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质能公式E = mc²是爱因斯坦发现的吗?

时间:2011-08-29 08:56:19  来源:  作者:

谁发现了质能公式E=mc2? 这个问题可不象你所想的那么简单。上至詹姆斯·克拉克·麦克斯韦、马克斯·冯·劳厄,下至一大群被淡忘的20世纪早期物理学家,都曾被认为发现了质能守恒定律,它如今通常被记入爱因斯坦的狭义相对论中。不过,大多不是虚构,就是鲜有支持。然而,目前两位物理学家证明,爱因斯坦的著名公式其实包含了复杂、甚至有些模糊的起源,这与相对论毫不沾边。
One of the more plausible precursors to E = mc2 is attributed to Fritz Hasenöhrl, a physics professor at the University of Vienna. In a 1904 paper Hasenöhrl clearly wrote down the equation E = 3/8mc2. Where did he get it from, and why is the constant of proportionality wrong? Stephen Boughn of Haverford College in Pennsylvania and Tony Rothman of Princeton University examine this question in a paper submitted to the arXiv preprint server.
弗利茨·哈泽内尔,维也纳大学物理教授,是貌似比较可信的质能公式先驱之一。1904年,哈泽内尔在一篇论文中明确地写下了公式E=3/8mc2. 他是从何得出(这个公式)的?为什么比例系数错了?宾夕法尼亚州哈弗福德学院的斯蒂芬·鲍恩和普林斯顿大学的托尼·罗思曼, 向arXiv预印本文献库提交了一篇论文,对这一问题进行了调查。
Hasenöhrl's name has a certain notoriety now, as he is commonly invoked by anti-Einstein cranks. His reputation as the man who really discovered E = mc2 owes much to the efforts of the antisemitic and pro-Nazi physics Nobel laureate Philipp Lenard, who sought to separate Einstein's name from the theory of relativity so that it was not seen as a product of "Jewish science".
由于常常被爱因斯坦的反对者们引用,哈泽内尔背上了恶名。他得到质能公式真实发现者之名,还是反对犹太、拥护纳粹的诺贝尔奖得主菲利普·莱纳德帮了忙, 后者要将爱因斯坦的名字与相对论割裂开来,以免它被视为犹太科学的产物。2
'Leading Austrian physicist of his day'
”那个时代奥地利领先的物理学家“1
Yet all this does Hasenöhrl a disservice. He was Ludwig Boltzmann's student and successor at Vienna, and was lauded by Erwin Schrödinger among others. "Hasenöhrl was probably the leading Austrian physicist of his day", Rothman told physicsworld.com. He might have achieved much more if he had not been killed in the First World War.
以上这一切给哈泽内尔帮了倒忙。在维也纳,他是路德维希·玻尔兹曼的学生和接班人,还得到许多人的赞扬,其中包括埃尔温·薛定谔。"在他生活的那个时代,哈泽内尔很可能是奥地利领先的物理学家。"罗思曼告诉物理世界网站。如果不是死于第一次世界大战,哈泽内尔或许会取得更高成就。
The relationship of energy and mass was already being widely discussed by the time Hasenöhrl considered the matter. Henri Poincaré had stated that electromagnetic radiation had a momentum and thus effectively a mass, according to E = mc2. German physicist Max Abraham argued that a moving electron interacts with its own field, E0, to acquire an apparent mass given by E0 = 3/4 mc2. All this was based on classical electrodynamics, assuming an ether theory. "Hasenöhrl, Poincaré, Abraham and others suggested that there must be an inertial mass associated with electromagnetic energy, even though they may have disagreed on the constant of proportionality", says Boughn.
就在哈泽内尔考虑的同时,能量和质量的关系已经被广泛讨论。亨利·庞加莱声明, 电磁辐射产生动量,这其实相当于质能公式E=mc2里的m——质量。德国物理学家马克斯·亚伯拉罕反驳说,按照E0=3/4mc2的假设,一个移动的电子跟它自己的场E0相互作用,将获得一个明显的质量。所有这些都基于电动力学,是以太论的前提。“哈泽内尔、庞加莱、亚伯拉罕和其它物理学家都提出,一定有一个与电磁能量相联系的惯性质量,尽管他们在比例系数上存在分歧。”鲍恩说。


Fritz Hasenöhrl
弗利茨·哈泽内尔
Robert Crease, a philosopher and historian of science at Stony Brook University in New York, agrees. "Historians often say that, had there been no Einstein, the community would have converged on special relativity shortly", he says. "Events were pushing them kicking and screaming in that direction." Boughn and Rothman's work, he says, shows that Hasenöhrl was among those headed this way.
纽约大学石溪分校的哲学家和科学史学家罗伯特·克里斯对此表示赞同:“历史学家们常说,如果没有爱因斯坦,研究领域将立即缩小到狭义相对论的范畴”。他说,“历史事件推动他们朝那个方向踢打和尖叫。” 他认为鲍恩和罗思曼的研究表明,哈泽内尔在其中扮演了领路人的角色。
Hasenöhrl approached the problem by asking whether a black body emitting radiation changes in mass when it is moving relative to the observer. He calculated that the motion adds a mass of 3/8c2 times the radiant energy. The following year he corrected this to 3/4c2.
哈泽内尔提出疑问,一个黑体相对于观察者发生位移时,它的辐射是否会引起质量的变化。他计算出,移动让质量的增值达到辐射能量的3/8c2倍(c代表光速)。第二年,他将此修正为3/4c2。
A different style of scientific paper
风格迥异的科学著作

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