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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

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

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

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

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

Also. a pure thought has the power to leap ahead of the empirical frontier .12 Also.a feature of all good physical theories.all have the same powerful source: the concept of time. can include dependence on time in another IFR. unexpected and amazing physical conclusions (“leaps ahead of the empirical frontier”) . the disbelief and insecurity stay.10 And the miracles are numerous. and a perennial question if it is possible that everything could be really so. and sometimes rather inconspicuous. b) the distance between the ends of a rigid (in a relativistic sense!) stick moving along its own direction.these true and great wonders of special relativity .9 on its own completely benign. the fundamental prediction of special relativity. disbelief and insecurity. Einstein’s (1905a) deﬁnition of time and the principle of constancy of the velocity of light. 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. a certain quality which is in an IFR purely spatial and timeindependent.According to a nice metaphor by W. if the clocks 8 . 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. For example. Rindler. These new. Even when this new concept of time is somehow ”swallowed” and the student of relativity yielded to his destiny expects new relativistic wonders.11 On the other hand. but rarely. Such is the case with the distance between the spaceships B and C in the problem discussed above (Dewan 1963). Rindler emphasizes. on such a heroic scale as in the case of special relativity. Time as a measurable physical quantity in inertial frames of reference has exactly those peculiar traits as predicted by the Einstein’s theory. in combination with the principle of relativity always give rise to the same dramatic eﬀect: the feeling of losing ground under one’s feet.

g. a clock that travels around the globe in a commercial airplane and comes back to the initial point is “younger” than an identical clock that has not moved from that same point. 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. 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). may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. Namely.3 Path toward understanding? It seems that the feeling of discomfort that accompanies physicists (and laymen) about the slowing down of the clock in motion is a consequence of the opacity of the usual relativistic method of inferring. a speciﬁc moving clock) are derived not from the structure of that system described in the inertial frame with respect to which the clock is in motion (“the laboratory”). 1. but quite puzzling. when measured by the clocks at rest.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. Cornille 1988). features of a certain physical system (e. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). 9 . that is. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. their purely instrumental character.13 Finally. while mutually identical.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

e. t− | r − r | /c) r Φ(r . t) = r dx dy dz 4π | r − r | (12) (13) [“Remark: In equation (3) it would be natural to add a term σ0E . it can be argued that the conventional presentday choice of putting σ0 = 0 is not experimentally so well established as it could be. we could add another hypothesis 49 . y . c2 ∂t (c2 = 1/ε0 µ0 ) (9) (The electric and magnetic ﬁelds are expressed through the potentials by A ∂A . since in a noncosmological context (such as the one we shall be dealing with) σ0 seems to be really negligible. Although this does not aﬀect directly our argument. Maxwell’s theory presented above applies. ∂t A B = curlA ) (10) c) An additional assumption that can be viewed as a restriction on the way ﬁelds “originate” from sources: we assume that for given and j .and the potentials A and Φ must satisfy the Lorenz1 gauge condition2 A divA = − the relations E = −gradΦ − b) The Lorentz force law A ∂A F = q −gradΦ − A + v × curlA ∂t (11) 1 ∂Φ . However. y . z .”4 ] It is not diﬃcult to verify that charge conservation (8) is a suﬃcient condition for the retarded potentials Φ and A to satisfy the Lorenz gauge condition (9).. z . in a given inertial frame of reference S. we wish to point out that the opposite view (i. by assumption. σ0 > 0) has been recently gaining adherents. t− | r − r | /c) A(r . where σ0 is the vacuum conductivity. (6) and (7) have a unique solution which is physically relevant. namely the one given by the so-called retarded potentials3 1 (x . t) = dx dy dz 4πε0 | r − r | µ0 j (x .

For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric ﬁeld produced by a current. (14) As is well known. 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. it is clear that without more speciﬁc assumptions on the way simple physical systems have to be modeled the theory so far described cannot get very far as a physical theory. A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). 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. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. Namely. j ) and (Φ/c. is missing. First. 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. Then. a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly deﬁned system. An essential detail. devoid of any physical content. 0 and j 0 . In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations. however. Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. 50 . The additional hypothesis reads (c. 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. it should be speciﬁed that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop.

