The Meaning of the Constant c in Weber's Electrodynamics

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Scientific Paper
Title The Meaning of the Constant c in Weber\'s Electrodynamics
Author(s) Andre K T Assis
Keywords c, Weber Electrodynamics
Published 1999
Journal None
Pages 23-36


In this work it is analysed three basic electromagnetic systems of units utilized during last century by Amp?re, Gauss, Weber, Maxwell and all the others: The electrostatic, electrodynamic and electromagnetic ones. It is presented how the basic equations of electromagnetism are written in these systems (and also in the present day international system of units MKSA). Then it is shown how the constant c was introduced in physics by Weber's force. It is shown that it has the unit of a velocity and is the ratio of electromagnetic and electrostatit units of charge. Weber and Kohlrausch's experiment to determine c is presented, emphasizing that they were the first to measure this quantity and obtained the same value as that of light velocity in vacuum. It is shown how Kirchoff and Weber obtained independently of one another, both working in the framework of Weber's electrodynamics, the fact that an electromagnetic signal (of current or potential) propagate at light velocity along a thin wire of negligible resistivity.