Project on the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction

In summary, the Lorentz paper from 1892 proposed the contraction of space in response to the Michelson-Morley experiment. The FitzGerald paper from 1889 proposed the same idea but was not published.
  • #1
physics4ever
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Hello
I am doing a project on the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction and would like to know if the original research papers are available on the internet.
Thanks!
 
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  • #2
physics4ever said:
Hello
I am doing a project on the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction and would like to know if the original research papers are available on the internet.
Thanks!
The cite for the original Lorentz paper from 1904 is:

Lorentz, H.A., 1904, ‘Electromagnetic phenomena in a system moving with any velocity less than that of light’, Proc. Amsterdam Acad Sci, 6, 809 – 831.

The original is in german.

An english translation is available in a Dover paperback called "The Principle of Relativity" which contains all the papers relating to relativity. It should be available in your library and is still in print, I think.

I don't think Fitzgerald published a paper on the subject but I could be wrong.

AM
 
  • #3
In 1889 a short paper was published by the Irish physicist George FitzGerald in Science. The paper The ether and the Earth's atmosphere takes up less than half a page and is non-technical. FitzGerald pointed out that the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment could be explained only if

... the length of material bodies changes, according as they are moving through the ether or across it, by an amount depending on the square of the ratio of their velocities to that of light.

Lorentz was unaware of FitzGerald's paper and in 1892 he proposed an almost identical contraction in a paper which now took the Michelson-Morley experiment very seriously. When it was pointed out to Lorentz in 1894 that FitzGerald had published a similar theory he wrote to FitzGerald who replied that he had sent an article to Science but I do not know if they ever published it . He was glad to know that Lorentz agreed with him for I have been rather laughed at for my view over here . Lorentz took every opportunity after this to acknowledge that FitzGerald had proposed the idea first. Only FitzGerald, who did not know if his paper had been published, believed that Lorentz had published first!
from http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/PrintHT/Special_relativity.html

Good hunting!
 

1. What is the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction?

The Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction, also known as the Lorentz contraction or length contraction, is a phenomenon in which an object's length appears to decrease when it is moving at relativistic speeds (close to the speed of light).

2. Who discovered the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction?

The Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction was first proposed by physicists Hendrik Lorentz and George Francis Fitzgerald in 1892 and 1889, respectively.

3. What is the formula for calculating the amount of contraction?

The formula for calculating the amount of Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction is L = L0 * √(1 - v2/c2), where L is the observed length, L0 is the rest length, v is the velocity of the object, and c is the speed of light in a vacuum.

4. How does the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction affect our perception of time?

According to the theory of relativity, time and space are interconnected. This means that as an object's length appears to decrease due to Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction, time appears to slow down for that object as well. This phenomenon is known as time dilation.

5. What evidence supports the existence of Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction?

There is a vast amount of evidence supporting the existence of Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction. One of the most notable examples is the observation of cosmic rays, which are high-energy particles that travel at near the speed of light and exhibit the predicted effects of Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction. Additionally, experiments such as the Michelson-Morley experiment and the Kennedy-Thorndike experiment have also provided evidence for the validity of the Lorentz Fitzgerald contraction.

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