Volume 21: Pages 9-15, 2008
Inherent relativistic difficulties and some basic misconceptions with certain specific physical concepts in the existing literature
V. Arunasalam 1
150 Windsor Drive, Princeton Junction, New Jersey 08550, USA
It is shown that some basic physical concepts when carried over from Newtonian physics into relativistic physics have inherent or intrinsic difficulties that are very hard to surmount or overcome. Further, some of the misconceptions or misunderstandings in physics are also pointed out. These include: The Newtonian concept of action-at-a-distance forces (such as the Coulomb’s law, restoring force of a simple harmonic oscillator or a vibrating string, Newton’s law of gravity, rigid-body constraints, orbital and spin angular momentum and the associated rigid-body spatial rotations, etc.); and some basic misconceptions or misunderstandings in physics such as assuming that Dirac’s relativistic Hamiltonian for the electron is Lorentz covariant even though it is the total energy which is the fourth component of the energy-momentum four vector, Dirac’s claim that g=2 for the electron and Feynman’s claim that the (g−2) for the electron are a direct consequence of the theory of relativity ignoring the facts that g=2 follows directly from the nonrelativistic Pauli Hamiltonian and (g−2) calculation is very much analogous to the Bethe’s nonrelativistic calculation of the Lamb shift, taking for granted that the experimentally measured fundamental unit of magnetic flux is a direct verification of the “electron pairs” of the Bardeen–Cooper–Schrieffer theory of low-temperature superconductivity whereas it need not imply “electron pairing,” the general feeling that the canonical orbital angular momentum can only take integral values and can not take half-odd-integral values whereas it is not true in general, etc. All these exemplify some of the wrong developments and claims in the existing physics literature.
Keywords: Quantum spin, Electron pairs, BCS theory, Relativity, Lorentz covariant, Parity, Time reversal, flat space-time field theory, Four-dimensional space-time continuum
Received: October 31, 2005; Accepted: May 16, 2006; Published Online: December 15, 2008