## Einstein’s 1905 Paper on Relativity ##### Reference:Disturbance Theory

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Einstein’s theory of relativity works for cosmological dimensions, but not when it comes to atomic dimensions. Einstein was critical of the quantum mechanics having no coherent theory, while he could not come up with a physical theory to explain quantum effects. This bothered him for the rest of his life.

An examination of Einstein’s postulates follows that led to his original paper on relativity. This 1905 paper of Einstein is available at the following link.

On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies

Parts of this paper are quoted below that show Einstein’s non-mathematical reasoning. Einstein’s statements are in black italics. My understanding follows in bold color italics.

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## Basic Postulates

It is known that Maxwell’s electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving bodies, leads to asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena. Take, for example, the reciprocal electrodynamic action of a magnet and a conductor. The observable phenomenon here depends only on the relative motion of the conductor and the magnet, whereas the customary view draws a sharp distinction between the two cases in which either the one or the other of these bodies is in motion. For if the magnet is in motion and the conductor at rest, there arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet an electric field with a certain definite energy, producing a current at the places where parts of the conductor are situated. But if the magnet is stationary and the conductor in motion, no electric field arises in the neighbourhood of the magnet. In the conductor, however, we find an electromotive force, to which in itself there is no corresponding energy, but which gives rise—assuming equality of relative motion in the two cases discussed—to electric currents of the same path and intensity as those produced by the electric forces in the former case.

#### This “asymmetry” disappears when we use the magnetic lines of force, which are attached to the magnet, as the frame of reference. The conductor moves relative to these lines of force the same way in either case producing the same result. So, the problem has to do with how the frame of reference is selected.

Examples of this sort, together with the unsuccessful attempts to discover any motion of the earth relatively to the “light medium,” suggest that the phenomena of electrodynamics as well as of mechanics possess no properties corresponding to the idea of absolute rest. They suggest rather that, as has already been shown to the first order of small quantities, the same laws of electrodynamics and optics will be valid for all frames of reference for which the equations of mechanics hold good. We will raise this conjecture (the purport of which will hereafter be called the “Principle of Relativity”) to the status of a postulate, and also introduce another postulate, which is only apparently irreconcilable with the former, namely, that light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity c which is independent of the state of motion of the emitting body. These two postulates suffice for the attainment of a simple and consistent theory of the electrodynamics of moving bodies based on Maxwell’s theory for stationary bodies. The introduction of a “luminiferous ether” will prove to be superfluous inasmuch as the view here to be developed will not require an “absolutely stationary space” provided with special properties, nor assign a velocity-vector to a point of the empty space in which electromagnetic processes take place.

#### The “luminiferous ether” was assumed to be a material-like medium of light waves. The inertial frame with the above two postulates then replaces the idea of “luminiferous ether”.

The theory to be developed is based—like all electrodynamics—on the kinematics of the rigid body, since the assertions of any such theory have to do with the relationships between rigid bodies (systems of co-ordinates), clocks, and electromagnetic processes. Insufficient consideration of this circumstance lies at the root of the difficulties which the electrodynamics of moving bodies at present encounters.

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## § 1. Definition of Simultaneity

Let us take a system of co-ordinates in which the equations of Newtonian mechanics hold good. In order to render our presentation more precise and to distinguish this system of co-ordinates verbally from others which will be introduced hereafter, we call it the “stationary system.”

If a material point is at rest relatively to this system of co-ordinates, its position can be defined relatively thereto by the employment of rigid standards of measurement and the methods of Euclidean geometry, and can be expressed in Cartesian co-ordinates.

#### Einstein defines a “stationary system” in which the equations of Newtonian mechanics hold good. The space-time coordinates of this system have the rigid characteristics of the inertia applied to matter.

If we wish to describe the motion of a material point, we give the values of its co-ordinates as functions of the time. Now we must bear carefully in mind that a mathematical description of this kind has no physical meaning unless we are quite clear as to what we understand by “time.” We have to take into account that all our judgments in which time plays a part are always judgments of simultaneous events. If, for instance, I say, “That train arrives here at 7 o’clock,” I mean something like this: “The pointing of the small hand of my watch to 7 and the arrival of the train are simultaneous events”.

