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Magnetism Deduced from Relativity
If experimentation is not your thing, the presence of magnetism can be deduced from the
concepts of relativity.
Magnetism and Relativity
The existence of magnetism allowed for the derivation of
special relativity
. In fact, Einstein's
famous 1905 paper was entitled "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies". The strange
phenomena that only appeared with moving charges allowed Einstein to show that magnetism
was simply electric interactions in different reference frames, and to use this obsevation to prove
the existence of time dilation, length contraction, and all the other mindboggling concepts that
accompany relativity.
Since empirical derivation often fails to bring full understanding of a topic, a popular way of
teaching magnetism is to derive it from relativity, reversing Einstein's logic. Starting with
relativity and electrostatic theory, one may derive quite precisely the experimentally calculated
properties of magnetism. The mathematical derivation is quite complicated, but we can give a
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This note was uploaded on 02/09/2012 for the course PHY PHY2053 taught by Professor Davidjudd during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Magnetism, Special Relativity

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