Special Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity

Collected papers by J. H. Field MA, D.Phil

Special Relativity and
Absolute Simultaneity

Collected papers by J. H. Field MA, D.Phil

Particle/Wave Duality

Field also comments on the particle/wave duality of light. He deduces that, for consistency with Classical Electrodynamics, electromagnetic fields consist of large numbers of photons. The connection between wave-like behaviour in classical electrodynmics and quantum mechanics is explained in his paper "On the Relationship of Quantum Mechanics to Classical Electromagnetism and Classical Relativistic Mechanics".


John Field's paper "On the Relationship of Quantum Mechanics to Classical Electromagnetism and Classical Relativistic Mechanics" may be viewed or downloaded here.

Length Contraction and Relativity of Simultaneity

John Field discusses the presumed length contraction and relativity of simultaneity effects of Special Relativity in his paper "A sign error in the Minkowski space-time plot and its consequences". In it he describes how these ideas have become embedded in the literature.

Minkowski plotsFirstly, he explains how these effects were introduced into Einstein's original 1905 paper. This was simply a matter of important constants that were omitted from Einstein's equations. Einstein had pointed out the need for these constants, but he failed to include them in his own work. This resulted in the apparent length contraction and relative simultaneity effects. Adding the constants to Einstein's equations causes both to disappear.

Field then shows how these same effects came to be included in graphical representations of the space-time relationships. This originated in a paper written by Minkowski in 1908. In a space-time diagram, derived by Minkowski, a world line OA' was rotated clockwise from OA, but should have been rotated anti-clockwise.

This had the effect of making it appear that the length of an object moving with respect to a given reference frame would contract when viewed at rest in that reference frame. Whereas, the corrected plot indicated that the length of the object remained the same.

continue...