Frases de Hendrik Lorentz

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Hendrik Lorentz

Data de nascimento: 18. Julho 1853
Data de falecimento: 4. Fevereiro 1928


Hendrik Antoon Lorentz foi um físico neerlandês.

Recebeu em 1902 o Nobel de Física por seu trabalho sobre as radiações eletromagnéticas. A maior parte de seus trabalhos envolveu o eletromagnetismo. Deixou seu nome às transformações de Lorentz, que formam a base da teoria da relatividade restrita de Einstein.

Estudou em Leiden onde, em 1878, foi investido do cargo de professor de física e matemática. Em 1912 passou a dirigir o Instituto Tayler, em Haarlem. Como professor honorário em Leiden, proferia conferências semanais sobre física moderna. Foi chefe do Comitê de Cooperação Intelectual, instituído pela Liga das Nações. Em 1875 publicou seu primeiro trabalho, onde estuda a reflexão e refração da luz por dielétricos e metais. Em 1880 realizou a primeira aplicação da teoria eletromagnética de Maxwell a um meio constituído por moléculas isoladas. Tratava-se de um trabalho sobre a relação entre a densidade do meio e o índice de refração.

Lorentz foi o primeiro a dar uma explicação do efeito Zeeman e a predizer efeitos de polarização . O núcleo de suas investigações, no entanto, consistiu na procura de uma teoria que englobasse, em uma estrutura consistente, os fenômenos elétricos, magnéticos e luminosos, supondo como meio físico o éter em repouso, onde elétrons moviam-se ou não . Essa teoria explicou inúmeros fenômenos, mas chocou-se com o resultado negativo da experiência de Michelson-Morley, que indicava, como explicação mais plausível, o abandono da hipótese do éter.

Tentando superar esta dificuldade, Lorentz introduziu, em 1895 a concepção de tempo local que, como observou o físico Joseph Larmor, associava-se à chamada contração de Fitzgerald. Desenvolvendo seu trabalho, chegou em 1904 às transformações de Lorentz, que desempenham um papel fundamental na teoria especial da relatividade, criada por Einstein no ano seguinte.

Recebeu em 1902, junto com Pieter Zeeman, o Nobel de Física, por seus trabalhos a respeito da influência do campo magnético sobre as radiações. Seu trabalho compreendeu ainda uma série de investigações nos campos da termodinâmica e da teoria da gravitação.

Foi presidente das cinco primeiras Conferências de Solvay.

Citações Hendrik Lorentz

„Let there be in every material particle several material points charged with electricity, of which, however, only one be movable, and have the charge e and the mass μ.“

— Hendrik Lorentz
As quoted by Walter Kaufmann, "The Development of the Electron Idea" (Nov. 8, 1901) The Electrician [ Vol. 48] pp. 95-97. Lecture delivered before the 73rd Naturforscher Versammlung at Hamburg. From the Physikalische Zeitshrift, of October 1, 1901.

„I cannot refrain... from expressing my surprise that, according to the report in The Times there should be so much complaint about the difficulty of understanding the new theory. It is evident that Einstein's little book "About the Special and the General Theory of Relativity in Plain Terms," did not find its way into England during wartime. Any one reading it will, in my opinion, come to the conclusion that the basic ideas of the theory are really clear and simple; it is only to be regretted that it was impossible to avoid clothing them in pretty involved mathematical terms, but we must not worry about that....
The Newtonian theory remains in its full value as the first great step, without which one cannot imagine the development of astronomy and without which the second step, that has now been made, would hardly have been possible. It remains, moreover, as the first, and in most cases, sufficient, approximation. It is true that, according to Einstein's theory, because it leaves us entirely free as to the way in which we wish to represent the phenomena, we can imagine an idea of the solar system in which the planets follow paths of peculiar form and the rays of light shine along sharply bent lines—think of a twisted and distorted planetarium—but in every case where we apply it to concrete questions we shall so arrange it that the planets describe almost exact ellipses and the rays of light almost straight lines.
It is not necessary to give up entirely even the ether.... according to the Einstein theory, gravitation itself does not spread instantaneously, but with a velocity that at the first estimate may be compared with that of light.... In my opinion it is not impossible that in the future this road, indeed abandoned at present, will once more be followed with good results, if only because it can lead to the thinking out of new experimental tests. Einstein's theory need not keep us from so doing; only the ideas about the ether must accord with it.“

