When I first learned special relativity it was on an elementary level. I was told that "space itself" contracts in a moving reference frame. Now I am studying electrodynamics out of Griffiths. I just read the derivation of the Lienard-Wiechert potential and the fields for a moving charge. Griffiths on the field of a moving charge: "In the forward and backward directions E is reduced by a factor of (1-v^2/c^2)..." So now putting special relativity aside, doesn't this reduction in the field strength imply that the intermolecular forces would be weakened and thus that the intermolecular separations would be contracted along the direction of motion? Does special relativity account for this within the framework of the Lorentz transformation, or is this "Lienard-Wiechert contraction" a separate effect that has to be calculated independently to find an accurate result?