glyph 496: book, physics ... history of science, contending conjectures ... Maxwell equations, Lorentz transformations, Coulomb's law ... orbit of Mercury, advance of Mercury's perihelion, Paul Gerber's formula published seventeen years before Einstein's is now known as "the Einstein formula"


Einstein Plus Two, by Petr Beckmann

an alternative to the Einstein theory of relativity

Dr. Beckmann's description of the book, from the inside cover:

In 1921, Leigh Page, professor of mathematical physics at Yale, proved that the Maxwell equations could be derived without any further assumptions by applying the Lorentz transformation to Coulomb's Law. This was regarded as a triumph of the Einstein theory; yet it also proved that the Einstein theory stood on a single law that has never been verified at high velocities without circular logic. Little attention has been paid to another possibility: that the successes of the Einstein theory are merely due to the Lorentz transformation compensating for an inverse-square law that becomes inaccurate at high velocities.

This book is based on the assumption that the velocity that matters, the velocity that will make the Lorentz force and the Maxwell equations valid, is not that with respect to an observer, but that of charges (and masses) with respect to the traversed field.

This results in a theory that satisfies the relativity principle without having to distort space and time. It derives all the experimentally verified phenomena following from the Einstein theory, plus two more: the quantization of electron orbits (also the Schrödinger equation and new insight into the nature of Planck's constant), which hitherto had to be postulated, and the Titius series, for which no dynamic explanation has hitherto been available.

Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 85-82516
ISBN 0-9111762-39-6

On the orbit of Mercury, on page 171, Beckmann writes: "... Einstein was not the first to derive the Mercury formula. It had been derived 17 years earlier by Paul Gerber [1898] by classical physics using the same assumption that I am using now — the propagation of gravity with velocity c. For readers who find this hard to believe, Gerber's final expression is reproduced here: ...". After reprinting Gerber's formula as it appeared in Zeitschrift für Mathematik und Physik, vol. 43, p. 103, Beckmann notes that this formula is now known as "the Einstein formula".
January 20, 2010; edited/updated November 26, 2015

a list of all glyphs