# SOME METHODOLOGICAL PROBLEMS OF THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES

Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

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

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1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
**

Temptations

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

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

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

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

(The quest for the image of a moving sphere. the ratio of the length of the line and the diameter of the sphere is v/c. However. J. Following Maxwell (1891). Searle’s cumbersome and complicated solution to the problem arouses admiration. It is well known that an isolated charged conducting sphere of radius R at rest in laboratory (an inertial frame of reference). (The present author admits that he has not read the Abraham’s article. Cambridge and Dublin in late 19th century. Thomson and Oliver Heaviside. produces in space outside the sphere the same electrostatic ﬁeld as the corresponding point charge at rest at the centre of the sphere. Searle (1897) was the ﬁrst to ﬁnd the correct solution: the image of a charged conducting sphere in motion is a uniformly charged line. a small group of eccentrics that will give much pain to historians of science (cf Brown 2001. undoubted authorities in the ﬁeld of Maxwell’s electrodynamics. very meticulously. The main characters are Maxwellians. Heavy reading. 2003.) Another case of “methodological wonders” appears in electrodynamics of moving bodies.8 In the historical perspective. and men able to recognize the essence. Lorrain et al 2000).detailed monograph wherein Einstein’s Relativity Paper was analyzed sentence by sentence). as measured in laboratory?7 Famous J. b). has been sketched in an excellent monograph by Max Jammer (1961). A simple and elegant solution based on the recipe of special relativity has been recently published (Redˇi´ 1992a. 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. a little cliﬀ-hanger that takes place in London. zc 7
. but has read the Einstein’s.) In his article Searle uses the contemporary scientiﬁc language (the sphere moves with respect to the ether). dealt with this problem as well. this point charge may be called the image of the conducting sphere. 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 combination with the principle of relativity always give rise to the same dramatic eﬀect: the feeling of losing ground under one’s feet. but rarely. on such a heroic scale as in the case of special relativity. 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. and a perennial question if it is possible that everything could be really so. b) the distance between the ends of a rigid (in a relativistic sense!) stick moving along its own direction.10 And the miracles are numerous. and sometimes rather inconspicuous. Also. Time as a measurable physical quantity in inertial frames of reference has exactly those peculiar traits as predicted by the Einstein’s theory. a certain quality which is in an IFR purely spatial and timeindependent.9 on its own completely benign.According to a nice metaphor by W. a pure thought has the power to leap ahead of the empirical frontier . Rindler. For example. Einstein’s (1905a) deﬁnition of time and the principle of constancy of the velocity of light. the fundamental prediction of special relativity. can include dependence on time in another IFR. These new. the disbelief and insecurity stay.12 Also. unexpected and amazing physical conclusions (“leaps ahead of the empirical frontier”) . Rindler emphasizes. disbelief and insecurity. if the clocks 8
.these true and great wonders of special relativity . the following distances are not of the same kind: a) the distance between two unconnected material points that are moving at the same time with the same velocity (which can be time-dependent) along the same line with respect to some IFR.a feature of all good physical theories. Even when this new concept of time is somehow ”swallowed” and the student of relativity yielded to his destiny expects new relativistic wonders.all have the same powerful source: the concept of time. Such is the case with the distance between the spaceships B and C in the problem discussed above (Dewan 1963).11 On the other hand.

when measured by the clocks at rest. 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”). Cornille 1988). Is one reference frame (the laboratory) not quite suﬃcient? The Lorentz transformations appear as “the Fates” whose power over destiny of all physical systems (our moving clock included) is indubitable (as proven by experiments).
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. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs. 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. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame.g. their purely instrumental character. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. features of a certain physical system (e.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972.
1. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”).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. that is. A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. but quite puzzling.13 Finally. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). while mutually identical. Namely. 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. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it is postulated that Einstein synchronization is a realizable procedure. but nothing else. a universal constant. the physical laws apply 22
. [15] Einstein’s second postulate (1905a). The fact that Maxwell’s equations are consistent with both principles is an excellent recommendation for the equations. In this way. e. Therefore any deﬁnition of the time coordinate based on a previously discovered law of nature is nothing but a circulus vitiosus. the meaning of time as a measurable physical quantity is postulated. an immeasurable quantity. fundamental. In this sense the principle of constancy of the velocity of light (also known as Einstein’s second postulate) is essentially the ﬁrst. primordial principle that conceptually precedes the principle of relativity. which were discovered before physicists began to deal with the problem of clock synchronization. Fortunately.reached. states that in an IFR one way-two clock velocity of light. always equals one clock-two way velocity of light which is a measurable quantity and. The present author pointed out the episode in the life of special relativity just for illustrating the thesis that time dilatation also belongs to relativistic miracles. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a). 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 there exist physical laws (Maxwell’s equations) consistent with the second postulate. is of course a good recommendation for that postulate. [14] The statement that the principle of constancy of the velocity of light is already contained in Maxwell’s equations appears occasionally in the literature (Einstein 1905b. A deﬁnition of the space and time coordinates must precede the quest for the laws of nature. as measurements reveal. 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. i. cleaned up from the circular argument.

