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Xiao-Song Wang∗

State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics (LNM), Institute of Mechanics,

Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100080, China

(Dated: February 2, 2008)

We speculate that the universe may be filled with a continuum which may be called aether. Based

arXiv:physics/0609099v2 [physics.gen-ph] 3 Nov 2006

on a spherical source and sink model of electric charges, we derive Coulomb’s law of interactions

between static electric charges in vacuum by methods of hydrodynamics. A reduced form of the

Lorentz’s force law of static electric charges is derived based on a definition of electric field.

Keywords: Coulomb’s Law; hydrodynamics; spherical source; spherical sink; aether.

Thus, the Maxwell’s theory can only be regarded as a

Coulomb’s law of interactions between static electric phenomenological theory. New mechanical interpreta-

charges in vacuum can be written as (refer to, for in- tions of Coulomb’s law may help us to establish a field

stance, [1]) theory of electromagnetic phenomena [1, 11].

Fourthly, there exists some inconsistencies and inner

1 q1 q2 difficulties in the classical electrodynamics [8, 12, 13, 14].

F21 = r̂21 , (1)

4πǫ0 r2 New theories of Coulomb’s law may help to resolve such

difficulties.

where q1 and q2 are the electric quantities of two elec-

tric charges, r is the distance between the two electric Finally, one of the tasks of physics is the unification of

charges, ǫ0 is the dielectric constant of vacuum, F21 is the the four fundamental interactions in the universe. New

force exerted on the electric charge with electric quantity theories of interactions between static electric charges

q2 by the electric charge with electric quantity q1 , r̂21 may shed some light on this puzzle.

denotes the unit vector directed outward along the line To conclude, it seems that new considerations on

from the electric charge with electric quantity q1 to the Coulomb’s law is needed. It is worthy keeping an open

electric charge with electric quantity q2 . mind with respect to all the theories of interactions be-

The main purpose of this paper is to derive Coulomb’s tween static electric charges before the above problems

law of interactions between static electric charges in vac- been solved.

uum by means of fluid mechanics based on spherical Now let us briefly review the long history of mechanical

source and spherical sink model of particles. interpretations of electromagnetic phenomena.

The motive of this paper is to seek a mechanism of Descartes was the first to bring the aether concept into

Coulomb’s law. The reasons why new mechanical in- science by suggesting that it has mechanical properties

terpretations of Coulomb’s law are interesting may be according to E. T. Whittaker[5]. He believed that every

summarized as follows. physical phenomenon could be interpreted in the con-

Firstly, Coulomb’s law is an elementary and profound struction of a mechanical model of the universe.

law in physics and play various roles in the fields of William Watson and Benjamin Franklin introduced the

electromagnetism, electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, one-fluid theory of electricity independently in 1746 [5].

cosmology and thermodynamics, etc., for instance, see Henry Cavendish attempted to explain some of the prin-

[2, 3] and the references cited there. From the point cipal phenomena of electricity by means of an elastic fluid

view of reductionism, the fundamental importance of in 1771[5]. Not contented with the above mentioned one-

Coulomb’s law in all branches of physics urges the reduc- fluid theory of electricity, du Fay, Robert Symmer and

tionists to provide it a proper mechanical interpretation. C. A. Coulomb developed a two-fluid theory of electricity

Secondly, the mechanism of this action-at-a-distance from 1733 to 1789 [5]. John Bernoulli introduced a fluid

Coulomb’s law remains an unsolved problem in physics aether theory of light in 1752[5]. Euler believed that all

for more than 200 years after the law was put forth by electrical phenomena is caused by the same aether that

Coulomb in 1785 [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. From the point view of propagates light.

reductionism, we need a satisfactory mechanical interpre- In 1821, in order to explain polarisation of light, A. J.

tation in the framework of Descartes’ scientific research Frensnel proposed an aether model which is able to trans-

program. mit transverse waves. Inspired by Frensnel’s luminifer-

Thirdly, although the Maxwell’s theory of electro- ous aether theory, numerous dynamical theories of elastic

magnetic phenomena is a field theory [1], the concept solid aether were established by Stokes, Cauchy, Green,

of field is different from that of continuum mechanics MacCullagh, Boussinesq, Riemann and William Thom-

1

son (refer to, for instance, [5]). enclose the source with an arbitrary spherical surface S

