This paper traces H. A. Lorentz's work on the electrodynamics of moving bodies from 1887 to 1909. His initial rejection of Michelson's 1881 interferometer experiment and the development of the “electron theory” as a modification and extension of Maxwell's ideas are discussed. The 1892 article in which Lorentz proposes the contraction hypothesis (Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction) is analyzed, and the manner in which the hypothesis is integrated into the electron theory then, and later in the 1895 Versuch, is presented. A discussion of the Versuch's introduction of “local time” and the “theorem of corresponding states” follows, and it is then shown that Lorentz introduced second-order Lorentz transformations in an 1899 paper. The well-known 1904 paper is analyzed, and is shown to be presenting the latest modifications in transformation equations designed to prove a theorem of corresponding states for many electromagnetic phenomena to all orders of . Using Lorentz's 1909 Theory of Electrons, it is argued that the Lorentz transformations as understood by Lorentz prior to Einstein's work possessed inverse transformations which entailed length dilations, time contractions, etc., and which were nonrelativistic and inconsistent with the Lorentz electron theory. Finally a brief discussion of a reason for Einstein's difference of approach is outlined.
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PAPERS| May 01 1969
The Lorentz Electron Theory of Relativity
Kenneth F. Schaffner; The Lorentz Electron Theory of Relativity. Am. J. Phys. 1 May 1969; 37 (5): 498–513. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.1975655
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