Letter | Published:

Field energies and principles of equivalence

Nature volume 272, pages 806807 (27 April 1978) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

THE radial free fall motion of a charged body in a gravitational field is calculated here. A simple approach is presented, which includes the effects of the electrostatic and gravitational field energies of the falling body. The result shows that the acceleration is dependent on both mass and charge of the falling body and that both gravitational and electrostatic field energies gravitate repulsively, indicating that bodies of larger mass or larger charge will fall more slowly than bodies of lesser mass or smaller charge. Thus Einstein's principle of equivalence is not valid, as it requires that all physical systems experience the same acceleration of gravity. The approach also shows the difference between inertial and gravitational mass in a gravitational field.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Gravitation and Spacetime (Norton, New York, 1976).

  2. 2.

    & Ann. Phys. 9, 499 (1960).

  3. 3.

    Ann. Phys. 22, 169 (1963).

  4. 4.

    Sov. Phys. Usp. 12, 565 (1970).

  5. 5.

    Im. J. theor. Phys. 3, 133 (1970).

  6. 6.

    & Phys. Rev. D8, 364 (1973).

  7. 7.

    & Ann. Phys. 9, 220 (1960).

  8. 8.

    Ann. Phys. 47, 141 (1968).

  9. 9.

    & Physics 1, 3 (1964).

  10. 10.

    Acta phys. pol. 15, 363 (1956); 16, 423 (1957).

  11. 11.

    & Nature 261, 480 (1976).

  12. 12.

    , & Ann. Math. 39, 65 (1938).

  13. 13.

    Phil. Mag. 39, 537 (1920).

  14. 14.

    & The Classical Theory of Fields (Pergamon, Oxford, 1971).

  15. 15.

    , & Ann. Phys. 68, 11 (1922).

  16. 16.

    , & Ann. Phys. 26, 442 (1964).

  17. 17.

    & Sov. Phys. JEPT 34, 463 (1972).

  18. 18.

    Grundzüge der Relativitatstheorie (Vieweg, Braunschweig, 1969).

  19. 19.

    Über Prinzipien der Dynamik von Einstein. Hertz, Mach und Poincaré. (Akademie, Berlin, 1974).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

    • CHARLES H. MCGRUDER III

Authors

  1. Search for CHARLES H. MCGRUDER in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/272806a0

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.