Synopses & Reviews
The mathematical physicist and engineer William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin (1824-1904) is best known for devising the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature and for his work on the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The lectures in this collection demonstrate an attempt by Baron Kelvin to formulate a physical model for the existence of ether. This concept of a medium for light propagation became prominent in the late nineteenth century, arising from the combination of Maxwell's equations stating that light is an electromagnetic wave with the demands of Newtonian physics that light must move in a unique reference frame. First published in 1904, Kelvin's lectures describe the difficulties inherent in this model. These problems with the concept of ether are credited for inspiring Einstein to devise the theory of special relativity and the photoelectric effect, both of which are central to modern physics.
Synopsis
Lectures describing the problems in explaining light propagation which inspired Einstein's theory of special relativity.
Synopsis
This volume of lectures by the renowned physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, published in 1904, describes the problems inherent in the nineteenth-century concept of ether as a medium for light propagation. These problems led Einstein to formulate the theories of special relativity and the photoelectric effect.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Introductory; 2. Dynamics of elastic solid; 3. Dynamics of elastc solid; 4. Equations of motion of elastic solid; 5. Vibrations of air around a tuning fork; 6. Ratio of rigidity to compressibility; 7. Vibrations of serial molecule; 8. Solutions for distortional waves; 9. Contrary vibrators in one line; 10. Energy of waves; 11. 'Anisotropy' rejected; 12. Three sets of plane waves with fronts parallel to one plane; 13. Prof. Morley's numercial solution for vibrator of seven periods; 14. Rowland's model vibrator; 15. Model vibrator; 16. Mechanical value of sunlight and possible density of ether; 17. Molecular dimensions; 18. Reflections of light; 19. Reconciliation between Fresnel and Green; 20. Chiral rotation of the plane of polarization; Appendixes A-L.