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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

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

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1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
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Temptations

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

without rotation and without relative motion. just like in fairy tales. Three small spaceships A.3 The result is. to brood over them for several years and even to use them in everyday work. a conceptual mess. B and C drift freely in a region of space remote from other matter. as Bridgman (1963) put it in A Sophisticate’s Primer on Relativity. in Rindler appears also a time dependence of the relativistic mass. in purely geometric and kinematic relations). Then (as reckoned by an observer in A) the ships will have at 4 .e. of course. more dangerous temptations lurk. we all are groping our path toward understanding basic concepts. a little riddle with pictures suitable to a primer on relativity. for both “pure” and “impure” forces. Let the ships B and C be identical. Figure 1 In one moment two identical signals from A are emitted toward B and C.that represent a ratio of spatial components of a quadri-vector in Minkowski space and the corresponding relativistic factor gamma (i. When a traveler through relativity somehow escapes from the quicksand of terminology. On reception of these signals the motors of B and C are ignited and they accelerate gently along the straight line connecting them (Figure 2). and have identical acceleration programmes. with B and C equidistant from A (Figure 1). it turns out that it is not suﬃcient to know of the FitzGeraldLorentz contraction and time dilatation. As an illustration for this state of aﬀairs might serve the following simple problem. obtained from the quadri-vector equation of motion (a purely dynamic quantity).4 Namely.

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

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

but has read the Einstein’s. Thomson and Oliver Heaviside. a little cliﬀ-hanger that takes place in London. the ratio of the length of the line and the diameter of the sphere is v/c. J.) Another case of “methodological wonders” appears in electrodynamics of moving bodies. very meticulously. The main characters are Maxwellians. 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. Searle’s cumbersome and complicated solution to the problem arouses admiration. (The quest for the image of a moving sphere. Following Maxwell (1891). Heavy reading. this point charge may be called the image of the conducting sphere. A simple and elegant solution based on the recipe of special relativity has been recently published (Redˇi´ 1992a. It is well known that an isolated charged conducting sphere of radius R at rest in laboratory (an inertial frame of reference). However. and men able to recognize the essence. as measured in laboratory?7 Famous J. Searle (1897) was the ﬁrst to ﬁnd the correct solution: the image of a charged conducting sphere in motion is a uniformly charged line. 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.) In his article Searle uses the contemporary scientiﬁc language (the sphere moves with respect to the ether). Cambridge and Dublin in late 19th century. b).detailed monograph wherein Einstein’s Relativity Paper was analyzed sentence by sentence). a small group of eccentrics that will give much pain to historians of science (cf Brown 2001.8 In the historical perspective. dealt with this problem as well. Lorrain et al 2000). produces in space outside the sphere the same electrostatic ﬁeld as the corresponding point charge at rest at the centre of the sphere. zc 7 . undoubted authorities in the ﬁeld of Maxwell’s electrodynamics. 2003. has been sketched in an excellent monograph by Max Jammer (1961). (The present author admits that he has not read the Abraham’s article.

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

1. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. Cornille 1988). that is.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. Namely. features of a certain physical system (e. a clock that travels around the globe in a commercial airplane and comes back to the initial point is “younger” than an identical clock that has not moved from that same point. 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. but quite puzzling. their purely instrumental character. 9 . while mutually identical. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). 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”).g.13 Finally. when measured by the clocks at rest. 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. 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). 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. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which.

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

carried out completely in the laboratory frame. reveals. of course. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. through the laboratory coordinates x. both “observers” are perfectly right. Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”.18 1. thus.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place. Also. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies.moves with constant velocity v . the trajectory of the electron around the stationary (for that “observer”) proton is a circle of radius a (because his meters sticks are contracted by the same factor 1 − v 2 /c2 as well in the direction of motion).16 The period of motion of the electron on the ellipse around the proton in uniform translational motion is 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 times larger than the period of motion of the electron on the circle of radius a centered at the proton at rest. Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. 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).17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. it seems. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. y. Although both light and 11 . light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now.