#### To describe the motion of a material point we give the values of its coordinates as functions of “time”. To represent this motion mathematically, we must define “time” with the understanding of simultaneity of events.

It might appear possible to overcome all the difficulties attending the definition of “time” by substituting “the position of the small hand of my watch” for “time.” And in fact such a definition is satisfactory when we are concerned with defining a time exclusively for the place where the watch is located; but it is no longer satisfactory when we have to connect in time series of events occurring at different places, or—what comes to the same thing—to evaluate the times of events occurring at places remote from the watch.

#### The judgment of simultaneous events is possible only at the location of the event. Additional considerations are required to define simultaneity of events at different locations.

We might, of course, content ourselves with time values determined by an observer stationed together with the watch at the origin of the co-ordinates, and co-ordinating the corresponding positions of the hands with light signals, given out by every event to be timed, and reaching him through empty space. But this co-ordination has the disadvantage that it is not independent of the standpoint of the observer with the watch or clock, as we know from experience. We arrive at a much more practical determination along the following line of thought.

#### The “time-value” comes from the position of the hand of the watch that is moving at a constant rate. The position of hands of watches at two different locations would have to be coordinated to achieve simultaneity. The communication between the two locations can be made through light signals.

If at the point A of space there is a clock, an observer at A can determine the time values of events in the immediate proximity of A by finding the positions of the hands which are simultaneous with these events. If there is at the point B of space another clock in all respects resembling the one at A, it is possible for an observer at B to determine the time values of events in the immediate neighbourhood of B. But it is not possible without further assumption to compare, in respect of time, an event at A with an event at B. We have so far defined only an “A time” and a “B time.” We have not defined a common “time” for A and B, for the latter cannot be defined at all unless we establish by definition that the “time” required by light to travel from A to B equals the “time” it requires to travel from B to A. Let a ray of light start at the “A time” tA from A towards B, let it at the “B time” tB. be reflected at B in the direction of A, and arrive again at A at the “A time” t’A.

In accordance with definition the two clocks synchronize if tB – tA = t’A – tB.

#### Simultaneity of clocks between two locations requires that light takes the same “time” of travel between the two locations in either direction.

We assume that this definition of synchronism is free from contradictions, and possible for any number of points; and that the following relations are universally valid:—

1. If the clock at B synchronizes with the clock at A, the clock at A synchronizes with the clock at B.
2. If the clock at A synchronizes with the clock at B and also with the clock at C, the clocks at B and C also synchronize with each other.

Thus with the help of certain imaginary physical experiments we have settled what is to be understood by synchronous stationary clocks located at different places, and have evidently obtained a definition of “simultaneous,” or “synchronous,” and of “time.” The “time” of an event is that which is given simultaneously with the event by a stationary clock located at the place of the event, this clock being synchronous, and indeed synchronous for all time determinations, with a specified stationary clock.

In agreement with experience we further assume the quantity 2AB/( t’A – tA) = c to be a universal constant—the velocity of light in empty space.

#### But for reasonable synchronization of clocks only a synchronization of tempo is needed. The rest is taken care of by the knowledge of distance between the two locations and the speed of light.

It is essential to have time defined by means of stationary clocks in the stationary system, and the time now defined being appropriate to the stationary system we call it “the time of the stationary system.”

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## § 2. On the Relativity of Lengths and Times

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 3. Theory of the Transformation of Co-ordinates and Times from a Stationary System to another System in Uniform Motion of Translation Relatively to the Former

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

#### Einstein then comes up with the same relationship that Lorentz had come up earlier. .

## § 4. Physical Meaning of the Equations Obtained in Respect to Moving Rigid Bodies and Moving Clocks

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 5. The Composition of Velocities

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 6. Transformation of the Maxwell-Hertz Equations for Empty Space. On the Nature of the Electromotive Forces Occurring in a Magnetic Field During Motion

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 7. Theory of Doppler’s Principle and of Aberration

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 8. Transformation of the Energy of Light Rays. Theory of the Pressure of Radiation Exerted on Perfect Reflectors

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 9. Transformation of the Maxwell-Hertz Equations when Convection-Currents are Taken into Account

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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## § 10. Dynamics of the Slowly Accelerated Electron

[Please refer this section in the original paper. I am only writing my comments on the contents of this section here.]

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