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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

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

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

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

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

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

may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). but quite puzzling. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). 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.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. 1. 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. when measured by the clocks at rest.13 Finally. their purely instrumental character. a speciﬁc moving clock) are derived not from the structure of that system described in the inertial frame with respect to which the clock is in motion (“the laboratory”). but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. Cornille 1988). while mutually identical. features of a certain physical system (e. Namely.g. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. 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). A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. that is.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. 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. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame. 9 .

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

now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. it seems.18 1. 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). circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. carried out completely in the laboratory frame. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. 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. both “observers” are perfectly right.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. y. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. reveals. Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. through the laboratory coordinates x. with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. thus.17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. Although both light and 11 . 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). Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments.moves with constant velocity v . of course. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. Also.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is. 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. when γ = (1 − v 2 /c2 )−1/2 = 2. however.y R E E* n E v´B O R/2 Q z Q x Figure 4 A conducting sphere of radius R and with total charge Q at rest in the laboratory frame creates the same ﬁeld as a point charge Q at rest. The ﬁeld E ∗ = E + v × B is perpendicular to the surface of the Heaviside ellipsoid at a point arbitrarily close to the surface (Redˇi´ 1992a). due to our pre-relativistic instincts. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. [11] It is not diﬃcult to verify immediately that the statement is true by using the corresponding Minkowski diagram. located at the centre of the sphere. Applying the principle of relativity to Maxwell’s electrodynamics we infer (Redˇi´ 2004a): a charged zc conducting body in motion having the shape of a Heaviside ellipsoid is obtained by the motion of the same conducting body which is a sphere when at rest. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 .

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

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

SH. cτ ). conjugate diameters = axes in K. by convention. space calibration hyperbola. the axes of the “middle frame” for K and k are not represented. The issue provoked a prolonged polemic in the Nature that lasted several years. OA. (ξ. x. 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). time calibration hyperbola. for obvious reason. represents the same time interval in K as OB in k: OA ∼ ct Oa > OB The clock at rest in K Oa ∼ cτ τ OB ∼ cτ Ob > OA The clock at rest ink Ob ∼ ct t OA ∼ OB ∼ OA > t ∼ OB > τ On this Born’s ﬁgure. conjugate diameters = axis in k. straight lines in Minkowski space (Figure 5). A consensus was never 21 . Numerous participants “accused” each other for elementary misunderstanding of basic concepts of special relativity. those axes are mutually orthogonal. ct. 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. section of light cone. C. T H.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When magnetic dielectrics are discussed. Minkowski’s recipe. it seems that in case of bodies in slow rotational motion.relativity. On the basis of the experiment by Hertzberg et al (2001) one could infer that the question is settled and this in favour of special relativity i. the query is “shifted” in the sense of necessity of either special or general relativity. the answer to the query depends on the nature of bodies. however. One should. In the view of the present author. Taking into account the relatively complicated theory of the experiment by Hertzberg et al. In case of microscopically homogeneous (or inhomogeneous) bodies. According to Krotkov et al (1999). as far as the present author is aware. because macroscopic behaviour of a large number of micro-systems is deduced from the classical (macroscopic) ideas about the micro-systems. e. Howevere. however. the consensus. the conclusions reached by Krotkov et al (1999) are problematic. one could infer that there is no unambiguous answer to the above query. On the basis of the considerations given in the preceding Section. contrary to the generally accepted opinion). 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. Non-magnetic insulators in slow motion can be successfully described by using Lorentz’s non-relativistic theory (Pauli 1958). electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion does not necessitate special relativity. 36 . remember the fact (already pointed out by Rosser (1964)) that there are conceptual diﬃculties also in case of the electrodynamics of bodies at rest. more precisely. 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. has no sound experimental basis. in the view of the present author (or. Although there seems to be a consensus that Minkowski’s recipe is valid in case of a uniform translational motion of a body. their analysis deals with macroscopically inhomogeneous bodies.

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

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

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

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

of course. (2) and (3) we get v D = ε0 εrE + ε0 (εr µr − 1)v × B0 41 (4) .z x H _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ v v + + + + + + + + + + + v Figure 6 The slab made of magnetic dielectric and the condenser’s plates all move with e constant velocity v = vex in a constant externally applied magnetic ﬁeld whose magnetic ﬂux density is B0 = µ0 Hyey . Eq. the result applies. and taking into account that all relevant quantities are of the type v × B . (3) is obtained by using the continuity of H and the relativistic transformation laws for the E . (By the way. (3) µ0 µr where B0 = µ0 Hyey is the magnetic ﬂux density of the externally applied M = magnetic ﬁeld in the lab frame.) From equations (1).and B . one has B (µr − 1)B 0 µr . in both reference frames. The magnetic dielectric in motion is also electrically polarized. a charge appears on the plates. If the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead.ﬁelds. in the ﬁrst order theory. it is not diﬃcult to verify that the magnetic ﬂux density inside the magnetic dielectric equals B = B = µr B0 . The electric ﬁeld in the dielectric vanishes when the dielectric completely ﬁlls the space between the plates.