In 1861, in order to obtain a mechanical interpre- with radius b > a. A calculation shows that

tation of electromagnetic phenomena, Maxwell estab-

Q

ZZ ZZ

lished a mechanical model of a magneto-electric medium.
u · ndS =
2

r̂ · ndS = Q, (3)

Maxwell’s magneto-electric medium is a cellular aether, S S 4πb

looks like a honeycomb. In a remarkable paper published where n denotes the unit vector directed outward along

in 1864, Maxwell established a group of equations which the line from the origin of the coordinates to the field

were named after his name later. point(x, y, z). Equation (3) shows that the strength Q of

In a remarkable paper published in 1905, Einstein a spherical source or spherical sink evaluates the volume

abandoned the concept of aether[15]. However, Einstein’s of the fluid leaving or entering a control surface per unit

assertion did not cease the exploration of aether, for in- time.

stance, see [5, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25].

Einstein changed his attitude later and introduced his

new concept of ether[26, 27]. I regret to admit that it III. FORCES ACTING ON SPHERICAL

is impossible for me to mention all the works related to SOURCES AND SPHERICAL SINKS IN IDEAL

this field in history. FLUIDS

Inspired by the above mentioned works, we show that

Coulomb’s law of interactions between static electric The purpose of this section is to calculate the forces

charges can be derived based on a continuum mechanics between spherical sources and spherical sinks in inviscid

model of vacuum and a spherical source and sink model incompressible fluids which is called ideal fluids usually.

of electric charges. Suppose the velocity field u of an ideal fluid is irrota-

tional, then we have (refer to, for instance, [28, 29, 30,

31, 32, 33, 34]),

II. DEFINITIONS OF SPHERICAL SOURCES

AND SPHERICAL SINKS IN FLUIDS u = ∇φ, (4)

∂ ∂ ∂

where φ is the velocity potential, ∇ = i ∂x + j ∂y + k ∂z is

The purpose of this section is to establish a definition

the Hamilton operator.

of spherical sources and spherical sinks in fluids.

It is known that the equation of mass conservation of

If there exists a velocity field which is continuous

an ideal fluid becomes Laplace’s equation(refer to, for

and finite at all points of the space, with the exception

instance, [28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34]),

of individual isolated points, then these isolated points

are called velocity singularities usually. Point spherical ∇2 φ = 0, (5)

sources and spherical sinks are examples of singularities.

2 2 2

To avoid singularities, we may introduce a mechanical where φ is velocity potential, ∇2 = ∂x ∂ ∂ ∂

2 + ∂y 2 + ∂z 2 is

model of spherical sources and spherical sinks with finite the Laplace operator.

radii in fluids. Using spherical coordinates(r, θ, ϕ), a general form of

solution of Laplace’s equation Eq.(5) can be obtained by

Definition 1 Suppose there exists a hard sphere with a

sepatation of variables as[34]

finite radius a at point P0 = (x0 , y0 , z0 ). If the velocity

field near the hard sphere at point P = (x, y, z) is ∞

X Bl

l

φ(r, θ) = Al r + l+1 Pl (cos θ), (6)

Q r

l=0

u(x, y, z, t) = r̂, (2)

4πr2

p where Al and Bl are arbitrary constants, Pl (x) are Leg-

where r = (x − x0 )2 + (y − y0 )2 + (z − z0 )2 , r ≥ a, is endre’s function of the first kind which is defined as

the distance between the point P0 and the point P , r̂ de-

1 dl 2

notes the unit vector directed outward along the line from Pl (x) = (x − 1)l . (7)

the point P0 to the point P , then we call this hard sphere 2l l! dxl

a spherical source if Q > 0 or a spherical sink if Q < 0. From Eq.(2) and Eq.(6), we see that the velocity po-

Q is called the strength of the spherical source or the tential φ(r, θ) of a spherical source or spherical sink is a

spherical sink. solution of Laplace’s equation (5).

The following lemma is useful in the proof of the main

For convenience, we may regard a spherical sink as a theorems in this section.

negative spherical source.

