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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

1

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

2

1

1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
**

Temptations

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

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

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

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.2 Miracles It is time to mention a few of the host of small and big wonders of special relativity. 1. before relativity. but as a natural oﬀspring of earlier physical ideas. but in a tedious and complicated way. We neglect the fact that the chain of thought of the old pioneerswise men. However. by “switching oﬀ” one inertial frame of reference and “switching on” another. The result is often the complete destruction of the student’s trust in perfectly safe and useful concepts acquired earlier. merely by “pushing the button”. The small wonders are the methodological ones. whereas Einstein (1905a) used only three pages for the same thing in his epoch-making paper (honestly. Max Abraham (1904) needed forty pages of text for the solution of this problem. rather concise three pages. classical road. Lorentz and Poincar´. and that can be solved by using special relativity simply and elegantly. which is uniformly moving with velocity perpendicular to the mirror’s plane. have a stronger and more reliable intuition.5 It appeared to Bell that students who follow this longer. Larmor. the scientiﬁc problems that have been solved earlier. FitzGerald.It is customary to emphasize the discontinuity. 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. unexpected qualities of rigid (in relativistic sense. as pointed out by Arthur Miller (1981) in his rich and 6 . as is the case in Einstein’s approach. factually carried out e and freed from the “weak link” of Newton’s concepts of time and space. the radical breakup with the primitive concepts of space and time. predicts both time dilatation and length contraction and leads eventually to the same conclusions as the Einstein’s theory.

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

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

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

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

through the laboratory coordinates x. thus. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. carried out completely in the laboratory frame. y. Although both light and 11 . Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments. the trajectory of the electron around the stationary (for that “observer”) proton is a circle of radius a (because his meters sticks are contracted by the same factor 1 − v 2 /c2 as well in the direction of motion).16 The period of motion of the electron on the ellipse around the proton in uniform translational motion is 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 times larger than the period of motion of the electron on the circle of radius a centered at the proton at rest. reveals. it seems. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. both “observers” are perfectly right.moves with constant velocity v . it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. Also. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. of course.18 1.17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. 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). Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place.

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

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

taking into account that the relativistic tri-force is not identically equal the time derivative of the relativistic momentum of the particle. But here we refer primarily to prosaic situations such as the one in which Zapolsky (1988) found himself: “not less than ﬁve” referees negated his conclusions paraphrased in the present note [12]. [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. uz ). m0u γu . the transformation according to Rindler. Eriksen and Vøyenly (1976) state that the classical and the relativistic concepts of mass are “incommensurable” (cf Jammer 2000. fx = law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force. [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 ). For example.Notes [1] A fresh example are. circus attractions of special relativity such as length dilatation and time contraction (Field 2000). This introductory chapter contains the inventory of some recurrent topics in special relativity. 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 . f = d(m0u γu )/dt. Zigman 1997)) is not generally accepted. pp 57-61). and for a particle with rest mass m0 and instantaneous velocity in the S frame u = (ux . so to say. reads. where m ≡ m0 γu and γu ≡ (1 − u2 /c2 )−1/2 . uy . However.

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

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

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

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. It is. located at the centre of the sphere.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 ﬁeld E ∗ = E + v × B is perpendicular to the surface of the Heaviside ellipsoid at a point arbitrarily close to the surface (Redˇi´ 1992a). [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. due to our pre-relativistic instincts. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all. 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. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram. however.

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

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

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

A deﬁnition of the space and time coordinates must precede the quest for the laws of nature. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a). [15] Einstein’s second postulate (1905a). cleaned up from the circular argument.reached. [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. i. In this way. Therefore any deﬁnition of the time coordinate based on a previously discovered law of nature is nothing but a circulus vitiosus. always equals one clock-two way velocity of light which is a measurable quantity and. a universal constant. but nothing else. primordial principle that conceptually precedes the principle of relativity. which were discovered before physicists began to deal with the problem of clock synchronization. as measurements reveal. states that in an IFR one way-two clock velocity of light. an immeasurable quantity. The fact that Maxwell’s equations are consistent with both principles is an excellent recommendation for the equations. Fortunately. 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. the meaning of time as a measurable physical quantity is postulated. it is postulated that Einstein synchronization is a realizable procedure. The fact that there exist physical laws (Maxwell’s equations) consistent with the second postulate. 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. e. fundamental. In this sense the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (also known as Einstein’s second postulate) is essentially the ﬁrst. The present author pointed out the episode in the life of special relativity just for illustrating the thesis that time dilatation also belongs to relativistic miracles. the physical laws apply 22 .