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

and consequently there is no contribution to the vector H due to the convection current of free surface charges. The present author. p 589. 96. however. 944 and 0. vol.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. 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.Laub’s theory is proportional to the factor (1 − 1/εr µr ) and according to Lorentz’s theory to the factor (1 − 1/εr ). This assumption is found in many textbooks and therefore necessitates a comment. e. 2. Einstein-Laub’s result (5) can be reached in another (the third one) way.Einstein and Laub the condenser’s plates does not move. to their concentrating towards the conductor axis (the “self-induced pinch-eﬀect”). The average value of experimental results for that proportionality factor was 0. [11] The proper frame of a conducting loop is the reference frame in which crystal lattice of the loop is at rest. Cullwick points out that there is no consensus in the literature about what is the solution of the problem according to Lorentz’s theory. among rare authors which warned to caution in relation with the generally accepted interpretation of the Wilson-Wilson experiment was ever sceptical O’Rahilly (1965). has not succeeded in reaching the result (6) of Lorentz’s theory by that alternative method. respectively. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. by using Cullwick’s (1959) “component ﬁeld” method. 43 . In the analysis of the theory of the experiment (Cullwick pp 168-9) the central part is played by equation (4) from the preceding note. [9] [9] The measured potential diﬀerence according to Einstein . [10] As far as the present author is aware. which for the Wilson-Wilson magnetic dielectric with εr = 6 and µr = 3 amounted to 0. pp 606-613. 83. as “observed” in the proper frame of the lattice.

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

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

in that theory. Lorentz’s theory understood in this way represents “electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion without special relativity. the constitutive equations for bodies in v M slow motion diﬀer from these given above by a relativistic term (1/c2 )v ×M in equation (∗∗) for the polarization. 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. In relation with the preceding considerations. can be obtained. Chapter 9). researchers from the beginning of 20th century had mainly “cavalierly” assumed that Lorentz’s theory applies in the reference frame tied with the Earth. p 170). µ0 µr E P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). as is well known. Such an electrodynamics does exist. through a non-relativistic reasoning from the corresponding equations that apply to media at rest (Panofsky and Phillips 1955. True. Lorentz’s original theory was formulated with respect to the ether frame.” and can be obtained from the formulae of relativistic electrodynamics in the limit c −→ ∞ (of course. In relativistic electrodynamics. (∗) (∗∗) (∗ ∗ ∗) The constitutive equations. There is no light. E J = σ(E + v × B ). Condensers don’t work. that is in the lab. However. pp 166-171). This assumption was also introduced in analysis of the Wilson-Wilson experiment (cf Cullwick 1959. as Miller (1981) pointed out. Une fortunately. as Le Bellac and L´vy-Leblond (1973) pointed out. there is no reference frame in which complete Maxwell’s equations apply. in case of the last limit only the constitutive equations are in question). the idea is tempting of an electrodynamics that would be Galilei-covariant. as well as Maxwell’s equations for material media in slow translational motion. isotropic medium in motion at low speeds read µr − 1 M = B + P × v. etc.for a linear. 46 .

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

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

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

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

(1 − β )z dθ. 0) dθ D (19) and β ≡ v/c. whereas for the vector potential A we have µ0 IR A= 4π where 2π 0 (− sin θ. 0) E =− =− dθ. The electric potential Φ obviously vanishes. Taking into account that a stationary current is considered. y. e. y. y. y. we now only have to evaluate the retarded potentials (12) and (13). y. z). z. t)v . z. z. cos θ.according to the Galilean law of composition of velocities (Redˇi´ 1993) zc (x. D3 0 and for its electric ﬁeld E the expression A ∂A µ0 IvR 2π (x − vt − R cos θ)(− sin θ. i. t) = 0 (x − vt. ∂t 4π D3 0 51 (22) . z) = 0 j (x. t) = j 0 (x − vt. y. y. t) = 0 (x − vt. using the continuity equation and the CP we have (x. 3 4π D D3 0 0 (21) 2π (x − vt − R cos θ) cos θ + (1 − β 2 )(y − R sin θ) sin θ − dθ . y. y. (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. that j 0 = j 0 (x. (15) (16) where the notation is adapted to the present problem (the loop is moving along the positive x-axis). z. z. (17) (18) One can easily verify that and j satisfy the continuity equation if the same applies to the corresponding rest densities 0 and j 0 . t) v j (x. z. in accord with our deﬁnition of MT. t) + 0 (x − vt. z). cos θ. y. z. t) = j 0 (x − vt.7 From (19) we get the following expression for the magnetic D2 = (x − vt − R cos θ)2 + 1 − β 2 (y − R sin θ)2 + z 2 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

since in the so-called Galilean limit of RED the electric ﬁeld in the Srf frame E = E + v × B and equals zero. it is obvious from obvious how to ﬁnd the electric and magnetic ﬁelds E and B in the Srf equation (26) that E + v × B = 0 in MT. z ). we can put A = A . t ) = 4π −∞ {(x /γ − ξ )2 + (1/γ 2 ) [(y − η )2 + (z − ζ )2 ]}1/2 It is now natural to introduce the corresponding polar cylindrical coordinates by the relations ξ = ρ cos θ. using (17) and (18). e j 0 = Iδ(ρ − R)δ(z)e θ η = ρ sin θ. j y = jy . but lead to the correct result. QED [8] One would expect that E + v × B = 0 at the considered point. Since µ0 r A (r . t ) = 4π j 0 (x1 /γ. ζ )dξ dη dζ r A (r . However. Introducing new variables x1 /γ = ξ . η . 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!). tret ) 3 dr1 | r − r 1 | and our ﬁnal goal is to ﬁnd the vector potential A . y1 . and also µ0 r A (r . A possible prescription is due to Maxwell: 59 . and (19) is reached by an elementary calculation. j z = jz . In these coordinates dξ dη dζ = ρdρdθdz. z1 = ζ we have µ0 +∞ j 0 (ξ .Also jx = γjx0 (x − vt. We point out that it is not very frame in the framework of MT. y . t ) = 4π r j (r 1 . y1 = η . ζ = z. y. at the instant t = 0. z) = γjx0 (x /γ. the errors are motivated only by the economy of writing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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