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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

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

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1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
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Temptations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cornille 1988).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. 9 . with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. while mutually identical. the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame. features of a certain physical system (e. Namely. when measured by the clocks at rest. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). 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.13 Finally. Even the creator himself of the theory of relativity that will soon become the special one pointed out this fundamental limitation of “the principle of relativity. The 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. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs.g. their purely instrumental character. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). a speciﬁc moving clock) are derived not from the structure of that system described in the inertial frame with respect to which the clock is in motion (“the laboratory”).at rest are Einstein-synchronized. 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). with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. but quite puzzling. 1.

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

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). z and t ) on an elliptical trajectory that is oblate in the direction of motion of the system. it is easier to accept that these are universal phenomena. light and Maxwell’s electrodynamics. now it is more acceptable that for the “observer” moving with same velocity v as the proton. y. thus.moves with constant velocity v . through the laboratory coordinates x. reveals.18 1.4 Relativity without Maxwell’s electrodynamics? At this place. Elliptical trajectory and a longer period are real for the “observer in laboratory”. Although both light and 11 . circular trajectory and a normal period are real for the “observer in motion”. before entering electrodynamics of moving bodies. both “observers” are perfectly right. carried out completely in the laboratory frame.17 The preceding analysis of the “hydrogen atom” in motion. and the period of the electron’s rotation is the same as in the case when the proton was at rest in the laboratory (because the seconds of the clock belonging to the “observer in motion” are 1/ 1 − v 2 /c2 times larger than the laboratory seconds). with semi-axes a 1 − v 2 /c2 and a. Also. it is perhaps worthwhile to make a small digression about the relationship between special relativity. which will take place in every “stick” and “clock” in uniform motion with respect to the laboratory. of course. the electron moves with respect to the proton (expressed. it seems.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. that length contraction in the direction of motion and time dilatation occur in this simple physical model due to acceleration! Now. Since in physics real is what is reached by measuring instruments.

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

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

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

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

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

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

due to our pre-relativistic instincts. however. [12] Diﬀerentiating of these distances is essential in the explanation of dis18 . located at the centre of the sphere. 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. It is. 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 ﬁeld E ∗ = E + v × B is perpendicular to the surface of the Heaviside ellipsoid at a point arbitrarily close to the surface (Redˇi´ 1992a).y R E E* n E v´B O R/2 Q z Q x Figure 4 A conducting sphere of radius R and with total charge Q at rest in the laboratory frame creates the same ﬁeld as a point charge Q at rest. The √ ﬁgure corresponds to the value v = 3c/2. zc [10] Perhaps the best illustration of this psychological situation is the existence of the journal Galilean Electrodynamics. 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. somewhat more diﬃcult to imagine that there is such a feature at all.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namely. kinematic derivations of the Doppler eﬀect (French 1968. (These derivations lead to Einstein’s Doppler formula which deals with the plane wave approximation (for a diﬀerent look at that formula see Schr¨dinger 1922. 25 . 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).[20] For example. Redˇi´ 1990b). Peres 1987) are approximations.

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

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

that the work of Minkowski in the mathematical sense imposes too severe conditions before its reader. of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. 2. as is usually the case with special relativity. one of the crucial experiments of the electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion.Minkowski’s physical ideas were simple indeed. fundamental equations for the electromagnetic phenomena in moving bodies Minkowski expressed through tensors in a (pseudo-) Riemannian four-dimensional Minkowski space. essentially corresponds to Minkowski’s method. by using that theory we shall attempt in the following chapter to analyze a simple problem from a somewhat unusual perspective. Namely. Cullwick (1959). Mathematical apparatus known today to every physics student was used then for the ﬁrst time. (Taking into account. In the present chapter we shall deal with interpretations. Instead. Einstein and Laub (1908a. the Wilson-Wilson experiment Several months after the publication of the Minkowski paper. Consider an inﬁnite slab made of a linear.7 Physicists were far away from acquiring the “tensorial mentality”. where εr µr > 1. When a potential diﬀerence is applied between the 28 . homogeneous and isotropic dielectric of relative permittivity εr and relative permeability µr .) Einstein and Laub immediately applied the new tool of theoretical physics to an exotic system. some old some new. we ﬁnd it useful to derive the fundamental equations in an elementary way which. Rosser (1964).2 Einstein and Laub.b) derived the same fundamental electromagnetic equations for bodies in motion. put the authors. however. now following Einstein’s “elementary path”. their inferences. which is uniformly moving at a speed v through the plate condenser of inﬁnite extent at rest. were unusual. Møller (1972). 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.