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

(It is well known that Einstein was satisﬁed neither with that solution nor with the fact that the mass-energy equivalence was obtained by using Maxwell’s theory (Einstein 1935). the mass (the rest mass) appears in the non-relativistic limit of kinetic energy.) Furthermore. e. by using solely relativistic kinematics and the laws of conservation of energy and momentum in their most general form. as in Einstein. almighty. as well as the relativistic expressions for energy and momentum of a free particle in the most general form. Of course. it would be hasty to conclude from the above discussion that the relativistic kinematics is free of Maxwell’s electrodynamics (cf Jammer 2000. without Maxwell’s electrodynamics. Feigenbaum and Mermin showed that in the relativistic expressions for momentum and kinetic energy of a free particle the same mass-Lorentz scalar m appears. Moreover. unlike Einstein who postulated it. which Einstein (1905b) “solved” by introducing the principle of equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy. but Feigenbaum and Mermin get the exact limit by calculating it. i.to get to the equivalence between inertial mass and rest energy.20 13 . Here. chapter 3). This is an important result for which Einstein could ﬁnd only a partial justiﬁcation (Einstein 1935). they revitalized the problem of the integration constant in the expression for the rest energy. These authors reached the same fundamental conclusion.

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]. [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 ). where m ≡ m0 γu and γu ≡ (1 − u2 /c2 )−1/2 . Eriksen and Vøyenly (1976) state that the classical and the relativistic concepts of mass are “incommensurable” (cf Jammer 2000. f = d(m0u γu )/dt. and for a particle with rest mass m0 and instantaneous velocity in the S frame u = (ux . uz ). uy . m0u γu . taking into account that the relativistic tri-force is not identically equal the time derivative of the relativistic momentum of the particle. it is clear that the transformation law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force must have the form fx = 2 f fx − v[f · u /c2 + (1/γu /c2 )F α Uα ] 1 − ux v/c2 f fx − vdm/dt fx − v[f · u /c2 + (1/γu )dm0 /dt] = 1 − ux v/c2 1 − ux v/c2 14 . For example. reads. Zigman 1997)) is not generally accepted. This introductory chapter contains the inventory of some recurrent topics in special relativity. [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. so to say.Notes [1] A fresh example are. the transformation according to Rindler. circus attractions of special relativity such as length dilatation and time contraction (Field 2000). pp 57-61). However.

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

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

” velocity = A lot of paper was consumed in clarifying this formulation of Einstein’s. From the preceding considerations. Herein is light path . and without special relativity.) On the other hand. unexpected. Namely. In the view 17 . the ﬁeld outside a conducting sphere at rest is identical to the ﬁeld of a point charge at rest. located at the centre of the sphere. without the Li´nard e . which is independent of whether the light ray was emitted by a resting or by a moving body.Wiechert potentials. and thus one of the basic rules of valid deﬁnition is violated: of the present author. Deﬁnitio ne ﬁat in orbem (A deﬁnition must not be circular). “time interval” is deﬁned in Einstein’s §1 just by means of the velocity of light. [9] Einstein’s original formulation of the principle of constancy of the velocity of light reads: “Any light ray moves in the ‘resting’ coordinate system with the deﬁnite velocity c. and 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. the circularity problem can be simply solved by reformulating the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (cf the note 15 below).electric and magnetic ﬁelds of a point charge in uniform motion through the ether were derived by Heaviside as early as 1888. applying the principle of relativity to Maxwell’s electrodynamics we infer (cf Redˇi´ 2004a): a conducting body that has the shape zc of a Heaviside ellipsoid when in motion is obtained by the motion of the same conducting body which is a sphere when at rest (Figure 4)! Inference too strange.

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. however. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. due to our pre-relativistic instincts. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all. 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. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram.y R E E* n E v´B O R/2 Q z Q x Figure 4 A conducting sphere of radius R and with total charge Q at rest in the laboratory frame creates the same ﬁeld as a point charge Q at rest. The ﬁeld E ∗ = E + v × B is perpendicular to the surface of the Heaviside ellipsoid at a point arbitrarily close to the surface (Redˇi´ 1992a). when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. located at the centre of the sphere. The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. It is.

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

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

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

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

On the basis of the preceding considerations. The inference would be false. This is clearly seen by passing from a passive to an active interpretation of the Lorentz transformations (Bohm and Hiley 1985). Of course. on the basis of classical electrodynamics.in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense. A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. the thesis that both the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction and time dilatation are nothing but subjective phenomena was a continuing subject of lively discussion among physicists and philosophers. The thesis is 23 . by a suitable choice of the initial moment t = 0 the equation 2 of the ellipse reads (xe − vt)2 /(a 1 − v 2 /c2 )2 + ye /a2 = 1. The laws according to which the states of physical systems undergo changes do really have the same form in all inertial frames of reference (the principle of relativity does apply!). [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense. this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. Einstein would begin his answer to the last question by the query: real with respect to what?) Physical realities of various inertial “observers” may be almost comically diﬀerent. for the same “events”. e [16] If v = vex . [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b). one could infer that. By the way. cf also Dewan 1963). and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates.

