SOME METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES

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
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

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

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

cf Rindler 1991) sticks and clocks that move do not appear as a dry consequence of certain abstract mathematical transformations. predicts both time dilatation and length contraction and leads eventually to the same conclusions as the Einstein’s theory. FitzGerald. as is the case in Einstein’s approach. 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. factually carried out e and freed from the “weak link” of Newton’s concepts of time and space. 1.5 It appeared to Bell that students who follow this longer. before relativity. the radical breakup with the primitive concepts of space and time. which is uniformly moving with velocity perpendicular to the mirror’s plane. achieved from logically entangled postulates. classical road. Max Abraham (1904) needed forty pages of text for the solution of this problem. Lorentz and Poincar´. However. merely by “pushing the button”. have a stronger and more reliable intuition. whereas Einstein (1905a) used only three pages for the same thing in his epoch-making paper (honestly. the scientific problems that have been solved earlier. The small wonders are the methodological ones. The result is often the complete destruction of the student’s trust in perfectly safe and useful concepts acquired earlier.2 Miracles It is time to mention a few of the host of small and big wonders of special relativity. Larmor. unexpected qualities of rigid (in relativistic sense. by “switching off” one inertial frame of reference and “switching on” another.It is customary to emphasize the discontinuity. but as a natural offspring of earlier physical ideas. and that can be solved by using special relativity simply and elegantly. but in a tedious and complicated way. rather concise three pages. as pointed out by Arthur Miller (1981) in his rich and 6 . We neglect the fact that the chain of thought of the old pioneerswise men.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

the constitutive equations inside the rotating cylinder have exactly the form predicted by the “simple” Minkowski’s theory. p 103. a fundamental conflict between theory and experiment. 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. 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). claim Pellegrini and Swift. The authors pointed out that the fundamental Minkowski’s hypothesis was that any material point of the rotating cylinder may be treated as if it were in the local inertial frame of reference (LI) in which the point is instantaneously at rest. Ridgely 1998). starting from the corresponding constitutive equations for D and B in the Lorentz-covariant formulation (cf e. Since the experiment was consistent with predictions of Minkowski’s theory (which is incorrect!) one has. Their “corrected analysis” borrowed from the general theory of relativity necessary tools for dealing with electrodynamics in an accelerated frame of reference. 31 . g. the current density) in the rotating frame due to the problem of clock synchronization (Weber)]. Pellegrini and Swift (PS) argued that a correct analysis must take into account the fact that a rotating frame is not an inertial frame. transforming back to the laboratory frame he obtained that. in the lab. Weber 1997. Griffiths 1999. Ridgely (1999) analyzed in detail the constitutive equations for the polarization and magnetization in a uniformly rotating frame. p 545). g. Several authors questioned the validity of the PS argument (Burrows 1997. Pauli 1958. the critics contested their starting fundamental physical assumptions [the use of an unacceptable coordinate system (Burrows). instead.2. errors in defining basic physical quantities (e.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a charge appears on 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. it is not difficult to verify that the magnetic flux density inside the magnetic dielectric equals B = B ￿ = µr B0 . (By the way.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 . (3) is obtained by using the continuity of H and the relativistic transformation laws for the E . in both reference frames. The magnetic dielectric in motion is also electrically polarized.fields. (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 result applies. in the first order theory. and taking into account that all relevant quantities are of the type v × B .) From equations (1).and B . If the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead. The electric field in the dielectric vanishes when the dielectric completely fills the space between the plates. of course. Eq.

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

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

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

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 . within an error of about 2%.” Very soon. Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. If. which is . Namely. P. this result should be true if the atomic magnetic dipole moments arise from orbital electron motions or from electron spin or from a combination of the two. which implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms. 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. 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 . French (1968). The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher ￿b m v phase shift. the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995). [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . 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. 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. however. 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.” [13] In the view of the present author. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation.to special relativity.

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

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

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

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

this assumption enables us to write Maxwell’s equations in a Lorentz-covariant form. 50 . is missing. devoid of any physical content. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the possibility of translating Maxwell’s equations into space-time geometric terms as nothing more than an interesting mathematical property. it 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. Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. it should be specified that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop. An essential detail. j ) and (Φ/c. The additional hypothesis reads (￿c. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). Namely. (14) As is well known. ￿0 and j 0 . a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly defined system. Then. For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric field produced by a current. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out. one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S ￿ linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. First. 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. however. Now we have almost all requisites necessary for solving our problem. 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. A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations.

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

y=0. 0.The required force acting by the electromagnetic field of the moving loop at the instant t = 0 on the charge q at rest at the point (0.z=L. 0) ￿ ￿ ￿￿3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that.8 3. cos θ.0.3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary ￿ current I. and the loop is circular.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 . z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic field of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and.0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point. Following 52 . of course. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β. (24) cos θ (− sin θ. in the rest frame of the loop Srf . in the same approximation. In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C. L) is given by the expression F = −q = ￿ A ∂A ∂t ￿ µ0 qIvR2 4π ￿ x=0. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q ￿ ￿ A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey . which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest. ￿ ￿3/2 e B 0. y = 0.L.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. New York. applies in RED but not in MT. The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). pp 176-7) postulated that charges are induced on the current loop in exactly that amount which is needed to cancel the electrodynamic force due to the absolute motion of 65 .the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde. and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge. 1904. in a certain sense. the principle of slow relative motion. that is on the motion with respect to the ether. Lorentz. their solution to the problem coincides. They have shown that the principle of relative motion does not apply in MT nor in RED. I. Relationships among the principle of relative motion. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). an exception is V. Vogtmann and A. the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. 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”). see Miller (1981)). together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. with what we think today to be the correct solution. 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. transl. Somewhat unexpectedly. FitzGerald.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT. Arnold. [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which. 1978) p 10. Weinstein (Springer. K. Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. however.

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

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

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