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

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

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

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

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

regardless of the validity of their ﬁnal conclusions. Their argument is based on the fact that inside the material consisting of the host of steel balls embedded in the wax the magnetization. Their “homogeneous” cylinder was made of yttriumiron-garnet “which is a magnetic insulator even on the molecular scale”. 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.) 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. and thus also the electric dipole moment due to the motion of magnetic dipole. An experiment with such a material has been recently performed by Hertzberg et al (2001). pointed out the essential fact that in experiments of the WilsonWilson type. In this way. 34 . claim Krotkov et al. whose objective is to make a choice between several classical ﬁeld theories. were for 6% diﬀerent from the predictions of the PS theory (the relative error of their measurement was 1%).to the magnetic dielectric from the Wilson-Wilson experiment. should be) a microscopically homogeneous medium (we remind our reader that Rosser (1964) suggested this long time ago). in the case of the Wilson-Wilson experiment. The original Wilson-Wilson experiment with the inhomogeneous dielectric constructed from steel balls embedded in the wax was also repeated. Experimental results. (Needless to say. the rotating magnetic insulator must be (i. very convincingly consistent with the LI predictions of Minkowski’s theory. e. where electric conductivity is high. In this case too the results took sides of Minkowski’s theory. all models that take for granted Maxwell’s equations lead inevitably to the LI results of Minkowski’s theory. exist only in the steel balls. The analysis made by Krotkov et al.

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

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

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

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

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

A simple analysis reveals that in the magnetic’s rest frame. instead of tensors of the ﬁrst (quadri-vectors) and second rank. however. of course. For example. only the ﬁxed value of v in the space-time point P. 40 . Thus v need not be a pure translation and the body need not be rigid. And. that in the general case Sommerfeld’s remark does not apply. t enters in the following Lorentz’s transformations. 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 . (2) where M is the magnetization in the proper frame of the magnetic.[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. For example. zc [7] Minkowski’s nomenclature is diﬀerent from the present-day one. (33. up to the second order terms in v/c. in the SI system of units. respectively. he works in a complex space (ict!) whose metric is Euclidean. 2004b). 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 .11).” It should be pointed out. (1) Figure 6. For the quadri-gradient he uses a nowadays forgotten symbol lor. and that of Lorentz’s theory Dz = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . In Minkowski’s theory we start from the deﬁnition of the electric and the constitutive equation for the polarization of the “magnetic dielectric” which in the lab frame. reads (Rosser 1964) E v P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ) + (1/c2 )v × M . in the ﬁrst-order theory.

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

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

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

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

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

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

0. and in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics. Consider a ﬁlamentary circular current loop C with stationary current I which moves with respect to the IFR S with constant velocity v = (v. (The two methods of solving this and similar problems represent electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies without and with special relativity. Bartocci and Mamone Capria 1991a. 47 z=0 (1) . [In this interpretation. y = R sin θ. respectively. This problem. the theory of which. The loop C at the moment of time t = 0 is given by parametric equations x = R cos θ. its natural habitat.] Our presentation closely follows that of Bartocci and Mamone Capria (1991a. b. Redˇi´ 1993). Basic assumptions of Maxwell’s theory will be explicitly given. 0). will be solved in the laboratory reference frame in two ways: in the framework of classically interpreted Maxwell’s electrodynamics (henceforth. contrary to that of the present problem. the considered problem is a simple analogue of the famous Trouton-Noble experiment. a variant of the problem will be analyzed under the assumption that Maxwell’s theory applies in the reference frame of the ether. Setup of the problem in the framework of Maxwell’s theory. which seems to be one zc of the simplest in electrodynamics of moving bodies. Maxwell’s theory).3 A problem in electrodynamics of slowly moving bodies: Maxwell’s theory versus relativistic electrodynamics Setup of the problem 3.1 In this Chapter we shall deal with the electromagnetic interaction between a circular ﬁlamentary conducting loop with a stationary current in a uniform slow translational motion and a point charge which is at rest or is uniformly moving at the same velocity as the loop (Rindler 1989. is very tricky (cf Teukolsky 1996).b).) In addition.

