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What's wrong with Weber's electrodynamics?

  1. Jul 7, 2012 #1
    Well, I was looking through electrodynamics, and I came across Weber's theory of electrodynamics. I was interested and looked further, but I couldn't find out what made Maxwell's theory better than Weber? Why is Weber's wrong?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    iirc: Weber's theory incorrectly predicts the speed of light and was shown to be inconsistent with the conservation of energy.[*]

    Maxwel, on the other hand, managed to cover all of electromagnetism, including as a subset everything that Weber electrodynamics was useful for, and is useful in relativity as well as quantum mechanics.

    Weber's extremely important and valuable work unifying electricity and magnetism is remembered by naming an unit after him.

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    [*] I'll go look:
    http://history.hyperjeff.net/electromagnetism
    ... Weber vanishes about 1870 when Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz (1821–94) developes a theory of electricity and shows Weber's theories to be inconsistent with the conservation of energy.
     
  4. Jul 7, 2012 #3
    http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Printonly/Helmholtz.html
     
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