Wilson experiment with the inhomogeneous dielectric constructed from steel balls embedded in the wax was also repeated. An experiment with such a material has been recently performed by Hertzberg et al (2001). very convincingly consistent with the LI predictions of Minkowski’s theory.to the magnetic dielectric from the Wilson-Wilson experiment. all models that take for granted Maxwell’s equations lead inevitably to the LI results of Minkowski’s theory. In this way. pointed out the essential fact that in experiments of the WilsonWilson type.

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

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

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

pp 146–9). zc necessitates a more detailed analysis than that given by Miller (1981. to elliptic polarization. i. The observed phenomenon in this case depends solely on the relative motion of the magnet and the conductor.. that predicts a perfect (and not only to second order in v/c) symmetry.. This example has served to the author as an illustration for the thesis that “Maxwell’s electrodynamics .. 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. 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). e.leads to asymmetries that do not appear to be inherent to the phenomena . and not relativistic electrodynamics. 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.as it is usually understood today . The attempt contained a fatal ﬂaw (Redˇi´ zc 2000). “opens the door to special relativity” (Redˇi´ 2004a).” (Einstein 1905a). Einstein original example. 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.. While Rosser (1993) questioned the validity of the interpretation of Maxwell’s electrodynamics proposed by Bartocci and Mamone Capria. regardless of the error pointed out by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a.Notes [1] In the whole Einstein’s paper. b). contrary to Einstein’s statement. Many years after Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. if properly understood. 38 .b) argued that in Einstein’s example of the interaction between a magnet and a conductor it is classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics. however.” wrote Einstein. zc [2] The formulae apply to arbitrary monochromatic plane wave..

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

up to the second order terms in v/c. 40 . only the ﬁxed value of v in the space-time point P. [8] Einstein and Laub’s result reads Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . And. (2) where M is the magnetization in the proper frame of the magnetic. he speaks about space-time vectors of the ﬁrst and second kind. For example. the application of the constitutive equation for the current density (the third equation (AS2))leads to a contradiction (cf Redˇi´ 2002.11). however. in the ﬁrst-order theory. 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. For the quadri-gradient he uses a nowadays forgotten symbol lor. of course. respectively. A simple analysis reveals that in the magnetic’s rest frame. instead of tensors of the ﬁrst (quadri-vectors) and second rank. zc [7] Minkowski’s nomenclature is diﬀerent from the present-day one. reads (Rosser 1964) E v P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ) + (1/c2 )v × M . in case of an axially symmetric charged conducting body that is uniformly rotating about its symmetry axis. in the SI system of units. that in the general case Sommerfeld’s remark does not apply. 2004b). Here we sketch how one can reach these results which refer to the system shown in displacement D = ε0E + P . (33. t enters in the following Lorentz’s transformations. he works in a complex space (ict!) whose metric is Euclidean.[6] In this place Sommerfeld made the following remark: “The motion may be variable in space and time and must merely be capable of quasi-stationary treatment in the sense of Eq.” It should be pointed out. (1) Figure 6. For example. Thus v need not be a pure translation and the body need not be rigid. and that of Lorentz’s theory Dz = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 .

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

We discussed here the version usually presented in the literature where the dielectric and the plates all move at the same velocity and a stationary conducting wire is in contact with the plates by means of brushes (Cullwick 1959. In this place. and thus in this case we have Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . Dz = σf . and since a stationary state is established. however. the constitutive equation for the polarization of the magnetic dielectric contains only the E ﬁrst term on the right hand side of equation (2). the condenser’s plates connected by a stationary lead are also at rest with respect to the lab. In Lorentz’s theory. it follows that the electric ﬁeld inside the dielectric also vanishes. 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 . (5) Of course. P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ).Wilson experiment where the cylindrical condenser rotates together with dielectric.) Both versions give the same results. Fortunately. otherwise very accurate Cullwick is wrong: namely.Since the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead through sliding contacts. Interestingly. where σf denotes the surface charge density over the lower plate of the condenser. If the gap between the dielectric slab and the condenser’s plates vanishes. the potential diﬀerence between the plates is zero. so that in the same “experimental situation” we have DzL = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . E = 0. however. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory. Rosser 1964). (This version is closer to the Wilson. this is an irrelevant second order eﬀect. (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. in 42 . Cullwick states.