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

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

however. the principle of relativity is essentially a metaprinciple (the term is Rindler’s (1991)). Like the well known biological principle that ontogeny is a short and quick repetition of phylogeny. electrodynamics of moving bodies is quite in second place. in that work. Although the title of Einstein’s (1905a) epoch-making paper is “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”.3 Only the last. for example.and B .1 Electrodynamics of moving bodies and the Wilson-Wilson experiment Einstein.ﬁelds to the case of a monochromatic plane linearly polarized electromagnetic wave in vacuo. Applying the principle of relativity. to the electrodynamics of moving bodies. In this way he obtained the formulae expressing the Doppler principle and the light aberration “for arbitrary velocities. The law states what could be a physical law but the principle is mute about which is a physical law (contrary to. entitled “Dynamics of a (slowly accelerated) electron”. Minkowski As it was hinted above. tenth paragraph of the paper. Einstein derived the correct equation of motion of a point charge in the electromagnetic ﬁeld in the special case when the instantaneous velocity of the charge is parallel to one of the coordinate axes. Fermat’s principle).”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 . Physical laws are reached slowly and painfully. and then applied the derived transformation laws for the E . as is well known. refers. 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”.2 2.1 In the electrodynamic part of the paper Einstein proved that the Maxwell-Hertz equations in vacuo are Lorentz-covariant. in a certain sense.

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

put the authors. we ﬁnd it useful to derive the fundamental equations in an elementary way which. (Taking into account. one of the crucial experiments of the electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion. some old some new. Consider an inﬁnite slab made of a linear. Namely. Instead. were unusual. fundamental equations for the electromagnetic phenomena in moving bodies Minkowski expressed through tensors in a (pseudo-) Riemannian four-dimensional Minkowski space.2 Einstein and Laub. which is uniformly moving at a speed v through the plate condenser of inﬁnite extent at rest. now following Einstein’s “elementary path”.) Einstein and Laub immediately applied the new tool of theoretical physics to an exotic system. which was not at all the case with the mathematical “apparatus” he was using. When a potential diﬀerence is applied between the 28 . homogeneous and isotropic dielectric of relative permittivity εr and relative permeability µr . their inferences. Mathematical apparatus known today to every physics student was used then for the ﬁrst time. as is usually the case with special relativity.7 Physicists were far away from acquiring the “tensorial mentality”. 2. In this work we shall not give an exposition of Minkowski’s theory which was presented in detail in the classical monographs by Pauli (1958). Rosser (1964).Minkowski’s physical ideas were simple indeed. Møller (1972). that the work of Minkowski in the mathematical sense imposes too severe conditions before its reader. Einstein and Laub (1908a. the Wilson-Wilson experiment Several months after the publication of the Minkowski paper. however. of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. where εr µr > 1.b) derived the same fundamental electromagnetic equations for bodies in motion. Cullwick (1959). by using that theory we shall attempt in the following chapter to analyze a simple problem from a somewhat unusual perspective. In the present chapter we shall deal with interpretations. essentially corresponds to Minkowski’s method.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and not relativistic electrodynamics.b) argued that in Einstein’s example of the interaction between a magnet and a conductor it is classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics.. if properly understood. zc necessitates a more detailed analysis than that given by Miller (1981. The observed phenomenon in this case depends solely on the relative motion of the magnet and the conductor. The attempt contained a fatal ﬂaw (Redˇi´ zc 2000). This example has served to the author as an illustration for the thesis that “Maxwell’s electrodynamics . Einstein original example. pp 146–9). 38 . 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. 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.” (Einstein 1905a).. “opens the door to special relativity” (Redˇi´ 2004a). i. regardless of the error pointed out by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. zc [2] The formulae apply to arbitrary monochromatic plane wave.leads to asymmetries that do not appear to be inherent to the phenomena . to elliptic polarization. that predicts a perfect (and not only to second order in v/c) symmetry. The special case of a circularly polarized wave was used in Dodd’s (1983) attempt to interpret the Compton eﬀect in the framework of classical electrodynamics.. b). e.” wrote Einstein. 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).Notes [1] In the whole Einstein’s paper.. contrary to Einstein’s statement. Many years after Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. however..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.

