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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

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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

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1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
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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

for both “pure” and “impure” forces.that represent a ratio of spatial components of a quadri-vector in Minkowski space and the corresponding relativistic factor gamma (i. we all are groping our path toward understanding basic concepts. Three small spaceships A. Then (as reckoned by an observer in A) the ships will have at 4 . without rotation and without relative motion. a little riddle with pictures suitable to a primer on relativity. as Bridgman (1963) put it in A Sophisticate’s Primer on Relativity. Let the ships B and C be identical. 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.4 Namely.e. When a traveler through relativity somehow escapes from the quicksand of terminology. 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). in purely geometric and kinematic relations).3 The result is. Figure 1 In one moment two identical signals from A are emitted toward B and C. obtained from the quadri-vector equation of motion (a purely dynamic quantity). B and C drift freely in a region of space remote from other matter. more dangerous temptations lurk. of course. to brood over them for several years and even to use them in everyday work. a conceptual mess. As an illustration for this state of aﬀairs might serve the following simple problem. just like in fairy tales. with B and C equidistant from A (Figure 1). and have identical acceleration programmes.

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

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

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

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

when measured by the clocks at rest. while mutually identical. 1.g. 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). their purely instrumental character.13 Finally. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). features of a certain physical system (e. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). Namely. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. that is. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. but quite puzzling. 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. 9 . 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. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. The fact that this conclusion is not just a casual intellectual game with Lorentz transformations (almost always with an implicit assumption that the clock’s own time doesn’t depend on its acceleration) is proven by a famous experiment in 1971.3 Path toward understanding? It seems that the feeling of discomfort that accompanies physicists (and laymen) about the slowing down of the clock in motion is a consequence of the opacity of the usual relativistic method of inferring. 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”). but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. Cornille 1988). with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

due to our pre-relativistic instincts. located at the centre of the sphere. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. The electromagnetic ﬁeld of a point charge Q in uniform motion with e velocity v = ve x is identical to the ﬁeld of a conducting body having the shape of a Heaviside ellipsoid which is moving with the same velocity. The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram. 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). zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. It is.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. 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. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . however.

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

k(ξ. 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. Overall conclusion: special relativity is not to Professor Born to defend “the integrity of scientist” by replying to the challenge. the same notation as Dingle and Born’s will be used: K(x. Born’s counter-argument runs as follows. it is not the kind of acceleration appearing in case of two independent material points (cf also Nikoli´ 1999). where ξ = γv (x − vt).). According to Born. 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). however. One K-second of a clock at rest in the K frame equals 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 k-seconds. those are two distinct 20 a valid scientiﬁc theory since it contains a contradiction. t) is the “resting” reference frame. etc. special relativity permits the following argumentation.According to Dingle. It follows k-seconds of the same clock. 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. Dingle falsiﬁes special relativity.second of a clock at rest in the k frame equals 1/(1 − v 2 /c2 ) .(in which the proper acceleration continuously changes from end to end of the stick) leads to the Lorentz contraction. (In the present note. τ = γv (t − vx/c2 ). Dingle’s inference does not follows from special relativity. Dingle addressed that one k. as measured by the system of Einstein-synchronized clocks at rest in the k frame. τ ) is the one “in motion”. (A compound event that takes place at various spatial points of the K frame and has a duration of 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 K-seconds. 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. 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 has made the same kind of error the student usually makes: two diﬀerent quantities are denoted by one and the same symbol. for obvious reason. space calibration hyperbola. ct. 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 b C a SH A B ct TH C SH x O x TH Figure 5 C. section of light cone. straight lines in Minkowski space (Figure 5). x. by convention. those axes are mutually orthogonal. T H. Numerous participants “accused” each other for elementary misunderstanding of basic concepts of special relativity. conjugate diameters = axis in k. C. the axes of the “middle frame” for K and k are not represented. A consensus was never 21 . represents the same time interval in K as OB in k: OA ∼ ct Oa > OB The clock at rest in K Oa ∼ cτ τ OB ∼ cτ Ob > OA The clock at rest ink Ob ∼ ct t OA ∼ OB ∼ OA > t ∼ OB > τ On this Born’s ﬁgure. conjugate diameters = axes in K. (ξ. The issue provoked a prolonged polemic in the Nature that lasted several years. OA. SH. time calibration hyperbola. cτ ).

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

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

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

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

The law states what could be a physical law but the principle is mute about which is a physical law (contrary to. in that work. In this way he obtained the formulae expressing the Doppler principle and the light aberration “for arbitrary velocities. the principle of relativity is essentially a metaprinciple (the term is Rindler’s (1991)). in a certain sense.2 2.3 Only the last.1 Electrodynamics of moving bodies and the Wilson-Wilson experiment Einstein.and B . Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully. 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”. Fermat’s principle). as is well known. however. to the electrodynamics of moving bodies. tenth paragraph of the paper. 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. he interpreted 26 . Like the well known biological principle that ontogeny is a short and quick repetition of phylogeny. electrodynamics of moving bodies is quite in second place. refers.”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). and then applied the derived transformation laws for the E .ﬁelds to the case of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in vacuo. for example.1 In the electrodynamic part of the paper Einstein proved that the Maxwell-Hertz equations in vacuo are Lorentz-covariant. entitled “Dynamics of a (slowly accelerated) electron”. Applying the principle of relativity. Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”. Minkowski As it was hinted above.

