|Author(s)||William L Hughes|
|Journal||Proceedings of the NPA|
In the well known experiment proposed by Fitzgerald and performed by Trouton and Noble, it was assumed that the magnetic field generated between charged capacitor plates moving in a parallel direction would add to the total energy of the system. If the plates were hung on a torsionless suspension, the minimum energy principle was then supposed to cause the plates to turn such the plates were more perpendicular to the direction of motion. In this analysis using retarded potentials, it is shown that the total energy actually decreases slightly. Thus if any movement occurred at all, it would be to make the plates turn towards, now away, from the direction of motion, thus bringing Fitzgerald?s basic concept into question.