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Topic: Le destin douloureux de Walther Ritz (1878-1909), ph
ysicien théoricien de génie

Replies: 5   Last Post: Sep 26, 2013 1:40 AM

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Pentcho Valev

Posts: 3,406
Registered: 12/13/04
Le destin douloureux de Walther Ritz (1878-1909), ph
ysicien théoricien de génie

Posted: Sep 21, 2013 4:12 PM
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"Madame, Monsieur, Les Archives de l'Etat du Valais (Cahiers de Vallesia) et la Société valaisanne de Physique ont le plaisir de vous annoncer la parution de l'ouvrage "Le destin douloureux de Walther Ritz (1878-1909), physicien théoricien de génie", sous la direction de Jean-Claude Pont. (...) Un seul fait donnera une idée de la grandeur de Walther Ritz. Lorsque, en 1909, l'Université de Zurich met au concours le poste de professeur de physique théorique, il y a douze candidats. Parmi eux Einstein et Ritz. C'est Ritz qui est choisi sur la base du rapport du professeur Kleiner, qui a été le directeur de thèse ... d'Einstein (voir les documents p. 60-70 de l'ouvrage) et qui écrit de Ritz qu'il possède « un don extraordinaire, se manifestant aux limites de la génialité. » Hélas, Ritz devait décéder quelques mois plus tard des suites de sa tuberculose."

"Son électrodynamique est restée inachevée. Au cours de sa dernière maladie, l'idée de la tâche à accomplir subsiste et le soutient jusqu'à la fin. Le jour même de sa mort, le 7 juillet 1909, il dit à la soeur qui le veille: « Soignez-moi bien, ma soeur, il est si nécessaire que je vive encore quelques années pour la Science ! »"

Walther Ritz (1908): "The only conclusion which, from then on, seems possible to me, is that (...) THE MOTION OF LIGHT IS A RELATIVE MOTION LIKE ALL THE OTHERS, that only relative velocities play a role in the laws of nature..."

The Genius died, Albert the Plagiarist became Divine Albert and killed physics. Nowadays many "Einsteinians" are secret Ritzians:

Olivier Darrigol: "Ritz est l'auteur d'une tentative célèbre de concilier l'électrodynamique et le principe de relativité dans une théorie qui fait dépendre la vitesse de la lumière de celle de sa source."

Jan Lacki: "Ritz had no time to make his theory more elaborate. He died complaining that no one, even in Göttingen, was granting his views sufficient care. His emissionist views were submitted to heavy criticism and experimental tests were later realized to show their inanity. Today, with considerable hindsight, we know the end of the story and how Einstein and Planck's views shaped our contemporary physics. While few would today contest the reality of quanta or turn their back on field theory of elementary processes, it is interesting to know that the criticisms against Ritz's conceptions were shown, since then, often wanting, if not simply incorrect. It is fair to say that if Ritz's emission theory is false, it cannot be as easily dismissed as it was thought in Ritz's times."

Alberto Martinez: "In sum, Einstein rejected the emission hypothesis prior to 1905 not because of any direct empirical evidence against it, but because it seemed to involve too many theoretical and mathematical complications. By contrast, Ritz was impressed by the lack of empirical evidence against the emission hypothesis, and he was not deterred by the mathematical difficulties it involved. It seemed to Ritz far more reasonable to assume, in the interest of the "economy" of scientific concepts, that the speed of light depends on the speed of its source, like any other projectile, rather than to assume or believe, with Einstein, that its speed is independent of the motion of its source even though it is not a wave in a medium; that nothing can go faster than light; that the length and mass of any body varies with its velocity; that there exist no rigid bodies; that duration and simultaneity are relative concepts; that the basic parallelogram law for the addition of velocities is not exactly valid; and so forth. Ritz commented that "it is a curious thing, worthy of remark, that only a few years ago one would have thought it sufficient to refute a theory to show that it entails even one or another of these consequences...."

Alberto Martinez: "Does the speed of light depend on the speed of its source? Before formulating his theory of special relativity, Albert Einstein spent a few years trying to formulate a theory in which the speed of light depends on its source, just like all material projectiles. Likewise, Walter Ritz outlined such a theory, where none of the peculiar effects of Einstein's relativity would hold. By 1913 most physicists abandoned such efforts, accepting the postulate of the constancy of the speed of light. Yet five decades later all the evidence that had been said to prove that the speed of light is independent of its source had been found to be defective."

Pentcho Valev

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