Suppose a static spherical source with strength Q and Lemma 2 Suppose (1) the velocity field u of a fluid is

a radius a locates at the origin (0, 0, 0). In order to calcu- irrotational, i.e., we have u = ∇φ, where φ is the velocity

late the volume leaving the source per unit time, we may potential; (2) there is an arbitrary closed surface S fixed

2

in the space without any bodies or singularities inside S; where D/Dt represents the material derivative in the la-

(3) the velocity field u is continuous in the closed surface grangian system (see, for instance, [29, 30, 31, 32, 33,

S. Then, we have 34]).

D

ZZ

∂

ZZ ZZ In order to calculate FQ , let us calculate DK/Dt and

ρφndS =
ρφndS +
ρu(u · n)dS. (8) F2 respectively. The expressions of the momentum K

Dt S ∂t S S

and the force F2 are

where D/Dt represents the material derivative in the la- ZZZ ZZ

grangian system. K= ρudV, F2 =
(−p)ndS, (11)

τ 2

Remark. For the proof of Lemma 2, refer to, for in-

stance, Appendix 2 in [35]. where the first integral is volume integral, the second

Theorem 3 Suppose (1)there exists an ideal fluid (2)the integral is surface integral, n denotes the unit vector di-

ideal fluid is irrotational and barotropic, (3)the density rected outward along the line from the origin of the co-

ρ is homogeneous, that is ∂x ∂ρ ∂ρ

= ∂y = ∂ρ ∂ρ ordinates to the field point(x, y, z).

∂z = ∂t = 0

Since the velocity field is irrotational, we have the fol-

(4)there are no external body forces exerted on the fluid,

lowing relation

(5)the fluid is unbounded and the velocity of the fluid at

the infinity is approaching to zero. Suppose a spherical u = ∇φ, (12)

source or spherical sink is stationary and is immersed in

the ideal fluid. Then, there is a force where φ is the velocity potential.

4 3

4πρa ∂u0 According to Ostrogradsky–Gauss theorem (see, for in-

FQ = ρQu0 + (9) stance, [29, 30, 31, 33, 34]) and using Eq.(12), we have

3 3 ∂t

exerted on the spherical source or the spherical sink by

ZZZ ZZZ

the fluid, where ρ is the density of the fluid, Q is the ρudV = ρ∇φdV

τ τ

strength of the spherical source or the spherical sink, a ZZ ZZ

is the radius of the spherical source or the spherical sink, =
ρφndS −
ρφndS. (13)

S2 S1

u0 is the velocity of the fluid at the location of the spher-

ical source induced by all means other than the spherical Therefore, from Eq.(11) and Eq.(13), we have

source itself. ZZ

D D

ZZZ ZZ

Proof. Only the proof of the case of a spherical source ρudV =
ρφndS −
ρφndS. , (14)

Dt τ Dt S2 S1

is needed. Let us select the coordinates {o, x, y, z} or

{o, x1 , x2 , x3 } that is attached to the static fluid at the Applying Lemma 2 to the second integral in Eq.(14),

infinity. we have

We set the origin of the coordinates at the center of the

D ∂

ZZ ZZ ZZ

spherical source. Let S1 denotes the spherical surface of
ρφndS =
ρφndS +
ρu(u · n)dS. (15)

the spherical source. We surround the spherical source by Dt S2 ∂t S2 S2

an arbitrary spherical surface S2 with radius R centered

at the center of the spherical source. The outward unit Putting Eq.(15) into Eq.(14), we have

normal to the spherical surface S1 and S2 is denoted by DK ∂

ZZ ZZ

n. Let τ (t) denotes the mass system of fluid enclosed in =
ρφndS +
ρu(u · n)dS

Dt ∂t S2 S

the volume between the surface S1 and the surface S2 at

D

ZZ

time t. −
ρφndS. (16)

Let FQ denotes the hydrodynamic force exerted on the Dt S1

spherical source by the mass system τ . Then according

Now, let us calculate F2 . According to Lagrange–

to Newton’s third law, a reacting force of the force FQ

Cauchy integral (see, for instance, [29, 30, 31, 33, 34]),

must act on the the fluid enclosed in the mass system τ .

we have

Let F1 = −FQ denotes this reacting force acted on the

mass system τ by the spherical source through the surface ∂φ (∇φ)2 p

S1 . Let F2 denotes the hydrodynamic force exerted on + + = f (t), (17)

