PhilSci Archive

Michelson, FitzGerald and Lorentz: the origins of relativity revisited

Brown, Harvey R. (2003) Michelson, FitzGerald and Lorentz: the origins of relativity revisited. UNSPECIFIED. (In Press)


Download (172kB)


It is argued that an unheralded moment marking the beginnings of relativity theory occurred in 1889, when G. F. FitzGerald, no doubt with the puzzling 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment fresh in mind, wrote to Heaviside about the possible effects of motion on inter-molecular forces in bodies. Emphasis is placed on the difference between FitzGerald's and Lorentz's independent justifications of the shape distortion effect involved. Finally, the importance of the their `constructive' approach to kinematics---stripped of any commitment to the physicality of the ether--- will be defended, in the spirit of Pauli, Swann and Bell.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Other
Brown, Harvey R.
Commentary on: Brown, Harvey R (2001) The origins of length contraction: I. The FitzGerald-Lorentz deformation. [Preprint]
Keywords: relativity, FitzGerald, length contraction, Bell
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Prof Harvey R Brown
Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:11
Item ID: 987
Public Domain: No

Commentary/Response Threads

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item