[NA] Stefan Kurz: Observers in relativistic electrodynamics

15 December 2023 12:30 till 13:15 - Location: Timmanzaal LB.01.170 | Add to my calendar

"We introduce a relativistic splitting structure to map fields and equations of electromagnetism from four-dimensional spacetime to three-dimensional observer's space. We focus on a minimal set of mathematical structures that are directly motivated by the language of the physical theory. Space-time, world-lines, time translation, space platforms, and time synchronization all find their mathematical counterparts. The splitting structure is defined without recourse to coordinates or frames. This is noteworthy since, in much of the prevalent literature, observers are identified with adapted coordinates and frames. Among the benefits of the approach is a concise and insightful classification of observers. The application of the framework to Schiff's ""Question in General Relativity"" [1] further illustrates the advantages of the framework, enabling a compact, yet profound analysis of the problem at hand. 

[1] Schiff, L. I. ""A question in general relativity."" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 25.7 (1939): 391-395.
Consider two concentric spheres with equal and opposite total charges uniformly distributed over their surfaces. When the spheres are at rest, the electric and magnetic fields outside the spheres vanish. [...] Then an observer traveling in a circular orbit around the spheres should find no field, for since all of the components of the electromagnetic field tensor vanish in one coordinate system, they must vanish in all coordinate systems. On the other hand, the spheres are rotating with respect to this observer, and so he should experience a magnetic field. [...] It is clear in the above arrangement that an observer A at rest with respect to the spheres does not obtain the same results from physical experiments as an observer B who is rotating about the spheres."