Annalen der Physik

Cover image for Vol. 17 Issue 9‐10

September-October 2008

Volume 17, Issue 9-10

Pages 613–851

  1. Cover Picture

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Contents
    4. Preface
    5. Original Paper
    6. Original Papers
    1. Cover Picture: Ann. Phys. 9-10/2008

      Article first published online: 3 SEP 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200890002

  2. Contents

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Contents
    4. Preface
    5. Original Paper
    6. Original Papers
    1. Contents: Ann. Phys. 9-10/2008 (pages 613–615)

      Article first published online: 3 SEP 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200817013

  3. Preface

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Contents
    4. Preface
    5. Original Paper
    6. Original Papers
  4. Original Paper

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Contents
    4. Preface
    5. Original Paper
    6. Original Papers
    1. What is missing from Minkowski's “Raum und Zeit” lecture (pages 619–630)

      T. Damour

      Article first published online: 24 JUL 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810315

      This contribution tries to highlight the importance of Minkowski's “Raum und Zeit” lecture in a “negative” way, where negative is taken in the photographic sense of reversing lights and shades. Indeed, we focus on the “shades” of Minkowski''s text, i.e. what is missing, or misunderstood. In particular, the article focuses on two issues: (i) why arePoincaré's pioneering contributions to four-dimensional geometry not quoted by Minkowski (while he abundantly quoted them a few months before the Cologne lecture)?, and (ii) did Minkowski fully grasp the physical (and existential) meaning of “time” within spacetime?

    2. On the advancements of conformal transformations and their associated symmetries in geometry and theoretical physics (pages 631–690)

      H.A. Kastrup

      Article first published online: 3 SEP 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810324

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      The historical developments of conformal transformations and symmetries are sketched: Their origin from stereographic projections of the globe, their blossoming in two dimensions within the field of analytic complex functions, the generic role of transformations by reciprocal radii in dimensions higher than two and their linearization in terms of polyspherical coordinates by Darboux, Weyl's attempt to extend General Relativity, the slow rise of finite dimensional conformal transformations in classical field theories and the problem of their interpretation, then since about 1970 the rapid spread of their acceptance for asymptotic and structural problems in quantum field theories and beyond, up to the current AdS/CFT conjecture.

  5. Original Papers

    1. Top of page
    2. Cover Picture
    3. Contents
    4. Preface
    5. Original Paper
    6. Original Papers
    1. Maxwell's equations in Minkowski's world: their premetric generalization and the electromagnetic energy-momentum tensor (pages 691–704)

      F.W. Hehl

      Article first published online: 20 AUG 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810320

      In December 1907, Minkowski expressed the Maxwell equations in the very beautiful and compact 4-dimensional form: lor f = -s, lor F*= 0. Here ‘lor’, an abbreviation of Lorentz, represents the 4-dimensional differential operator. The Minkowski's derivation is studied and it is shown how these equations generalize to their modern premetric form. It is discussed how Minkowski arrived at it and how its premetric formulation looks like.

    2. Nonlocal special relativity (pages 705–727)

      B. Mashhoon

      Article first published online: 6 JUN 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810308

      In the special theory of relativity, Lorentz invariance is extended inMinkowski spacetime from ideal inertial observers to actual observers by means of the hypothesis of locality, which postulates that accelerated observers are always pointwise inertial. A critical examination reveals its domain of validity: it is true for pointwise coincidences, but is in conflict with wave-particle duality. To remedy this situation, a nonlocal theory of accelerated systems is presented that reduces to the standard theory in the limit of small accelerations.

    3. Special relativity in the 21st century (pages 728–768)

      S. Cacciatori, V. Gorini and A. Kamenshchik

      Article first published online: 15 AUG 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810321

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This paper rests on the idea that the basic observed symmetries of spacetime homogeneity and of isotropy of space lead to a formulation of special relativity based on the appearance of two universal constants: a limiting speed c and a cosmological constant Λ. That these constants should exist is an outcome of the underlying symmetries and is confirmed by experiments and observations, which furnish their actual values. On this basis, main aspects of the theory of special relativity based on SO(1,4) (de Sitter relativity) are developed.

    4. Backwards on Minkowski's road. From 4D to 3D Maxwellian electromagnetism (pages 769–786)

      Y. Itin and Y. Friedman

      Article first published online: 15 AUG 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810317

      Minkowski's concept of a four-dimensional physical space is a central paradigm of modern physics. Is the (1+3) decomposition of the covariant four-dimensional form unique? How do the different sign assumptions of electrodynamics emerge from this decomposition? Which of these assumptions are fundamental and which of them may be modified? How does theMinkowski space-time metric emerge from this preliminary metric-free construction? This paper looks for answers to the problems mentioned.

    5. Perfect electromagnetic conductor medium (pages 787–802)

      A. Sihvola and I.V. Lindell

      Article first published online: 16 APR 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200710297

      Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

      This article presents a review of a novel concept in electromagnetics, the Perfect Electromagnetic Conductor (PEMC). In the Minkowskian representation of the material response to electromagnetic fields, PEMC corresponds to the axion part of the constitutive tensor. From the electrical engineering point of view, PEMC is a generalization of the perfect electric conductor (PEC) and perfect magnetic conductor(PMC) materials which are useful concepts as ideal boundaries in the modeling of electromagnetic problems. This paper discusses how the PECM medium generalizes earlier known electromagnetic problems.

    6. The Weinberg-Witten theorem on massless particles: an essay (pages 803–829)

      F. Loebbert

      Article first published online: 6 JUN 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810305

      This essay deals with the Weinberg-Witten theorem which imposes limitations on massless particles. First, a classification of massless particles given by the Poincaré group as the symmetry group of Minkowski spacetime is motivated. Then the fundamental structure of the background in the form of Poincaré covariance is used to derive restrictions on charged massless particles known as the Weinberg-Witten theorem. Possible misunderstandings in the proof of this theorem are addressed, and the consequences of the theorem are discussed.

    7. Electromagnetic energy and momentum in moving media (pages 830–851)

      Y.N. Obukhov

      Article first published online: 10 JUL 2008 | DOI: 10.1002/andp.200810313

      The problem of the electromagnetic energy-momentum tensor is among the oldest and the most controversial in macroscopic electrodynamics. In the center of the issue is a dispute about the Minkowski and the Abraham tensors for moving media. An overview of the current situation is presented.

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