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Are Rotating and Translating Electromagnetic Systems Essentially Different?

Francisco J. M?ller
Year: 1997
The experimental detectability of absolute rotation in Mechanics (Foucault'S pendulum), in Optics (Michelson-Gale's 1925 interferometer) and in Electromagnetism (Faraday's unipolar inductor of 1832), contrasts with the undetectability of absolute and linear translation in Mechanics (Newtonian inertia), in Optics (Michelson-Morley 1887 experiment) and in Electromagnetism (Trouten-Noble 1903, Tomaschek 1927).

Philosophical, mathematical and physical reasons are searched out for these well established experimental contrasts. Among the physical factors the relationship between the shape of a moving magnet in relationship to the geometry of its motional trajectory is singled out as having a crucial and unexpected importance. Similar considerations are extended to the optical experiments.