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

2004b). Thus v need not be a pure translation and the body need not be rigid. respectively. he speaks about space-time vectors of the ﬁrst and second kind. up to the second order terms in v/c. in the ﬁrst-order theory. (33. the application of the constitutive equation for the current density (the third equation (AS2))leads to a contradiction (cf Redˇi´ 2002. in case of an axially symmetric charged conducting body that is uniformly rotating about its symmetry axis. For example. A simple analysis reveals that in the magnetic’s rest frame. in the SI system of units. 40 .” It should be pointed out. For example. that in the general case Sommerfeld’s remark does not apply. For the quadri-gradient he uses a nowadays forgotten symbol lor. [8] Einstein and Laub’s result reads Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . reads (Rosser 1964) E v P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ) + (1/c2 )v × M . however.[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. And. he works in a complex space (ict!) whose metric is Euclidean. 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. zc [7] Minkowski’s nomenclature is diﬀerent from the present-day one. only the ﬁxed value of v in the space-time point P. of course. and that of Lorentz’s theory Dz = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . instead of tensors of the ﬁrst (quadri-vectors) and second rank. Here we sketch how one can reach these results which refer to the system shown in displacement D = ε0E + P . (2) where M is the magnetization in the proper frame of the magnetic. (1) Figure 6.11). t enters in the following Lorentz’s transformations.

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

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

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

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

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. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. which is . Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. French (1968).” [13] In the view of the present author.to special relativity. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. 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 . If. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995). [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. P.” Very soon. however. 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 . The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . The experiment was planned as a measurement of the Aharonov-Casher b m v phase shift. Namely. whose author passionately protests (on p 259) against this oversimpliﬁcation in the style unusual for textbook literature: “Who says relativity is important only for velocities comparable to that of light?” [15] In Lorentz’s non-relativistic electron theory. then the second term in their equation (13) neither vanishes nor has a simple interpretation. which implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms. 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. the constitutive equations 45 v m E point a to point b. within an error of about 2%. this result should be true if the atomic magnetic dipole moments arise from orbital electron motions or from electron spin or from a combination of the two. the central conclusion reached by Krotkov et al (1999) can by no means be considered conclusive.

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

Redˇi´ 1993). will be solved in the laboratory reference frame in two ways: in the framework of classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics (henceforth. 0). is very tricky (cf Teukolsky 1996). and in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. 0. the theory of which.3 A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory versus relativistic electrodynamics Setup of the problem 3.1 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. contrary to that of the present problem. which seems to be one zc of the simplest in electrodynamics of moving bodies. the considered problem is a simple analogue of the famous Trouton-Noble experiment. Maxwell’s theory). This problem. a variant of the problem will be analyzed under the assumption that Maxwell’s theory applies in the reference frame of the ether. (The two methods of solving this and similar problems represent electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies without and with special relativity. its natural habitat. The loop C at the moment of time t = 0 is given by parametric equations x = R cos θ. respectively.) In addition.b). Consider a ﬁlamentary circular current loop C with stationary current I which moves with respect to the IFR S with constant velocity v = (v. y = R sin θ. Basic assumptions of Maxwell’s theory will be explicitly given. [In this interpretation. b.] Our presentation closely follows that of Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. 47 z=0 (1) . Setup of the problem in the framework of Maxwell’s theory.

as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3. in the standard notation.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) . 0. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ. L).What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0.

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

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

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

and the loop is circular. (24) cos θ (− sin θ. in the rest frame of the loop Srf . which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey . of course.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 .3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary current I.0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point.L.8 3. in the same approximation.z=L. Following 52 . In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C. y = 0. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β. cos θ. 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. 0) 3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that. L) is given by the expression F = −q = A ∂A ∂t µ0 qIvR2 4π x=0. z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and. 3/2 e B 0.0. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt.y=0.