L). 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.What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0.

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

50 . it should be speciﬁed that “a stationary current I” refers to the proper frame of the loop. An essential detail. As Bartocci and Mamone Capria pointed out. is missing. Now we have almost all requisites necessary for solving our problem. First. this is the way relativistic electrodynamics (RED) is obtained. (14) As is well known. however. we add a new hypothesis which we shall call the Clausius postulate (CP)5 : Any segment of a conductor at rest with a stationary current is electrically neutral. In this sense MT is formally covariant with respect to the Lorentz transformations. A ) are contra-variant components of quadri-vectors of Minkowski’s space-time. 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. 0 and j 0 . j ) and (Φ/c. It is perfectly legitimate to consider the possibility of translating Maxwell’s equations into space-time geometric terms as nothing more than an interesting mathematical property. It should be stressed that (14) is a fundamental physical assumption which is logically independent from the previous (2)-(13). devoid of any physical content. one should answer the question of what may be assumed in MT about the behaviour of a loop in motion.which would ensure the validity of the theory in all reference frames S linked to S by a Lorentz transformation. it is natural to take for granted that charge and current densities in case of a loop in motion are related with the corresponding densities for the loop at rest. Introducing the hypothesis that both charge and lengths are preserved under motion. For our discussion we need to know for instance something about the electric ﬁeld produced by a current. The additional hypothesis reads (c. Namely. this assumption enables us to write Maxwell’s equations in a Lorentz-covariant form. a circular loop in motion with a stationary current I is not a clearly deﬁned system. Then.

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

y = 0.0 = (µ0 IR2 /2 R2 + L2 )ex at the same point.y=0.3 Solution in the framework of relativistic electrodynamics We now obviously have to reformulate the problem: there is a stationary current I.L. L) is given by the expression F = −q = A ∂A ∂t µ0 qIvR2 4π x=0.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 . 0. in the same approximation. 0) 3/2 dθ R2 + L2 − β 2 R2 sin2 θ + L2 (23) One can easily verify that.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 (0.8 3.0. of course. so that its trajectory is given by x = vt. ∂t (26) again up to the second order terms in β. In case the point charge q moves with the same velocity as the loop C. at any instant) we get F ∗ = −q A ∂A v + qv × B ≈ − µ0 qIvR2 /4(R2 + L2 )3/2 ey . z=L (25) for the force acting on q by the electromagnetic ﬁeld of the loop at the instant t = 0 (and. and the loop is circular. (24) cos θ (− sin θ.z=L. 3/2 e B 0. which coincides with the exact expression for B of the current loop at rest. Following 52 . cos θ. in the rest frame of the loop Srf .

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

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

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

the Clausius postulate. however.12. the observed phenomenon being a consequence of the piezoelectric eﬀect in the teﬂon isolation of the superconducting coil used in experiments. The researchers observed just the dependence they were expecting. Edwards et al (1976) found that there is a nonzero electric potential due to a stationary current in a closed superconducting coil. The subsequent attempts to explain the Edwards potential. 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).) 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. has never been performed. have been published (Edwards et al (1976). In addition.4 Experiments The suggested crucial Kennard-Marinov experiment. depending on the square of the current intensity. Sansbury (1985)) disproving the key assumption in the preceding analyses. passionate adherents of Maxwell’s original theory. intending thus to remember the name and the work of the two 3.15 have presumably all been made fruitless by recent experiments of Shishkin et al (2002) which established that there is no Edwards potential.14 Some experimental results. any exclusiveness when reaching conclusions would be irrational. where v is the carriers’ speed.13 experiment. as well as the fact that the quest for the second-order eﬀects is in question. 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)). as far as the present author is aware. 56 .B is the unit vector of v ×B . as well as various fundamental theoretical conceptions related with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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