∂t 2 ρ

the mass system τ due to the pressure distribution on

the surface S2 . Let K denotes momentum of the mass where f (t) is an arbitrary function of time t. Since the

system τ . velocity u of the fluid at the infinity is approaching to

As an application of Newton’s second law of motion to zero, and noticing (6), φ(t) must be of the following form

the mass system τ ,we have ∞

X Bl (t)

DK φ(r, θ, t) = Pl (cos θ), (18)

= F1 + F2 = −FQ + F2 , (10) rl+1

Dt l=0

3

where Bl (t), l ≥ 0 are functions of time t. Thus, we have Now let us calculate the two terms in Eq.(28) respec-

the following estimations at the infinity of the velocity tively. Firstly, let us calculate the integral I1 in Eq.(27).

field Since the velocity field induced by the spherical source

with strength Q is Eq.(2), then according to the superpo-

sition principle of velocity field of ideal fluids, the velocity

1 ∂φ 1

φ=O , =O , r → ∞, (19) u on the surface S1 is

r ∂t r

Q

u= n + u0 , (29)

where ϕ(x) = O(ψ(x)), x → a stands for limx→a | ϕ(x) | 4πa2

/ψ(x) = k, (0 ≤ k < +∞). where n denotes the unit vector directed outward.

Applying (17) at the infinity and using (19), we have Since the velocity field u is irrotational, we have

| u |→ 0, ∂φ/∂t → 0 and p = p∞ , where p∞ is a constant.

Thus, f (t) = p∞ /ρ. Therefore, according to (17), we Q

φ=− + φ0 , (30)

have 4πa

where φ0 is the velocity potential respect to u0 , i.e., u0 =

∂φ ρ(u · u)

p = p∞ − ρ − . (20) ∇φ0 .

∂t 2 Since the density ρ is homogeneous, we have

Using (11) and (20), we have ∂ρ

= 0. (31)

ZZ

∂φ

ZZ

ρ(u · u)n ∂t

F2 =
ρ ndS +
dS. (21) Therefore, using Eq.(31), we have

S2 ∂t S2 2

∂φ

ZZ

Now, putting (16) and (21) into (10), we have I1 =
ρ ndS. (32)

S1 ∂t

ZZ

1

FQ =
ρ(u · u)n − ρu(u · n) dS Suppose that ∂Q/∂t = 0. Then, using Eq.(30), we

S2 2 have

D

ZZ

+
ρφndS. (22) ∂φ ∂φ0 1 ∂Q ∂φ0

Dt S1 = − = . (33)

∂t ∂t 4πa ∂t ∂t

For convenience, let us introduce the following defini- Using Eq.(33) and Ostrogradsky–Gauss theorem,

tion Eq.(32) becomes

∂

ZZ ZZ

1

F=
ρ(u · u)n − ρu(u · n) dS. (23) I1 =
ρφ0 ndS

S2 2 ∂t S1

∂

ZZZ

Since the radius R of the spherical surface S2 is arbitrary, = ρ∇φ0 dV

∂t V

we may let R to be large enough. Now, making use of ZZZ 1

the result (5.13) in [34], we have ∂

= ρu0 dV. (34)

∂t V1

F = 0. (24)

We speculate that the radius a of the spherical source

Therefore, using (24), (22) becomes may be so small that the velocity u0 at any point of the

spherical surface may be treated as a constant. Thus,

D

ZZ

Eq.(34) becomes

FQ =
ρφndS. (25)

Dt S1

∂(ρu0 )

ZZZ

I1 = dV

Applying Lemma 2, (25) becomes ∂t V1

∂(ρu0 ) 4πa3

∂

ZZ ZZ

=

FQ =
ρφndS +
ρu(u · n)dS. (26) ∂t 3

∂t S1 S1 4πρa3 ∂u0

= . (35)

For convenience, let us introduce the following defini- 3 ∂t

tions Now let us calculate the integral I2 in Eq.(27).

∂

ZZ ZZ Noticing Eq.(29), we have

I1 =
ρφndS, I2 =
ρu(u · n)dS. (27)

∂t S1 Q2

ZZ

S1 Q

I2 = ρ
2 a4

n+ u

2 0

S1 16π 4πa

Thus, Eq.(26) becomes

Q

+ (u0 · n)n + (u0 · n)u0 dS. (36)

FQ = I1 + I2 . (28) 4πa2

4

For convenience, let us introduce the following defini- at the center of the spherical source. Then Eq.(44) can

tions be obtained following the same procedures in the proof

of Theorem 3.

