Einstei4 - Faraday, an electric current should be formed...

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Einstein's third 1905 paper was entitled "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies."  Although this paper challenged foundational notions about space and time, each of its  parts was simply a response to an important problem facing the physics community of  Einstein's time. One of these three challenges Einstein addresses is the relationship between Maxwell's  electromagnetic equations and the mechanical worldview. Scientists in Einstein's day  searched for a unifying theory that would explain both electromagnetism and  mechanics. Einstein was attracted to this problem because he was troubled by an  electromagnetic principle that did not make sense according to the mechanical world  view: Faraday's 1831 magnet-coil experiment. In this experiment, a magnet is moved  near an electric circuit, and then the circuit is moved near the magnet. According to 
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Unformatted text preview: Faraday, an electric current should be formed whenever there is relative movement, regardless of whether the magnet or the circuit is moving. However, according to Maxwell's equations, an electric current is only induced when the circuit is at rest and the magnet moving. This asymmetrical explanation disturbed Einstein, who was committed to aesthetic principles in his science. In order to resolve this asymmetry, Einstein analyzed the arrangement of magnet and current in terms of relative movement. He proposed that the existence of an electric current depends on the relative velocity of the magnet and circuit with respect to one another. His relativity theory wa s thus the product of his aesthetic discomfort with an asymmetrical explanation....
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This note was uploaded on 12/14/2011 for the course BIO 1320 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Texas State.

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