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Lorentz's Derivation

  1. Aug 13, 2007 #1
    I came across a paper recently that discussed the procedure Lorentz followed in his derivation, but it was incomplete. Does anyone have a reference that reproduces his steps - what got me wondering is how could Lorentz arrive at the same form as Einstein w/o impliedly introducing the postulate of one way constancy of light speed
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2007 #2
    Lorentz derivation

    I think a look at
    David Bohm, The Special Theory of Relativity, (Routledge Classics 1996) will help.
  4. Aug 13, 2007 #3
    Something to be found in Peter Bergmann, "Introduction to the Theory of Relativity," on page 45-46. Goes through various steps and the last one is:

    "To the student, "Find out how moving clocks in the starred (moving through the either) system must be adjusted so a signal spreading in all directions from the starred point of orgin must be adjusted to have the apparent speed c in all directions."

    The word "apparent" is important in that, since it was an "imaginary" system. Lorenz himself stated, "There existed for me only this one true time. I considered my time transformation only as a heuristic working hypothesis."
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  5. Aug 14, 2007 #4


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    The Lorentz derivation DID assume a constant speed of light. BUT it only held for electromagnetic waves. It did not make the needed connection between the then known constant speed of light and the motion of massive bodies.

    Do not forget that in the last half of the 19th century even the common man on the street was aware that light (electromagnetic radiation) behaved differently from massive objects. This disconnection was the major issue of Physics in that era. Kind'a like the space program of today, it was a popular topic of the media and was discussed by laymen.
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