ρQ2

ZZ

J1 =
ndS, Applying Theorem 4 to the situation that a spherical

2 4

S116π a source or spherical sink is exposed to the velocity field of

ρQ

ZZ

another spherical source or sink, we have

J2 =
u dS,

2 0

S14πa

Corollary 5 Suppose the presuppositions (1),(2),(3),(4)

ρQ

ZZ

J3 =
(u0 · n)ndS, and (5) in Theorem 3 are valid and a spherical source or

2

S14πa spherical sink with strength Q2 is exposed to the veloc-

ZZ

ity field of another static spherical source or spherical

J4 =
(u0 · n)u0 dS. (37)

S1 sink with strength Q1 , then the force F21 exerted on the

spherical source or spherical sink with strength Q2 by the

Thus, Eq.(36) becomes velocity field of the spherical source or spherical sink with

strength Q1 is

I2 = J1 + J2 + J3 + J4 . (38)

4πρa32 ∂

4 Q1 Q1

Suppose that the radius a of the spherical source may F21 = ρQ2 r̂21 − vs + r̂21 − vs ,

3 4πr2 3 ∂t 4πr2

be so small that the velocity u0 at any point of the spher- (45)

ical surface S1 may be treated as a constant. Therefore, where r̂21 denotes the unit vector directed outward along

the four integral terms in Eq.(38) turns out to be the line from the spherical source or spherical sink with

strength Q1 to the spherical source or spherical sink with

J1 = 0, (39) strength Q2 , a2 is the radius of the spherical source or the

J2 = ρQu0 , (40) spherical sink with strength Q2 , r is the distance between

1 the two bodies, v2 is the moving velocity of the spherical

J3 = ρQu0 , (41)

3 source or spherical sink with strength Q2 .

J4 = 0. (42)

If the spherical source with strength Q2 is static in the

Therefore, using Eq.(39-42), we have aether, then Eq.(45) reduces to

4πρa3 ∂

4 ρQ1 Q2 Q1

I2 = ρQu0 . (43) F21 = r̂21 + r̂21 . (46)

3 3πr2 3 ∂t 4πr2

Eq.(9). This completes the proof. IV. A SPHERICAL SOURCE AND SPHERICAL

Theorem 3 only considers the situation that the spheri- SINK MODEL OF ELECTRIC CHARGES

cal sources or spherical sinks are at rest in fluids. Now let

us consider the case that the spherical sources or spheri- The purpose of this section is to establish a spherical

cal sinks are moving in fluid. source and spherical sink model of electric charges.

It is an old idea that the universe may be filled with a

Theorem 4 Suppose the presuppositions (1),(2),(3),(4) kind of continuously distributed material which may be

and (5) in Theorem 3 are valid and a spherical source or called aether (refer to, for instance, [5]).

a spherical sink is moving in the fluid with a velocity vs , In order to compare fluid motion with electric fields,

then there is a force Maxwell introduced an analogy between sources or

sinks and electric charges [5]. Recently, we derive the

4 4πρa3 ∂ Maxwell’s equations in vacuum by methods of contin-

FQ = ρQ(uf − vs ) + (uf − vs ) (44)

3 3 ∂t uum mechanics based on a continuum mechanical model

is exerted on the spherical source or the spherical sink of vacuum and a point source and sink model of electric

by the fluid, where ρ is the density of the fluid, Q is the charges [36].

strength of the spherical source or the spherical sink, a In 1892[37], Lorentz established an electromagnetic

is the radius of the spherical source or the spherical sink, theory in order to derive the Fresnel convection coeffi-

uf is the velocity of the fluid at the location of the source cient. There are only two types of entities in Lorentz’s

induced by all means other than the spherical source itself. theory: movable electrons and a stagnant aether. To

avoid singularities, the electrons were not designed to be

Proof. The velocity of the fluid relative to the spher- singularities as Larmor’s electrons in the aether field, but

ical source at the location of the spherical source is were extremely small hard spheres with a finite radius.

uf − vs . Let us select the coordinates that is attached to Inspired by Maxwell [5] and Lorentz[37], we speculate

the spherical source and set the origin of the coordinates that electric charges may not be singularities, but may be

