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Dragan Redˇi´ zc

University of Belgrade

1

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

2

1

1.1

**Recurrent Topics in Special Relativity
**

Temptations

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

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

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

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

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

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

the laboratory frame and the clock’s rest frame.at rest are Einstein-synchronized. with macroscopic caesium clocks (Hafele and Keating 1972. with all of its Einstein-synchronized clocks (which. but quite puzzling. but from the Lorentz transformations that connect the two IFRs.3 Path toward understanding? It seems that the feeling of discomfort that accompanies physicists (and laymen) about the slowing down of the clock in motion is a consequence of the opacity of the usual relativistic method of inferring. 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. 1. together with the principle of constancy of the velocity of light” (Einstein 1907). A natural question arises of what is the role of the clock’s rest frame. 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). their purely instrumental character. when measured by the clocks at rest. 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. 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. features of a certain physical system (e.13 Finally.g. that is. 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”). 9 . Namely. may of course be diﬀerent from the observed “clock in motion”). Cornille 1988). while mutually identical.

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

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

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

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

so to say. f = d(m0u γu )/dt. [3] For two inertial frames of reference S and S in the standard conﬁguration (S is uniformly moving with respect to S along the common positive e x − x axis with velocity ve x ). However. 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 . uy . Eriksen and Vøyenly (1976) state that the classical and the relativistic concepts of mass are “incommensurable” (cf Jammer 2000. reads. circus attractions of special relativity such as length dilatation and time contraction (Field 2000). and for a particle with rest mass m0 and instantaneous velocity in the S frame u = (ux . Zigman 1997)) is not generally accepted. [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. pp 57-61). m0u γu . taking into account that the relativistic tri-force is not identically equal the time derivative of the relativistic momentum of the particle. But here we refer primarily to prosaic situations such as the one in which Zapolsky (1988) found himself: “not less than ﬁve” referees negated his conclusions paraphrased in the present note [12]. where m ≡ m0 γu and γu ≡ (1 − u2 /c2 )−1/2 . the transformation according to Rindler.Notes [1] A fresh example are. uz ). This introductory chapter contains the inventory of some recurrent topics in special relativity. For example. fx = law of the x-component of the relativistic tri-force.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Namely. and Occam’s razor solves the problem (Mirabelli 1985). is not consistent with the time as a measurable physical quantity. 24 . the detected frequency f depends only on the velocity of the source as measured in the proper frame of the detector. and the velocity of the “observer” toward the source relative to the medium v0 . As a curiosity. of course. the phase velocity u. in inertial frames. Miller 1981). the whole cosmos. If the phase velocity of the wave exactly equals c. if the phase velocity of the light exactly equals c. then. however. then the ether may but need not exist. the relativistic limiting speed c. because the time is in accord with Einstein’s theory. when the discussions about the subjective nature of time were most lively. That subjective feeling. it seems that Newton’s absolute time is perfectly consistent with the illusive subjective feeling that thought “at one instant” can encompass everything. The formula is derived under the assumption that the velocities of the source and detector are along the line connecting them. u + v0 u − vs 2 1 − vs /c2 2 1 − v0 /c2 1/2 . heroic years of the special theory of relativity. the ether must exist. a Yugoslavian physicist. unfortunately. we mention that in the ﬁrst. regardless of the velocity of uniform motion of the medium relative to the source or detector.presumably a consequence of the mess about the concept of time. the velocity of the source toward the “observer” relative to the medium vs . Overall conclusion: if the phase velocity of the light is less than c. [19] Bachman (1982) derived a relativistic Doppler formula for waves whose phase velocity relative to the medium is u f = f0 The equation expresses the frequency f of the wave detected by the “observer” through the proper frequency of the source f0 . Vladimir Vari´ak. and only then. also took part in them (cf Einstein c 1911.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and that in favour of special relativity. that is without Minkowski’s theory. without or with special relativity. of course. is whether Minkowski’s phenomenological relativistic electrodynamics is correct at all. Some diﬃculties. 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. Maxwell’s equations for material media (the so-called material equations) are Lorentz-covariant. seems to be obvious. at small speeds relativistic eﬀects may be ignored. As Cullwick (1959. faraway from the phenomena of everyday experience. e. Another problem. As is well known. Namely. As it is picturesquely said. was not possible.15 The question arises whether a non-relativistic analysis. Minkowski’s theory. However. the query necessitates a certain explanation. Before all. based on the use of Galilei transformaslow motion. at room velocities. i. 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. is suﬃcient for a correct electrodynamic description of bodies in very .2. Einstein and Laub were not using electrodynamics of moving bodies but instead the electromagnetic theory of bodies at rest. the true arena of special relativity is the exotic kingdom of great speeds. however. The answer to the query: electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion.4 Electrodynamics of bodies in slow motion: with or without special relativity? It is a commonplace that relativistic eﬀects disclose themselves only at speeds close to that of light. together with a mathematical application of special 35 tion. We saw that a correct interpretation of the results of those experiments without special relativity. and so it seems that the problem is already solved. this is not so. should be pointed out. in the framework of a ﬁrst-order theory. p 107) noted. At ﬁrst sight it is a pseudo-problem.14 However.q(E + v × B )+ the constitutive equations.

