Commentary on Ritz's Electrodynamics
Keywords: Electrodynamics, Ritz
In 1908 Walter Ritz identified seven areas of difficulty with regard to the Maxwell-Lorentz electromagnetic field equations, which are based on the concept of a solid deformable ether.
- Electric and magnetic forces really express relations about space and time and should be replaced with non-instantaneous elementary actions (his emission theory).
- Advanced potentials don't exist (and their erroneous use led to the Rayleigh-Jeans ultraviolet catastrophe).
- Localization of energy in the ether is vague.
- It is impossible to reduce gravity to the same notions.
- The unacceptable inequality of action and reaction is brought about by the concept of absolute motion with respect to the ether.
- Apparent relativistic mass increase is amenable to a different interpretation.
- The use of absolute coordinates, independent of all motions of matter, requires throwing away the time honored use of Galilean relativity and our notions of rigid ponderable bodies.