were presented by Jeﬁmenko (1996b).in the pseudo-inertial reference frame tied for the Earth regardless of the season. The thesis is 23
. Of course. e [16] If v = vex . for the same “events”. (In the same way as the question whether the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction is real has no physical sense. 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. and different physical realities of diﬀerent “observers” are a necessary consequence of diﬀerent initial conditions. The inference would be false. This is clearly seen by passing from a passive to an active interpretation of the Lorentz transformations (Bohm and Hiley 1985). [18] This implies that physical reality independent of the frame of reference (“observer”) has no physical sense. one could infer that. Einstein would begin his answer to the last question by the query: real with respect to what?) Physical realities of various inertial “observers” may be almost comically diﬀerent. the ﬁnal outcomes must be one and the same for all the “observers”. cf also Dewan 1963). On the basis of the preceding considerations. A vivid illustration of the various physical realities provides Rindler’s length contraction paradox (Rindler 1991. By the way. on the basis of classical electrodynamics. by a suitable choice of the initial moment t = 0 the equation 2 of the ellipse reads (xe − vt)2 /(a 1 − v 2 /c2 )2 + ye /a2 = 1. The laws according to which the states of physical systems undergo changes do really have the same form in all inertial frames of reference (the principle of relativity does apply!). [17] A few examples for time dilatation of a moving clock in the same spirit. this then means that the principle of relativity does not apply. since “physical realities” of the same events corresponding to diﬀerent “observers” are not identical. where xe and ye denote the electron’s coordinates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

within an error of about 2%.” Very soon. P. 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. this prediction of special relativity was experimentally validated (Sangster et al 1995). Namely if the motion of the sphere is uniform translation. French (1968). If. 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 . which is
. 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 . [14] One of rare exceptions is an excellent textbook by A. 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. the constitutive equations 45
v m E point a to point b. a proof has arisen that Rosser was right. The integrand may be written as ((v /c2 )×m )·E . the central conclusion reached by Krotkov et al (1999) can by no means be considered conclusive.to special relativity. however. the motion of the sphere is uniform rotation. 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.” [13] In the view of the present author. 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 implies that a true expression for the electric dipole moment of the rotating sphere contains some additional terms.

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

[In this interpretation. Consider a ﬁlamentary circular current loop C with stationary current I which moves with respect to the IFR S with constant velocity v = (v. 0). This problem. and in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics. 0. respectively. contrary to that of the present problem. is very tricky (cf Teukolsky 1996).b). a variant of the problem will be analyzed under the assumption that Maxwell’s theory applies in the reference frame of the ether. which seems to be one zc of the simplest in electrodynamics of moving bodies. Maxwell’s theory).) In addition. y = R sin θ. the theory of which.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. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. The loop C at the moment of time t = 0 is given by parametric equations x = R cos θ. the considered problem is a simple analogue of the famous Trouton-Noble experiment.] Our presentation closely follows that of Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. its natural habitat. Setup of the problem in the framework of Maxwell’s theory. Redˇi´ 1993). b. 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. (The two methods of solving this and similar problems represent electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies without and with special relativity. 47 z=0 (1)
.3
A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory versus relativistic electrodynamics
Setup of the problem
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. in the standard notation. 0. A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7)
. as is shown in Figure 7?
Figure 7
3. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ.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.

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

Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. (14) As is well known. 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. it should be speciﬁed that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop. Now we have almost all requisites necessary for solving our problem. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out. 0 and j 0 . one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion. we add a new hypothesis which we shall call the Clausius postulate (CP)5 : Any segment of a conductor at rest with a stationary current is electrically neutral. For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric ﬁeld produced by a current.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. Namely. 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. 50
. Then. In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations. a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly deﬁned system. is missing. devoid of any physical content. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). j ) and (Φ/c. 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. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained. this assumption enables us to write Maxwell’s equations in a Lorentz-covariant form. The additional hypothesis reads (c. An essential detail. First.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

