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George FitzGerald, Irish physicist

George FitzGerald, Irish physicist

C026/4077

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HOLLINGER AND ROCKEY, NEW YORK, SWAN ELECTRIC ENGRAVING CO., COURTESY AIP EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, BRITTLE BOOKS COLLECTION, PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HOLLINGER AND ROCKEY, NEW YORK, SWAN ELECTRIC ENGRAVING CO., COURTESY AIP EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, BRITTLE BOOKS COLLECTION, PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Editorial use only.

Caption

George FitzGerald (1851-1901), Irish physicist. Although FitzGerald did not publish much original work, his influence on 19th-century physics was due to his informal suggestions and discussions with others, who would try out his ideas. FitzGerald developed the hypothesis that a body moving in an electromagnetic field contracts slightly in the direction of its motion (Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction), an idea which became an important step towards Einstein's theory of relativity.

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