and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense.in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates. on the basis of classical electrodynamics. By the way. by a suitable choice of the initial moment t = 0 the equation 2 of the ellipse reads (xe − vt)2 /(a 1 − v 2 /c2 )2 + ye /a2 = 1. were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b). This is clearly seen by passing from a passive to an active interpretation of the Lorentz transformations (Bohm and Hiley 1985). 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. The inference would be false. e [16] If v = vex . this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. 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!). The thesis is 23 . the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. cf also Dewan 1963). On the basis of the preceding considerations. one could infer that. [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense. since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. for the same “events”. 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. A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. Of course.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In that frame. in the long run. n0 of those magnetic dipoles per 32 is usually derived by using relativistic transformations for the ﬁelds. microscopic approach. (The appearance of electric dipole moment of a current loop in motion is. This relationship are obtained as a consequence of the Lorentz-covariance of Maxwell’s equations (cf Rosser 1964). the charge distribution stems. a purely relativistic phenomenon. As is well known. from relativity of simultaneity. unknown in non-relativistic theories. a magnetic dipole can be represented by a closed cone ducting loop with a stationary (conduction) current. as measured in the lab.Krotkov et al (1999) gave a quite unexpected direction to the recent reexamination of the classical interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. in its proper frame of reference S . where m denotes the magnetic dipole moment of the loop in its proper frame S . Namely.) Due to the Lorentz contraction. arbitrarily small segment of the current loop is electrically neutral. where v denotes the velocity of the considered point of the magnetic. 1993) pointed out. consisting of atoms or molecules. according to the classical. a non-zero polarization given by. any. A justiﬁcation of the speciﬁcity of their analysis needs some introductory remarks. 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 . as measured in the lab frame S. which . 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. 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. however. there is another. For ordinary media. P = (1/c2 )v × M . as Rosser (1964.11 In the lab frame S. thus. in the framework of v ﬁrst order theory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and only then will its appearance in the ﬁrst act become understandable. Rosser 1960). [5] It should be mentioned that Einstein obtained his electrodynamic results without knowing of tensors in Minkowski’s space. and also that the role of logic in physical sciences is sometimes very tricky (Stachel and Torretti 1982).[3] Lichtkomplex is a mysterious quantity in the framework of Maxwell’s electrodynamics and its appearance in Einstein’s paper is very strange. the grandeur of that scientiﬁc exploit. The example of the light complex clearly shows that intuition is sometimes more important than knowledge.. 39 . Namely. 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).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 .argued Planck . [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”). While it seems that Kaufmann’s latest measurements disprove the principle of relativity introduced recently by Lorentz and. Rosser 1964). The “mysterious stranger” will appear on the stage just one more time (Einstein 1905b). In the view of the present author. Jeﬁmenko’s article is a natural complement of Planck’s paper mentioned above (cf also French 1968.. g. 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. qE +qv ×B . Einstein’s tour de force can be adequately appreciated only by a researcher who trailed the same dangerous mountain path (cf Schwartz 1977. Of course. in a more general formulation. Einstein reached the correct ﬁnal result zc by making a methodological error. Recently. Møller 1972). Jeﬁmenko (1996a) derived in Einstein’s way the transformation law of the most renowned pure E v B relativistic tri-force. by Einstein . now under a new name (Lichtmenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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. If. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. which is . within an error of about 2%. then the second term in their key equation (13) does vanish and then the electric dipole moment of the sphere does have the value obtained by the authors.” Very soon. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. which 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. then the second term in their equation (13) neither vanishes nor has a simple interpretation. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995).to special relativity. 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). 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 . Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. however.” [13] In the view of the present author. P. 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. The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher b m v phase shift. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b.

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

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

L). as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3. in the standard notation.What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0.2 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. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ. 0. A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) .

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

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

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

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

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

which is used in both theories. and the predictions of the two theories would coincide at low speeds. our example reveals that in the 54 . (26) and (30) are correct up to the second order quantities in β. (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. for all reasonable values of drift velocity of current carriers in Srf . (30) up to the second order terms in β. we come to a conclusion that even at extremely low speeds the predictions of RED and MT are essentially diﬀerent. note that equations (24). L) is. in the long run. F ∗ R = 0. equations (31) and (26). Assuming the validity of the CP. so that its trajectory is given by equation (25). this divergence in predictions arises from the following two reasons. the ap- pearance of that term is a consequence.y=0. of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). and from the relativistic transformation law of the Lorentz force. Namely.z=L. the force on q exactly vanishes. Comparing the corresponding equations (30) and (24).t=0 ≈ ∂t 3/2 e ≈ (µ0 qIvR2 /2 R2 + L2 )e y . i. The ﬁrst. As can be seen. unknown in MT. if it were = 0 in the Srf frame.the force acting by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the moving loop on the charge q which is at rest at (0. in RED. 0. in the transformation law of the charge density = γ + vjx /c2 ≈ + vjx /c2 . given by the expression F R = −q( A ∂A R + grad ΦR )x=0. then the relation = would also apply in RED up to the second order terms in β. e. whereas equation (30) is exact.) The second. according to RED.9.10 In case q moves with the same velocity as the loop. (As is pointed out above. (32) there is a term vjx /c2 .

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

where v is the carriers’ speed. has never been performed.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment.15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential. however. 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.14 Some experimental results. passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory. as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question. as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it. 56 . Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. have been published (Edwards et al (1976). depending on the square of the current intensity. The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting.B is the unit vector of v ×B . Taking into account delicacy of the interplay between theory and experiment (“experiment is theory of theory” (Popper 1982)). intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3. led by a “non-obvious suggestion” that magnitude of charge of current carriers is proportional to v 2 /c2 . as far as the present author is aware. 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). Edwards et al (1976) found that there is a nonzero electric potential due to a stationary current in a closed superconducting coil.12. the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational.13 experiment. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential. the Clausius postulate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the analysis presented by Zapolsky (1988) gives a theoretical justiﬁcation of the Clausius postulate in the framework of an elementary (but nontrivial) model of a circular current loop with a stationary current. (A somewhat more realistic model of an inﬁnite current-carrying wire implies a self-induced pinch-eﬀect and leads to new dilemmas (Matzek and Russell 1968. Redˇi´ zc 1998).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. 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.(an inﬁnite one-dimensional system). A discussion on this topic. Gabuzda 1993. lasted some time in the same journal. On the other c hand. in which also some other authors took part. without reaching some new essential conclusion. 67 . and thus annuls indirectly Ivezi´’s assumption.

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