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Conservation of Relativistic energy and momentum

  1. May 5, 2013 #1
    I was reading through this article


    It says "The conservation of the four-momentum yields two conservation laws for "classical" quantities:
    The total energy E = P0c is conserved.
    The classical three-momentum p is conserved."

    I'm just curious, who first derived these results and what was the title of the paper?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2013 #2
    It's quite an interesting result.
  4. May 8, 2013 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    It is, but I don't know the answer to your historical question. I suspect most others do not either.
  5. May 8, 2013 #4


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    Looks to me like a result in Einstein's original "General Relativity" paper.
  6. May 8, 2013 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not aware of any earlier references, but I would be surprised if the implications of the the four momentum were not well-known before then.
    (I'm inclined to agree with DaleSpams's assessment - no one who knows the answer for sure has come across this thread yet).
  7. May 30, 2013 #6
    Hmm, that's sad.

    One of the most interesting things is to find out how scientists developed their theories. To "know their thoughts", the thoughts they had during those moments.
  8. May 31, 2013 #7


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    Here's a translation of a paper by P.Epstein (1911) that makes use of momentum conservation in relativity
    en.wikisource.org/wiki/Concerning_Relativistic_Statics (see appendix)
    "Über relativistische Statik", Annalen der Physik, 341 (14), 779-795

    Something that seems to directly recognize the component conservation laws:
    "The Space-Time Manifold of Relativity. The Non-Euclidean Geometry of Mechanics and Electromagnetics"
    Edwin B. Wilson and Gilbert N. Lewis (1912)
    Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences , Vol. 48, No. 11 (Nov., 1912), pp. 389-507
  9. Jun 2, 2013 #8
    Epstein didn't mentioned the important bit, conservation in all frames. Still, thanks for the links.

    By the way, what's that in your avatar? It looks like a UFO ejecting cylinders. And there's a secret massage in the Minkowski space signature. :)
  10. Jun 2, 2013 #9


    Staff: Mentor

    I guess that is a matter of personal taste. To me, the details of the development is the least interesting part of the history, the most interesting part is the progression of experiments.
  11. Jun 2, 2013 #10
    Experiments for me too. Nowadays you can read books which describe the developments of particle physics and cosmology, even with the dialogue between the researchers.
  12. Jun 4, 2013 #11


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    My avatar is an animated spacetime diagram of a ticking "circular light clock".

    What secret message?
  13. Jun 5, 2013 #12
    Cool. :cool: Let's attach it to the bottom of a UFO.

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