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Do We Understand the Field Transformations in Classical Electrodynamics?

Alexander L. Kholmetskii
Year: 2004 Pages: 6
Keywords: Field transformations, special relativity, covariant ether theories
This paper considers a number of physical problems, dealing with transformation of the non-radiating electric and magnetic fields between different inertial frames, and analyses an origin of these fields through their sources and the laws of electrostatics and magnetostatics. It has been found that, in all problems of classical electrodynamics dealing either with single space-time transformations or with successive spacetime transformations with collinear velocities, a relationship between the fields and their sources in terms of the electrostatic and magnetostatic laws can be established. In problems dealing with successive field transformations with non-collinear relative velocities, relativity theory fails to indicate an origin of the fields obtained formally via such transformations. This can be done in covariant ether theories, and some physical inferences from the obtained results are discussed.