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ERIC Number: EJ818992
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Lorentz Contraction and Current-Carrying Wires
van Kampen, Paul
European Journal of Physics, v29 n5 p879-883 Sep 2008
The force between two parallel current-carrying wires is investigated in the rest frames of the ions and the electrons. A straightforward Lorentz transformation shows that what appears as a purely magnetostatic force in the ion frame appears as a combined magnetostatic and electrostatic force in the electron frame. The derivation makes use of a reasonably well-known problem of a charged particle moving parallel to a current-carrying wire, which is often used to illustrate that what appears as a purely electrostatic force in one frame appears as a purely magnetostatic force in another. This paper, aimed at undergraduate electromagnetism and special relativity courses, serves to dispel the notion that this makes either the electrostatic or the magnetostatic force redundant. (Contains 1 figure and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A