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Electromagnetic Mass and the Inertial Properties of Nuclei

Chalmers W. Sherwin
Year: 1960 Pages: 21
Keywords: Electromagnetic Mass, Inertial Properties of Nuclei
According to the theory of relativity the inertial mass of any physical system should be a scalar quantity (no matter how distorted its electromagnetic structure) and the 'excess' inertial mass of electromagnetic origin should not be observable. Experimental evidence on both these points was examined for nuclei. Nuclei are particularly significant for this test because they are the only structures (excepting the elementary particles) which possess an appreciable fraction of their net mass in the form of electrostatic energy, they are the only structures which are formed as a result of the equilibrium between two very different types of known forces (electromagnetic, and nuclear), and their dimensions are large enough that there is reason to trust the validity of the electromagnetic laws. It is found that the inertial mass of a distorted nucleus, as measured by a mass spectrometer, has no observable asymmetry to an accuracy of 1 part in 100 of the asymmetry which is calculated to exist as a consequence of the electromagnetic energy. It is found that a comparison of nuclear mass differences (as measured by the mass spectrometer and by nuclear reactions) shows that the 'excess' electromagnetic inertial mass is not observable, to an accuracy of 1 part in 600.

Report I-92, 14 March, 1960, Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois, formerly available from U. S. Department of Commerce, Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, document acquisition number AD0625706. This organization no longer exists under that name and the document is apparently no longer available at any price to the taxpayers who paid for the work. Further citation information. It is referenced in Phipps (1986), Van Flandern (1998), and Phipps (2009).