Relativity and Cosmology


Electromagnetic Force and Special Relativity

Authors: Z. Shafiei

Einstein claimed that “If a unit electric point charge is in motion in an electromagnetic field, the force acting upon it is equal to the electric force which is present at the locality of the charge, and which we ascertain by transformation of the field to a system of co-ordinates at rest relatively to the electrical charge.”1 A few thought experiments have been suggested to corroborate this claim.One of these thought experiments is produced by Feynman.Feynman’s case and analysis is also adopted by Purcell and Morin. The example is generally being reproduced and taught in various universities. However, the results do not agree with Einstein’s claim that the two methods produce the same answer for electromagnetic force acting on the charge. This article presents and reviews Feynman’s analysis and calculation of electromagnetic forces in the two inertial reference frames as described by Einstein. It shows that Feynman’s analysis is just a deliberate attempt to produce similar, though eventually not equal, results. Correct analysis also does not support Einstein’s claim.

Comments: 13 presentation pages

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Submission history

[v1] 2019-09-26 08:08:14

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