— Hendrik Lorentz


„The impressions received by the two observers A0 and A would be alike in all respects. It would be impossible to decide which of them moves or stands still with respect to the ether, and there would be no reason for preferring the times and lengths measured by the one to those determined by the other, nor for saying that either of them is in possession of the "true" times or the "true" lengths. This is a point which Einstein has laid particular stress on, in a theory in which he starts from what he calls the principle of relativity, i. e., the principle that the equations by means of which physical phenomena may be described are not altered in form when we change the axes of coordinates for others having a uniform motion of translation relatively to the original system.
I cannot speak here of the many highly interesting applications which Einstein has made of this principle. His results concerning electromagnetic and optical phenomena... agree in the main with those which we have obtained... the chief difference being that Einstein simply postulates what we have deduced, with some difficulty and not altogether satisfactorily, from the fundamental equations of the electromagnetic field. By doing so, he may certainly take credit for making us see in the negative result of experiments like those of Michelson, Rayleigh and Brace, not a fortuitous compensation of opposing effects, but the manifestation of a general and fundamental principle.
Yet, I think, something may also be claimed in favour of the form in which I have presented the theory. I cannot but regard the ether, which can be the seat of an electromagnetic field with its energy and vibrations, as endowed with a certain degree of substantiality, however different it may be from all ordinary matter.... it seems natural not to assume at starting that it can never make any difference whether a body moves through the ether or not, and to measure distances and lengths of time by means of rods and clocks having a fixed position relatively to the ether.
It would be unjust not to add that, besides the fascinating boldness of its starting point, Einstein's theory has another marked advantage over mine. Whereas I have not been able to obtain for the equations referred to moving axes exactly the same form as for those which apply to a stationary system, Einstein has accomplished this by means of a system of new variables slightly different from those which I have introduced.“

— Hendrik Lorentz
Ch. V Optical Phenomena in Moving Bodies.

„One has been led to the conception of electrons, i. e. of extremely small particles, charged with electricity, which are present in immense numbers in all ponderable bodies, and by whose distribution and motions we endeavor to explain all electric and optical phenomena that are not confined to the free ether.... according to our modern views, the electrons in a conducting body, or at least a certain part of them, are supposed to be in a free state, so that they can obey an electric force by which the positive particles are driven in one, and the negative electrons in the opposite direction. In the case of a non-conducting substance, on the contrary, we shall assume that the electrons are bound to certain positions of equilibrium. If, in a metallic wire, the electrons of one kind, say the negative ones, are travelling in one direction, and perhaps those of the opposite kind in the opposite direction, we have to do with a current of conduction, such as may lead to a state in which a body connected to one end of the wire has an excess of either positive or negative electrons. This excess, the charge of the body as a whole, will, in the state of equilibrium and if the body consists of a conducting substance, be found in a very thin layer at its surface.
In a ponderable dielectric there can likewise be a motion of the electrons. Indeed, though we shall think of each of them as haying a definite position of equilibrium, we shall not suppose them to be wholly immovable. They can be displaced by an electric force exerted by the ether, which we conceive to penetrate all ponderable matter... the displacement will immediately give rise to a new force by which the particle is pulled back towards its original position, and which we may therefore appropriately distinguish by the name of elastic force. The motion of the electrons in non-conducting bodies, such as glass and sulphur, kept by the elastic force within certain bounds, together with the change of the dielectric displacement in the ether itself, now constitutes what Maxwell called the displacement current. A substance in which the electrons are shifted to new positions is said to be electrically polarized.
Again, under the influence of the elastic forces, the electrons can vibrate about their positions of equilibrium. In doing so, and perhaps also on account of other more irregular motions, they become the centres of waves that travel outwards in the surrounding ether and can be observed as light if the frequency is high enough. In this manner we can account for the emission of light and heat. As to the opposite phenomenon, that of absorption, this is explained by considering the vibrations that are communicated to the electrons by the periodic forces existing in an incident beam of light. If the motion of the electrons thus set vibrating does not go on undisturbed, but is converted in one way or another into the irregular agitation which we call heat, it is clear that part of the incident energy will be stored up in the body, in other terms [words] that there is a certain absorption. Nor is it the absorption alone that can be accounted for by a communication of motion to the electrons. This optical resonance, as it may in many cases be termed, can likewise make itself felt even if there is no resistance at all, so that the body is perfectly transparent. In this case also, the electrons contained within the molecules will be set in motion, and though no vibratory energy is lost, the oscillating particles will exert an influence on the velocity with which the vibrations are propagated through the body. By taking account of this reaction of the electrons we are enabled to establish an electromagnetic theory of the refrangibility of light, in its relation to the wave-length and the state of the matter, and to form a mental picture of the beautiful and varied phenomena of double refraction and circular polarization.
On the other hand, the theory of the motion of electrons in metallic bodies has been developed to a considerable extent.... important results that have been reached by Riecke, Drude and J. J. Thomson... the free electrons in these bodies partake of the heat-motion of the molecules of ordinary matter, travelling in all directions with such velocities that the mean kinetic energy of each of them is equal to that of a gaseous molecule at the same temperature. If we further suppose the electrons to strike over and over again against metallic atoms, so that they describe irregular zigzag-lines, we can make clear to ourselves the reason that metals are at the same time good conductors of heat and of electricity, and that, as a general rule, in the series of the metals, the two conductivities change in nearly the same ratio. The larger the number of free electrons, and the longer the time that elapses between two successive encounters, the greater will be the conductivity for heat as well as that for electricity.<!--pp. 8-10“

— Hendrik Lorentz
Ch. I General principles. Theory of free electrons.

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