Gomori, Marton and Szabo, Laszlo E. (2011) Operational understanding of the covariance of classical electrodynamics. [Preprint]
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Abstract
It is common in the literature on classical electrodynamics and relativity theory that the transformation rules for the basic electrodynamical quantities are derived from the preassumption that the equations of electrodynamics are covariant against theseunknowntransformation rules. There are several problems to be raised concerning these derivations. This is, however, not our main concern in this paper. Even if these derivations were completely correct, they leave open the following fundamental question: Are the soobtained transformation rules indeed identical with the true transformation rules of the fundamental electrodynamical quantities? In other words, is it indeed the case that the values calculated from the quantities in one inertial frame by means of the transformation rules we derived are equal to the values of the same quantities obtained by the same operations with the same measuring equipments when they are comoving with the other inertial frame?
This is of course an empirical question. In this paper, we will investigate the problem in a purely theoretical framework by applying what J. S. Bell calls “Lorentzian pedagogy”according to which the laws of physics in any one reference frame account for all physical phenomena. We will show that the transformation rules of the electrodynamical quantities are indeed identical with the ones obtained by presuming the covariance of the equations of electrodynamics, and that the covariance is indeed satisfied. Beforehand, however, we need to clarify the operational definitions of the fundamental electrodynamical quantities. As we will see, these semantic issues are not as trivial as one might think.
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Item Type:  Preprint  

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Keywords:  classical electrodynamics covariance operationalism  
Subjects:  Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics General Issues > Logical Positivism/Logical Empiricism General Issues > Operationalism/Instrumentalism Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances 

Depositing User:  Laszlo E. Szabo  
Date Deposited:  12 Sep 2011 11:50  
Last Modified:  22 Jul 2013 08:40  
Item ID:  8783  
URI:  http://philsciarchive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/8783 
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 Operational understanding of the covariance of classical electrodynamics. (deposited 12 Sep 2011 11:50) [Currently Displayed]
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