Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Our purpose in this paper is to provide theframework for a generalization of classical mechanicsand electrodynamics, including Maxwell's theory, whichis simple, technically correct, and requires noadditional work for the quantum case. We first show thatthere are two other definitions of proper-time, eachhaving equal status with the Minkowski definition. Weuse the first definition, called the proper-velocity definition, to construct a transformationtheory which fixes the proper-time of a given physicalsystem for all observers. This leads to a new invariancegroup and a generalization of Maxwell's equations left covariant under the action of this group.The second definition, called the canonical variablesdefinition, has the unique property that it isindependent of the number of particles. This definition leads to a general theory of directlyinteracting relativistic particles. We obtain theLorentz force for one particle (using its proper-time),and the Lorentz force for the total system (using theglobal proper-time). Use of the global proper-time tocompute the force on one particle gives the Lorentzforce plus a dissipative term corresponding to thereaction of this particle back on the cause of itsacceleration (Newton's third law). The wave equation derivedfrom Maxwell's equations has an additional term, firstorder in the proper-time. This term arisesinstantaneously with acceleration. This shows explicitly that the longsought origin of radiationreaction is inertial resistance to changes in particlemotion. The field equations carry intrinsic informationabout the velocity and acceleration of the particles in the system. It follows that our theory isnot invariant under time reversal, so that the existenceof radiation introduces an arrow for the (proper-time ofthe) system.
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