Relativity and Cosmology


Confronting the Galilean Transformation with the Field Shapes of a Constant-Velocity Point Charge

Authors: Steven Kauffmann

The space-time Galilean transformation is predicated on a salient theme of Galilean/Newtonian physics: relative motion at constant velocity has no physical consequences beyond the minimum which is required by that motion's existence. Therefore, since the electric field produced by a point charge at rest is spherically symmetric around the charge's location, and since a point charge at rest produces zero magnetic field, Galilean physics implies that a point charge moving at constant velocity produces an electric field which is spherically symmetric around that charge's instantaneous location and that it produces zero magnetic field. But the Biot-Savart-Maxwell Law has it that a point charge moving at nonzero constant velocity produces nonzero magnetic field, and Faraday's Law has it that this time-varying magnetic field, which has zero component along the line of the charge's motion, produces an electric field which isn't spherically symmetric around the charge's instantaneous location. Thus the space-time Galilean transformation is violated by electromagnetic phenomena in a definite way, and must be modified. The needed modification produces the space-time Lorentz transformation, which can straightforwardly be shown to never change the speed of electromagnetic radiation. The fate of the Galilean/Newtonian constant-velocity relative-motion paradigm was actually already sealed when it was observed that the presence of direct current in a wire deflects an adjacent compass needle.

Comments: 13 Pages.

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Submission history

[v1] 2017-09-15 07:02:57
[v2] 2017-09-16 09:31:42
[v3] 2017-09-16 11:38:01
[v4] 2017-10-04 04:06:00
[v5] 2017-10-06 22:36:14
[v6] 2017-10-07 22:16:31
[v7] 2017-10-08 13:00:24
[v8] 2017-10-10 09:40:34
[v9] 2017-10-12 04:47:52
[vA] 2017-10-14 17:21:26
[vB] 2017-10-15 21:43:27
[vC] 2017-10-17 19:08:04

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