y. 0) E =− =− dθ. t) = 0 (x − vt. t)v . z). t) + 0 (x − vt.according to the Galilean law of composition of velocities (Redˇi´ 1993) zc (x. cos θ. (20) ﬁeld B of our current loop C in motion 2π 2π µ0 IR cos θ sin θ 2 2 A B = curlA = 1−β z dθ. cos θ. t) v j (x. t) = 0 (x − vt. y. y. y. z. y. z. using the continuity equation and the CP we have (x. The electric potential Φ obviously vanishes.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 . that j 0 = j 0 (x. z. D3 0 and for its electric ﬁeld E the expression A ∂A µ0 IvR 2π (x − vt − R cos θ)(− sin θ. whereas for the vector potential A we have µ0 IR A= 4π where 2π 0 (− sin θ. (15) (16) where the notation is adapted to the present problem (the loop is moving along the positive x-axis). (17) (18) One can easily verify that and j satisfy the continuity equation if the same applies to the corresponding rest densities 0 and j 0 . z. 0) dθ D (19) and β ≡ v/c. z). y. we now only have to evaluate the retarded potentials (12) and (13). (1 − β )z dθ. t) = j 0 (x − vt. i. y. 3 4π D D3 0 0 (21) 2π (x − vt − R cos θ) cos θ + (1 − β 2 )(y − R sin θ) sin θ − dθ . y. z) = 0 j (x. z. in accord with our deﬁnition of MT. t) = j 0 (x − vt. ∂t 4π D3 0 51 (22) . z. z. y. e. Taking into account that a stationary current is considered. y.

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

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

then the relation = would also apply in RED up to the second order terms in β. i. if it were = 0 in the Srf frame. which is used in both theories. Namely. not less important reason is the Clausius postulate.y=0. in the long run. 0. e. in RED. of the relativity of simultaneity (Rosser 1964). unknown in MT. equations (31) and (26). Comparing the corresponding equations (30) and (24). As can be seen.t=0 ≈ ∂t 3/2 e ≈ (µ0 qIvR2 /2 R2 + L2 )e y .z=L. The ﬁrst. the ap- pearance of that term is a consequence. (31) which immediately follows from the fact that in the Srf frame the corre- sponding force vanishes. this divergence in predictions arises from the following two reasons. (As is pointed out above. given by the expression F R = −q( A ∂A R + grad ΦR )x=0.10 In case q moves with the same velocity as the loop.) The second.9. (26) and (30) are correct up to the second order quantities in β. the force on q exactly vanishes. Assuming the validity of the CP. our example reveals that in the 54 . (32) there is a term vjx /c2 . F ∗ R = 0. and the predictions of the two theories would coincide at low speeds. L) is.the force acting by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the moving loop on the charge q which is at rest at (0. according to RED. (30) up to the second order terms in β. so that its trajectory is given by equation (25). for all reasonable values of drift velocity of current carriers in Srf . note that equations (24). we come to a conclusion that even at extremely low speeds the predictions of RED and MT are essentially diﬀerent. whereas equation (30) is exact. and from the relativistic transformation law of the Lorentz force. in the transformation law of the charge density = γ + vjx /c2 ≈ + vjx /c2 .

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

In addition. 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.12. intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3.14 Some experimental results. 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). led by a “non-obvious suggestion” that magnitude of charge of current carriers is proportional to v 2 /c2 . passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory.13 experiment. the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. Taking into account delicacy of the interplay between theory and experiment (“experiment is theory of theory” (Popper 1982)).B is the unit vector of v ×B . as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it. The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting. however. depending on the square of the current intensity.15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential. has never been performed. as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question.) 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. where v is the carriers’ speed. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment. have been published (Edwards et al (1976). Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. 56 . the Clausius postulate. any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and thus annuls indirectly Ivezi´’s assumption. in which also some other authors took part. the present author agrees with Bartlett and Edwards (1990) that what Ivezi´ considers a fatal defect of the standard relativistic electrodynamics c (Lorentz . On the other c hand. 67 . A discussion on this topic.) 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. the analysis presented by Zapolsky (1988) gives a theoretical justiﬁcation of the Clausius postulate in the framework of an elementary (but nontrivial) model of a circular current loop with a stationary current. (A somewhat more realistic model of an inﬁnite current-carrying wire implies a self-induced pinch-eﬀect and leads to new dilemmas (Matzek and Russell 1968. Gabuzda 1993.(an inﬁnite one-dimensional system). without reaching some new essential conclusion. lasted some time in the same journal. Redˇi´ zc 1998).

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