A new investigation into an unresolved mathematical procedure in the 1905 paper on special relativity
For decades, historians have debated the origins of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The derivation of the Lorentz Transformations given by Einstein in 1905 is studied in detail; and it is found to be mathematically inconsistent, and thus in error. Therefore, he must have been aware of the transformations at the time of writing the paper, which is an extremely minority opinion in the general literature. His attempt to rederive them starting from the synchronization condition is incorrect. Though the derivation is flawed, it does not affect many of the concepts he put forth that flow from the Lorentz Transformations. The observations given here will help resolve a long-standing dispute over the priority of the discovery of various parts of the theory. The priority, which is presently concentrated with Einstein, may need to be redistributed between Einstein, Lorentz, Poincaré, Larmor, Voigt, and others.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2018
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- Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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