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

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

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

Rosser 1964). Recently. Jeﬁmenko (1996a) derived in Einstein’s way the transformation law of the most renowned pure E v B relativistic tri-force. 39 .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 . and only then will its appearance in the ﬁrst act become understandable. Einstein reached the correct ﬁnal result zc by making a methodological error.. [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.argued Planck . Einstein’s tour de force can be adequately appreciated only by a researcher who trailed the same dangerous mountain path (cf Schwartz 1977. the quantity of light). Namely. Jeﬁmenko’s article is a natural complement of Planck’s paper mentioned above (cf also French 1968. Møller 1972). the grandeur of that scientiﬁc exploit. in a more general formulation. g. by Einstein . and also that the role of logic in physical sciences is sometimes very tricky (Stachel and Torretti 1982). The example of the light complex clearly shows that intuition is sometimes more important than knowledge. It seems that physics has not until very recently said its last word about the light complex (Redˇi´ and Strnad 2004). Of course. [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”). 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).. qE +qv ×B . now under a new name (Lichtmenge. In the view of the present author.[3] Lichtkomplex is a mysterious quantity in the framework of Maxwell’s electrodynamics and its appearance in Einstein’s paper is very strange. The “mysterious stranger” will appear on the stage just one more time (Einstein 1905b).

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

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

this is an irrelevant second order eﬀect. it follows that the electric ﬁeld inside the dielectric also vanishes. and thus in this case we have Dz = (εr µr − 1)vHy /c2 . Cullwick claims that Einstein and Laub identiﬁed without justiﬁcation the magnetic ﬁeld strength in the dielectric H (H ) and the magnetic ﬁeld strength of the externally applied magnetic ﬁeld H0 . where σf denotes the surface charge density over the lower plate of the condenser. P = ε0 (εr − 1)(E + v × B ). If the gap between the dielectric slab and the condenser’s plates vanishes. (This version is closer to the Wilson. the condenser’s plates connected by a stationary lead are also at rest with respect to the lab. Rosser 1964). so that in the same “experimental situation” we have DzL = (εr − 1)µr vHy /c2 . (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. Interestingly. and since a stationary state is established. (5) Of course. the potential diﬀerence between the plates is zero. In Lorentz’s theory. however. however. Dz = σf . 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.Wilson experiment where the cylindrical condenser rotates together with dielectric. Fortunately. the constitutive equation for the polarization of the magnetic dielectric contains only the E ﬁrst term on the right hand side of equation (2). In this place. in the framework of the ﬁrst order theory.Since the condenser’s plates are mutually connected by means of a stationary lead through sliding contacts. Cullwick states.) Both versions give the same results. in 42 . otherwise very accurate Cullwick is wrong: namely. E = 0.

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

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

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

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

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

L). as is shown in Figure 7? Figure 7 3. A : Φ = −ρ/ε0 A A = −µ0j where and j must satisfy charge conservation j divj = − 48 ∂ ∂t (8) (6) (7) .What is the force acting at that instant on a charge q which is at rest in the S frame at the point (0. 0.2 Solution in the framework of Maxwell’s theory In what follows under Maxwell’s theory we shall strictly mean: a) the system of four Maxwell’s equations B ∂B E curlE = − ∂t E ∂E B curlB = µ0 ε0 +j ∂t E divE = /ε0 B divB = 0 (2) (3) (4) (5) These equations reduce. to the inhomogeneous d’Alembert type equations for potentials Φ. in the standard notation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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