5

extremely small hard spherical sources or spherical sinks V. DERIVATION OF COULOMB’S LAW OF

with finite radii. INTERACTIONS BETWEEN STATIC ELECTRIC

In [36], we introduced a hypothesis that the constitu- CHARGES IN VACUUM

tive relation of the aether satisfies

deij 1 1 dsij The purpose of this section is to derive Coulomb’s law

= sij + , (47) of interactions between static electric charges in vacuum.

dt 2η 2G dt

It is known that the motion of an incompressible

where sij is the stress deviator, eij is the strain deviator,

Newtonian-fluid is governed by the Navier–Stokes equa-

G is the shear modulus, η is the dynamic viscocity.

tions (refer to, for instance, [29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34]),

Now let us introduce the following definition of

Maxwelllian relaxation time τ

∂u

η ρ + (u · ∇)u = −∇p − η∇2 u, (53)

τ= . (48) ∂t

G

Therefore, using Eq.(48), Eq.(47) becomes where u is the velocity field of the fluid, p is the pressure

field, ρ is the density field, η is the dynamic viscocity

sij dsij deij coefficient, t is time.

+ = 2G . (49)

τ dt dt The definition of Reynolds number Re of a fluid field

Let T0 be the characteristic time of a observer of an is

electric charge. We may suppose that the observer’s time ρ0 U 0 L 0

scale T0 is very large compares to the the Maxwelllian re- Re = , (54)

η0

laxation time τ . So the Maxwelllian relaxation time τ is

a relatively a small number and the stress deviator sij where ρ0 is the characteristic density, U0 is the charac-

changes very slowly. Thus, the second term in the left of teristic velocity, L0 is the characteristic length, η0 is the

Eq.(49) may be neglected. Therefore, the observer con- characteristic dynamic viscocity coefficient.

cludes that the aether behaves like the Newtonian-fluid.

According to this observer, the constitutive relation of Hypothesis 7 We speculate that the characteristic ve-

the aether may be written as locity U0 of an electric charge is so high compares to

the characteristic dynamic viscocity coefficient η0 of the

deij

sij = 2η . (50) aether that the Reynolds number Re of the fluid field is

dt a large number.

We see that Eq.(50) is the constitutive relation of a

Newtonian-fluid. Therefore, the observer concludes that Under this hypothesis, we may treat the aether as an

the aether behaves as a Newtonian-fluid under his time inviscid incompressible fluid when we study the motion

scale. of electric charges. Therefore, according to Hypothesis 7,

Now let us introduce the following hypothesis. the motion of the aether is governed by the Euler equa-

tions (refer to, for instance, [29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34]),

Hypothesis 6 Suppose all the electric charges in the

universe are small hard spherical sources or spherical ∂u 1

sinks with finite radii in the aether. We define a spherical + (u · ∇)u = − ∇p. (55)

∂t ρ

source as a negative electric charge. We define a spheri-

cal sink as a positive electric charge. The electric charge Now based on Hypothesis 6 and Hypothesis 7, we can

quantity of an electric charge is defined as make use of Theorem 3 and Theorem 4 to study the mo-

tions of electric charges.

qe = −kQ ρQ, (51)

Theorem 8 Suppose a static electric charge with an

where ρ is the density of the aether, kQ is a positive

electric charge quantity q2 is exposed to the electric field

dimensionless constant, Q is called the strength of the

of another static electric charge with an electric charge

spherical source or spherical sink.

quantity q1 , then the force F21 exerted on the electric

A calculation shows that the mass m of a electric charge with electric charge quantity q2 by the electric field

charge is changing with time as of the electric charge with electric charge quantity q1 is

dm qe 4 1 q1 q2

= −ρQ = , (52) F21 = r̂21

dt kQ 3kE kQ 4πǫ0 4πr2

where qe is the electric charge quantity of the electric 4πa32 ∂ q1

charge. − r̂21 , (56)

3kQ ∂t 4πr2

We may introduce a hypothesis that the masses of elec-

tric charges are changing so slowly relative to the time where r̂21 denotes the unit vector directed outward along

scaler of human beings that they can be treated as con- the line from the electric charge with electric charge quan-

stants approximately. tity q1 to the electric charge with electric charge quantity