the standard procedure (ﬁrst one evaluates the potential A R in the Srf frame. a rather simple calculation reveals that the electric dipole moment of the loop in the S frame equals e p = −e y vIπR2 /c2 . passing details. up to the second order terms in β. then one applies the transformation law). Comparing equations (27) and (19) one could infer that. there is no diﬀerence between the predictions of RED and MT. and since v = ve x . obviously. for the vector potential of the electromagnetic ﬁeld due to the moving loop in the S frame we obtain µ0 IR AR = 4π where 2 DR = (x − vt − R 2π (− sin θ. in the long run. as measured in the S frame. Namely. mea sured of course in the Srf frame.] The scalar potential ΦR is readily obtained on the basis of the hypothesis (14). while according to the CP each segment of the loop is electrically neutral in the Srf frame. (28) relativistic transformation law of charge and current densities implies that there is a charge distribution in the current loop in motion. with stationary current I. [As is well known. Finally. 53 . of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). in this case the crucial relation p = v × m /c2 is valid exactly. 0 1 − β 2 cos θ. the presence of a charge distribution in the current loop in motion is a purely relativistic eﬀect and is a consequence. the 1 − β 2 cos θ)2 + 1 − β 2 (y − R sin θ)2 + z 2 .] In the case of our ﬁlamentary circular loop of radius R. However. [Since the magnetic dipole moment of e the loop in the Srf frame is m = IπR2e z . (29) to all the orders in β (Rosser 1993). this is not so. 0) dθ. DR (27) and the subscript R indicates that the solution belongs to relativistic electrodynamics. taking into account that in the Srf frame ΦR vanishes (CP): ΦR = vARx .

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

e Maxwell’s theory. compared to c. e. In this case the problem we discussed above suggests a new experimentum crucis discriminating between RED and MT. by increasing I and q we might be able to observe an eﬀect even if the velocity of the laboratory is very small. Moreover. as equation (26) reveals. e where ψ denotes the acute angle between v and the plane of the cicuit. equations (24) and (30) i. (26) and (31) are presumably inaccessible to experimental veriﬁcation.11 (The force has the same unit vector as qv × B . (−e y ) 55 . According to RED. 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. because one can repeat the observations for various choices of that plane. obtaining a maximum eﬀect when this velocity lies in the plane . predicts that there exists a force −(µ0 qIv/4R)e y on the charge q..) “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. 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.general case relativistic eﬀects must not be ignored even at “room velocities” of macroscopic systems in translational motion. this result applies under the proviso that the velocity v of the Earth with respect to the ether is parallel v to the plane of the loop. the 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. however. It seems that the preceding considerations are only of academic interest. and to other sources of systematic errors. 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. as Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a) pointed out. However. as presumably it is.

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

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

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

since in the so-called Galilean limit of RED the electric ﬁeld in the Srf frame E = E + v × B and equals zero. η . but lead to the correct result. e j 0 = Iδ(ρ − R)δ(z)e θ η = ρ sin θ. ζ = z. Introducing new variables x1 /γ = ξ . tret ) 3 dr1 | r − r 1 | and our ﬁnal goal is to ﬁnd the vector potential A . using (17) and (18). y1 . z1 )dx1 dy1 dz1 [(x − x1 )2 + (y − y1 )2 + (z − z1 )2 ]1/2 The last two equations contain deliberate errors (the factor of γ!). We point out that it is not very frame in the framework of MT. and (19) is reached by an elementary calculation. t ) = 4π j 0 (x1 /γ. QED [8] One would expect that E + v × B = 0 at the considered point. z1 = ζ we have µ0 +∞ j 0 (ξ . A possible prescription is due to Maxwell: 59 . y1 = η . ζ )dξ dη dζ r A (r . at the instant t = 0. j z = jz . Since µ0 r A (r . y . 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. z ). j y = jy . the errors are motivated only by the economy of writing. t ) = 4π −∞ {(x /γ − ξ )2 + (1/γ 2 ) [(y − η )2 + (z − ζ )2 ]}1/2 It is now natural to introduce the corresponding polar cylindrical coordinates by the relations ξ = ρ cos θ. z) = γjx0 (x /γ.Also jx = γjx0 (x − vt. However. y. In these coordinates dξ dη dζ = ρdρdθdz. and also µ0 r A (r . t ) = 4π r j (r 1 . we can put A = A .

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

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

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

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

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

the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). pp 176-7) postulated that charges are induced on the current loop in exactly that amount which is needed to cancel the electrodynamic force due to the absolute motion of 65 . the principle of slow relative motion. transl. with what we think today to be the correct solution. 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”). Somewhat unexpectedly. their solution to the problem coincides. Arnold. Vogtmann and A. I. Lorentz. however. Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. K. MT and RED were analyzed in detail by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. Relationships among the principle of relative motion. FitzGerald. One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which. together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. Weinstein (Springer. see Miller (1981)). The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). physical eﬀects depend only on the relative motion between ponderable bodies and on their mutual relative positions. applies in RED but not in MT. 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. 1904. New York. in a certain sense. 1978) p 10. that is on the motion with respect to the ether. an exception is V. and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge.the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde. They have shown that the principle of relative motion does not apply in MT nor in RED.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT.

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

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

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