that are moving with respect to the ether. By the way. up to second order terms in βu (the last equation is exact for u = 0).) By using the identity e d du deu 3 (m0u γu ) = γu m0 eu + γu m0 u . of the corresponding quadri-vectorial equation of motion. The present author feels that it is indispensable to point out the fact neglected by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. for the problem discussed here it is irrelevant which one of the two equations of motion we use. in RED equation (A)is Lorentz-covariant if and only if the fundamental assumption is valid (starting from Einstein (1905a) and Planck (1906) always tacit) that the mass of the particle.the mass of the particle m0 is time-independent. (This postulate might. [12] It happens sometimes that ideas and discoveries of “old” physicists sink into oblivion.b): the here discussed problem of the electrodynamical interaction of the charge and the current loop at relative rest. appealing to Kaufmann’s experiments (cf Miller 1981). one obviously has d(m0u γu )/dt = d(m0u )/dt. (A)
by making the same assumption on the mass. in the long run. However. lead to discovery of special relativity. m0 . Thus. one could postulate that in the ether frame the equation of motion has the form E u d(m0u γu )/dt = qE + qu × B . as Bell (1987) pointed out. the quadrivectorial “Lorentz force equation” is tantamount to equation (A) complemented by the assumption that m0 is a time-independent Lorentz-scalar. In this way. (This neglected fact was recently pointed out by the present author (Redˇi´ 2002).) As can be seen. together with the “spatial” equation of motion (A) imply the “zeroth” component E d(m0 c2 γu )/dt = qE · u . dt dt dt where eu = u /u. was also 64
. the fundamental zc assumption on the time-independence of the Lorentz-scalar m0 . is a timeindependent Lorentz-scalar.

an exception is V.the topic of discussions among the physicists in late 19th century (Budde.] The “old” physicists instinctively applied the powerful principle of relativity to MT. the corresponding principle of slow relative motion. FitzGerald. pp 176-7) postulated that charges are induced on the current loop in exactly that amount which is needed to cancel the electrodynamic force due to the absolute motion of 65
. and represents another illustration of Wigner’s statement that sometimes intuition is more important than knowledge. They have shown that the principle of relative motion does not apply in MT nor in RED. Somewhat unexpectedly. their solution to the problem coincides. physical eﬀects depend only on the relative motion between ponderable bodies and on their mutual relative positions. 1978) p 10. in a certain sense. Lorentz. 1912) (these references are given in Miller (1981). One recognizes here the principle of relative motion which. applies in RED but not in MT. with what we think today to be the correct solution. see Miller (1981)). Arnold. Vogtmann and A. that is on the motion with respect to the ether. 1904. Since in the considered problem MT predicts a nonzero force (our equation (26)) depending on unobservable speed v (the speed of the system with respect to the ether) Budde (1880) and Lorentz (1895. [The equivalence of the two principles is presumably the reason for ignoring the principle of relative motion in textbooks devoted to classical mechanics. Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics. Weinstein (Springer. K. 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”). however. together with the assumption of the validity of Galilei transformation. MT and RED were analyzed in detail by Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a). Relationships among the principle of relative motion. I. the principle of slow relative motion. transl. The basic idea of the “old” physicists was simple: “it is highly improbable that anything depends on the absolute motion” (FitzGerald 1882). New York.

[15] Numerous references are given in a paper by Shishkin et al (2002). Ugarov 1979. Having in mind the preceding note. up to second order terms in β. and also Stefan Marinov. by c analyzing the classical illustration of the relationship between electromagnetism and special relativity. Kennard. after the publication of his speculation that Maxwellians were on the threshold of a discovery of special relativity (Redˇi´ zc 2004a). Lorentz. 1982-1991.another experiment and its signiﬁcance as evidence for the existence of the aether. Mag. Purcell 1985. 179-190 (1917). International Publishers “East-West”. and perhaps most completely French 1968).potential. where J r the charges! The present author has become aware of this adherence of the “old” physicists to the principle of relativity also in the domain of electromagnetic phenomena only very recently. IIX. Their result for density of charges induced on the loop. It is diﬃcult to discuss the validity of Ivezi´’s c attempt because of the obviously didactical nature of the considered model 66 denotes the conduction current density in the proper frame of the loop and
. E. Graz. now in the context of a diﬀerent “philosophy” (Bartocci et al 2001). Ivezi´ (1990) attempted to explain the Edwards I 2 . reads i = v · J r /c2 . the true authors of the proposed experimentum crucis. “On unipolar induction . The Thorny Way of Truth. introducing an ad hoc assumption on the Lorentz-contraction of the distance between electrons-current carriers in the laboratory reference frame. [13] Cf. an inﬁnite straight cylindrical conductor with a stationary current (Feynman et al 1964. H. [14] A variant of that experiment has been realized. preliminary experimental results indicate a violation of the local Lorentz-invariance. FitzGerald. 33. “Philos. it seems that Bartocci and Mamone Capria should not have ignored Budde. as the authors cautiously mention. For example.the loop and the point charge.

in which also some other authors took part.) On the one hand. Redˇi´ zc 1998). Gabuzda 1993. 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. lasted some time in the same journal. On the other c hand.
67
. (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. 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 .(an inﬁnite one-dimensional system). and thus annuls indirectly Ivezi´’s assumption.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 discussion on this topic.

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