6

q2 , a2 is the radius of the electric charge with electric Theorem 11 Suppose a static electric charge with an

charge quantity q2 , r is the distance between the two elec- electric charge quantity q is exposed to an electric field

tric charges, kQ and kE are two positive dimensionless E of the aether, then the force F exerted on the electric

constants. charge by the electric field E is

F = qE − , (63)

q1 q2 3kQ ∂t

Q1 = − , Q2 = − , (57)

kQ ρ kQ ρ where q is the electric charge quantity of the electric

where Q1 and Q2 are the strengthes of the electric charges charge, a is the radius of the electric charge, ǫ0 is the

respectively. From a definition in Eq.(65) in [36], we have dielectric constant of vacuum, kQ is a positive dimen-

sionless constant, E is the electric field at the location of

kQ ρ the electric charge induced by all means other than the

ǫ0 = , (58)

kE electric charge itself.

where ǫ0 is the dielectric constant of vacuum. Putting Proof. From Hypothesis 6, we have

Eq.(57) and Eq.(58) into Eq.(46), we get Eq.(56).

If we ignore the second term in Eq.(56), then we get q

Q=− , (64)

kQ ρ

4 1 q1 q2

F21 = r̂21 . (59) where Q is the strength of the electric charge. Putting

3kE kQ 4πǫ0 4πr2

Eq.(62) and Eq.(64) into Eq.(9) and making use of

Compare Eq.(59) with Eq.(1), it is natural to introduce Eq.(58) and Eq.(60), we get Eq.(63).

the following hypothesis. If we ignore the second term in Eq.(63), then we get

Hypothesis 9 Suppose we have the following relation F = qE. (65)

4

kE kQ = . (60) We know that the Lorentz’s force law can be written

3 as

Now based on Hypothesis 9, from Eq.(59) we see that

we have arrived at Coulomb’s law (1) of interactions be- F = qE + qve × B, (66)

tween static electric charges in vacuum.

where q is the electric charge quantity of a electric charge,

Theorem 8 only states the force exerted on a static

F is the force exerted on the electric charge, ve is the

electric charge by the electric field of another static elec-

velocity of the electric charge, E and B are the electric

tric charge. We may generalize this result to the case of

field intensity and the magnetic induction respectively at

an static electric charge exposed to any electric field of

the location of the electric charge induced by all means

the aether.

other than the electric charge itself.

In [36], we introduced the following definition

We see that Eq.(65) is a reduced form of the Lorentz’s

∂u force law (66) for static electric charges in vacuum.

E = −kE , (61)

∂t

where u is the displacement of the visco-elastic aether, VI. SUPERPOSITION PRINCIPLE OF

∂u

∂t is the velocity field of the aether, E is the electric ELECTRIC FIELD OF STATIC ELECTRIC

field intensity, kE is a positive dimensionless constant. CHARGES

Since the observer of an electric charge concludes that

the aether behaves as a Newtonian-fluid under his time From the definition 10, we see that the electric field

scale, we may define the electric field intensity as the intensity is a linear function of the velocity field of the

velocity field of the aether. Therefore, we may introduce aether. Therefore, the superposition principle of electric

the following definition. fields of static electric charges in vacuum is deduced from

the superposition theorem of the velocity field of fluids.

Definition 10 We define the electric field intensity in

the aether as

VII. CONCLUSION

E = −kE va , (62)

where va is the velocity field of the aether at the location We show that the forces between spherical sources and

of an testing electric charge induced by all means other spherical sinks in ideal fluids coincide with Coulomb’s

than the testing electric charge itself, E is the electric inverse-square-law of interactions between static electric

field intensity, kE is a positive dimensionless constant. charges. It is an old idea that the universe may be filled

7

with a kind of continuously distributed material which [10] A. C. Eringen, The Elements of Continuum Mechanics

may be called aether. Based on a continuum mechanical (Robert E. Krieger Pub. Co., Huntington, 1980).

model of vacuum and a spherical source and spherical [11] T. A. Green, Amer. J. of Phys. 30, 788 (1962).

[12] P. A. M. Dirac, Direction in Physics (Wiley, New York,

sink model of electric charges, we derive Coulomb’s law

1978).

of interactions between static electric charges in vacuum. [13] C. K. Whitney, Hadronic J. 11, 257 (1988).

