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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)

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    Abstract

    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.


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    Item Type: Other
    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: Harvey R Brown
    Date Deposited: 10 Feb 2003
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:11
    Item ID: 987
    Public Domain: No
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/987

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