p 589. In the analysis of the theory of the experiment (Cullwick pp 168-9) the central part is played by equation (4) from the preceding note. [10] As far as the present author is aware. 96. respectively. has not succeeded in reaching the result (6) of Lorentz’s theory by that alternative method. by using Cullwick’s (1959) “component ﬁeld” method. This assumption is found in many textbooks and therefore necessitates a comment. e. as “observed” in the proper frame of the lattice. The present author. 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). and consequently there is no contribution to the vector H due to the convection current of free surface charges. vol.Einstein and Laub the condenser’s plates does not move.Laub’s theory is proportional to the factor (1 − 1/εr µr ) and according to Lorentz’s theory to the factor (1 − 1/εr ). 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. 944 and 0. Cullwick points out that there is no consensus in the literature about what is the solution of the problem according to Lorentz’s theory. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. 2. Einstein-Laub’s result (5) can be reached in another (the third one) way. 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. 43 . The average value of experimental results for that proportionality factor was 0. pp 606-613. however. to their concentrating towards the conductor axis (the “self-induced pinch-eﬀect”). which for the Wilson-Wilson magnetic dielectric with εr = 6 and µr = 3 amounted to 0. 83.b). [11] The proper frame of a conducting loop is the reference frame in which crystal lattice of the loop is at rest. [9] [9] The measured potential diﬀerence according to Einstein .

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

” Very soon. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. which is (1/) a (m × E ) · (v /c2 )dt for a molecule traveling from just the interaction energy between the ‘relativistic dipole’ p and the electric ﬁeld E . which is . Namely.” [13] In the view of the present author.to special relativity. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. 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. Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. then the second term in their equation (13) neither vanishes nor has a simple interpretation. 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. 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. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995). 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 . French (1968). If. P. the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b. however. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . within an error of about 2%. The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher b m v phase shift. [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. which implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms. the central conclusion reached by Krotkov et al (1999) can by no means be considered conclusive. 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.

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

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

What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0. in the standard notation. A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) . as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3. L).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. 0. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ.

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

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

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

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

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

in the transformation law of the charge density = γ + vjx /c2 ≈ + vjx /c2 . according to RED. e. i. in RED. if it were = 0 in the Srf frame. the force on q exactly vanishes. of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). F ∗ R = 0.9. (As is pointed out above. which is used in both theories. then the relation = would also apply in RED up to the second order terms in β. (26) and (30) are correct up to the second order quantities in β. given by the expression F R = −q( A ∂A R + grad ΦR )x=0. equations (31) and (26). and the predictions of the two theories would coincide at low speeds. Namely. our example reveals that in the 54 . 0. Comparing the corresponding equations (30) and (24).10 In case q moves with the same velocity as the loop. and from the relativistic transformation law of the Lorentz force. for all reasonable values of drift velocity of current carriers in Srf . The ﬁrst. note that equations (24). (31) which immediately follows from the fact that in the Srf frame the corre- sponding force vanishes. not less important reason is the Clausius postulate.z=L. As can be seen. we come to a conclusion that even at extremely low speeds the predictions of RED and MT are essentially diﬀerent. this divergence in predictions arises from the following two reasons. (30) up to the second order terms in β. whereas equation (30) is exact.) The second. (32) there is a term vjx /c2 . in the long run.t=0 ≈ ∂t 3/2 e ≈ (µ0 qIvR2 /2 R2 + L2 )e y . the ap- pearance of that term is a consequence. L) is. unknown in MT.y=0. Assuming the validity of the CP. so that its trajectory is given by equation (25).the force acting by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the moving loop on the charge q which is at rest at (0.

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

as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it. 56 .13 experiment. In addition.) 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. intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3.B is the unit vector of v ×B . have been published (Edwards et al (1976). the Clausius postulate. Edwards et al (1976) found that there is a nonzero electric potential due to a stationary current in a closed superconducting coil. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential. passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory. 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). as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question. Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting. where v is the carriers’ speed. as far as the present author is aware. the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. led by a “non-obvious suggestion” that magnitude of charge of current carriers is proportional to v 2 /c2 .15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential. has never been performed.12.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment. however. depending on the square of the current intensity. Taking into account delicacy of the interplay between theory and experiment (“experiment is theory of theory” (Popper 1982)).14 Some experimental results. any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have shown that the principle of relative motion does not apply in MT nor in RED. and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge. together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. 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”). 1904. Relationships among the principle of relative motion. transl. in a certain sense. One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which. an exception is V. FitzGerald.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT. I. the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. MT and RED were analyzed in detail by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). Somewhat unexpectedly. K. 1978) p 10. however. their solution to the problem coincides. Arnold. applies in RED but not in MT. The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. Weinstein (Springer. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). Vogtmann and A.the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde. physical eﬀects depend only on the relative motion between ponderable bodies and on their mutual relative positions. with what we think today to be the correct solution. Lorentz. [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. 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. 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 principle of slow relative motion. that is on the motion with respect to the ether. see Miller (1981)). New York.

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

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

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