Furthermore, we define the electric field intensity as a lin- [14] A. E. Chubykalo and R. Smirnov-Rueda, Phys. Rev. E

ear function of velocity field of the aether at the location 53, 5373 (1996).

of an testing electric charge induced by all means other [15] A. Einstein, Ann. Phys. 17, 891 (1905).

than the testing electric charge itself. Thus, we obtain a [16] A. A. Golebiewska-Lasta, Int. J. Engng. Sic. 17, 441

reduced form of the Lorentz’s force law for static electric (1979).

charges in vacuum. [17] A. Barut, Found. Phys. 18, 95 (1988).

[18] R. L. Oldershaw, International Journal of Theoretical

Physics 28, 669 (1989).

[19] R. L. Oldershaw, International Journal of Theoretical

VIII. DISCUSSION

Physics 28, 1503 (1989).

[20] V. P. Dmitriyev, Mechanics of Solids 26, 60 (1992).

There exists some interesting theoretical, experimental [21] D. J. Larson, Physics Essays 11, 524 (1998).

and applied problems in the fields of fluid mechanics, con- [22] H. Marmanis, Phys. Fluids 10, 1428 (1998).

tinuum mechanics, classical electrodynamics, quantum [23] V. P. Dmitriyev, Nuovo Cimento 111A, 501 (1998).

electrodynamics and other related fields involving this [24] D. Zareski, Found. Phys. Lett. 14, 447 (2001).

[25] V. P. Dmitriyev, Am. J. Phys. 71, 952 (2003).

theory of Coulomb’s law of interactions between static [26] A. Einstein, Aether and the Theory of Relativity, 1920,

electric charges. It is an interesting task to generalize translated in ’Sidelights on Relativity’, Dover (1983).

this work further to describe the forces exerted on a elec- [27] L. Kostro, Einstein and the Ether (Apeiron 4405, Rue

tric charge moving with a velocity in a electromagnetic St-Dominique Montreal, Quebec H2W 2B2 Canada,

field. http://redshift.vif.com, 2000).

[28] H. Lamb, Hydrodynamics (Cambridge University Press,

1932), 6th ed.

[29] N. E. Kochin, I. A. Kibel, and N. V. Roze., Theoreti-

cal hydrodynamics, Translated from the fifth Russian ed.

∗

Electronic address: wangxs1999@yahoo.com (Interscience Publishers, New York, 1964).

[1] J. D. Jackson, Classical Electrodynamics (Wiley, New [30] C.-S. Yih, Fliud Mechanics (McGraw-Hill Book Com-

York, 1963). pany, New York, 1969).

[2] G. Spavieri, G. T. Gillies, and M. Rodriguez, Metrologia [31] W.-Y. Wu, Fluid Mechanics, vol. 1, in Chinese (Beijing

41, S159 (2004). University Press, Beijing, 1982).

[3] L. J. L. C. Tu, Metrologia 41, S136 (2004). [32] L. D. Landau and Lifshitz, Fluid Mechanics, translated

[4] H. Cavendish, Elec. Res. Honourable 104 (1879). from the Russian by J.B. Sykes and W.H. Reid. (Perga-

[5] E. Whittaker, A History of the Theories of Aether and mon, New York, 1987).

Electricity (Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., London, [33] T. E. Faber, Fluid Dynamics for Physicists (Cambridge

1953). University Press, Cambridge, 1995).

[6] B. G. Sidharth, physics/0503220. [34] I. G. Currie, Fundamental Mechanics of Fluids (Cam-

[7] C. Truesdell, The Elements of Continuum Mechanics bridge University Press, 2003), 3rd ed.

(Springer-Verlag, New York, 1966). [35] W.-Y. Wu, Fluid Mechanics, vol. 2, in Chinese (Beijing

[8] L. D. Landau and Lifshitz, The classical theory of University Press, Beijing, 1982).

fields, translated from the Russian by Morton Hamermesh [36] X.-S. Wang, physics/0609027 (2006).

(Pergamon Press, New York, 1975). [37] H. A. Lorentz, Collected Papers, vol. 2 (Martinus Nijhoff,

[9] Y. C. Fung, A First Course in Continuum Mechanics Netherlands, 1936).

(Prentice-Hall, London, 1977).

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