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

When a potential diﬀerence is applied between the 28 . which was not at all the case with the mathematical “apparatus” he was using. were unusual. In the present chapter we shall deal with interpretations.Minkowski’s physical ideas were simple indeed. however. Møller (1972). fundamental equations for the electromagnetic phenomena in moving bodies Minkowski expressed through tensors in a (pseudo-) Riemannian four-dimensional Minkowski space. that the work of Minkowski in the mathematical sense imposes too severe conditions before its reader. some old some new. put the authors. Cullwick (1959). Namely. their inferences. homogeneous and isotropic dielectric of relative permittivity εr and relative permeability µr . by using that theory we shall attempt in the following chapter to analyze a simple problem from a somewhat unusual perspective. as is usually the case with special relativity. the Wilson-Wilson experiment Several months after the publication of the Minkowski paper. essentially corresponds to Minkowski’s method. where εr µr > 1.2 Einstein and Laub. Mathematical apparatus known today to every physics student was used then for the ﬁrst time. 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). Rosser (1964). we ﬁnd it useful to derive the fundamental equations in an elementary way which.) Einstein and Laub immediately applied the new tool of theoretical physics to an exotic system. Consider an inﬁnite slab made of a linear. (Taking into account. 2.b) derived the same fundamental electromagnetic equations for bodies in motion. which is uniformly moving at a speed v through the plate condenser of inﬁnite extent at rest. now following Einstein’s “elementary path”. Instead. of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. Einstein and Laub (1908a.7 Physicists were far away from acquiring the “tensorial mentality”. one of the crucial experiments of the electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion.

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

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

Several authors questioned the validity of the PS argument (Burrows 1997. 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. 31 . g. Pellegrini and Swift (PS) argued that a correct analysis must take into account the fact that a rotating frame is not an inertial frame. instead. Griﬃths 1999. transforming back to the laboratory frame he obtained that. Weber 1997.2. Ridgely (1999) analyzed in detail the constitutive equations for the polarization and magnetization in a uniformly rotating frame. errors in deﬁning basic physical quantities (e. The ﬁnal outcome of their analysis based on the assumed nature of a medium in motion diﬀers from the result obtained by following the “elementary path” of Einstein and Laub. the critics contested their starting fundamental physical assumptions [the use of an unacceptable coordinate system (Burrows). the constitutive equations inside the rotating cylinder have exactly the form predicted by the “simple” Minkowski’s theory. p 103. starting from the corresponding constitutive equations for D and B in the Lorentz-covariant formulation (cf e. None of the critics found an error in the PS calculation.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). a fundamental conﬂict between theory and experiment. claim Pellegrini and Swift. Their “corrected analysis” borrowed from the general theory of relativity necessary tools for dealing with electrodynamics in an accelerated frame of reference. Pauli 1958. Since the experiment was consistent with predictions of Minkowski’s theory (which is incorrect!) one has. Ridgely 1998). in the lab. the current density) in the rotating frame due to the problem of clock synchronization (Weber)]. p 545). g.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

) Both versions give the same results. it follows that the electric ﬁeld inside the dielectric also vanishes. Cullwick states. Dz = σf . (6) It should be mentioned that the original system discussed by Einstein and Laub (1908a) is diﬀerent from that ascribed to Einstein and Laub in the literature in the following detail: in Einstein and Laub only the dielectric slab is moving. this is an irrelevant second order eﬀect. however. the potential diﬀerence between the plates is zero. (5) Of course.Since the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead through sliding contacts. in 42 . where σf denotes the surface charge density over the lower plate of the condenser. the condenser’s plates connected by a stationary lead are also at rest with respect to the lab. Interestingly. In this place. 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 . however. so that in the same “experimental situation” we have DzL = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . Rosser 1964). and thus in this case we have Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). the constitutive equation for the polarization of the magnetic dielectric contains only the E ﬁrst term on the right hand side of equation (2). In Lorentz’s theory. E = 0. (This version is closer to the Wilson. otherwise very accurate Cullwick is wrong: namely. If the gap between the dielectric slab and the condenser’s plates vanishes. We discussed here the version usually presented in the literature where the dielectric and the plates all move at the same velocity and a stationary conducting wire is in contact with the plates by means of brushes (Cullwick 1959. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory.Wilson experiment where the cylindrical condenser rotates together with dielectric. Fortunately. and since a stationary state is established.

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

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

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

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

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

A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) . L). 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.What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0. in the standard notation. as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3.

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

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

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

0.8 3.y=0.3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary current I. which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest. and the loop is circular. cos θ. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β. z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and. 3/2 e B 0.0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point.z=L. 0) 3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that. in the rest frame of the loop Srf .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 . in the same approximation. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt.L.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. L) is given by the expression F = −q = A ∂A ∂t µ0 qIvR2 4π x=0. y = 0. Following 52 .0. In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C. (24) cos θ (− sin θ. of course. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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