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Lorentz like contraction

  1. Feb 16, 2009 #1
    I read a theory recently which, to my understanding predicted a contraction or expansion in an electric feild (like the lorentz contraction) depending on the two charges involved. Has anything like this ever been expiriementally observed
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2009 #2


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    Where ? Give details.
  4. Feb 16, 2009 #3
    I apologize. Theory was a bad word to use. It was in a paper I was asked to look at that has not yet been published. It is not mine so I won't give to many details(the author can elaborate if he chooses). The paper predicts that the space between a proton and electron is contracted because of their attractions(and conversely the space is expanded between to electrons who repulse). It was not clear whether this happens in our 4 dimensions or some higher dimension. So I was curious if it has been observed in the usual 3+1 dimensions
  5. Feb 16, 2009 #4


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    I would think that the author of the paper would be the best source. Since it is an unpublished source it is not very reasonable to expect that anyone else will have a good understanding of its claims.
  6. Feb 16, 2009 #5
    Peter Bergmann, a student of Einsteins, notes " ...the Coulomb law holds only if the charged bodies do not move with respect to each other...if the charged particles move relative to each other Coulombs law must be replaced by a much more complex interaction." THE RIDDLE OF GRAVITATION,1992, page 60

    In other words, if space undergoes length contraction, and mass does, would not a field also "compress" along the direction of motion. seems reasonable.
  7. Feb 16, 2009 #6
    Ok. I understand what it predicts but my question is whether that has ever been observed. Does space contract BECAUSE of an electric field if even so slightly? I don't know of any expirements thats have been done that would disprove that to a high degree of accuracy do you. I know we don't see it every day but then again we don't see a lorentz contraction every day...
  8. Feb 16, 2009 #7


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    I don't see how 'space contraction' can be measured directly. Surely the rulers, etc will also contract ?

    Do you know about Kaluza-Klein theories ?
  9. Feb 16, 2009 #8
    My think was if i stand in a field and you look at me do I look thinner. obviously that has some limitations now that your point it out. I have a basic understanding of kaluza-klein theories. I've found there aren't many webpages that are as good as a paper book. The later of which I can't find on the subject and I already have several books to read and on top of that school. Are there many good books on the theory?
  10. Feb 16, 2009 #9


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    I can't rcommend a book on that subject. Maybe you should concentrate on schoolwork for a while. Especially the electric field. I'm sure your teacher will be able to answer your questions.
  11. Feb 17, 2009 #10
    My prior answer was a relativistic one. I misinterpreted your question......
    I have never seen a theory nor experiment that postulates an electromagnetic field contracting space.....Einstein treated gravitational fields as uniquely self interacting entities....via his tensor formulation .....and that largely, may completely, holds to this day....and while other formulations have been developed I don't know if any have led to any deeper insights consistent with experimental results. Likely not or we would have heard about it.
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