Lorentz Transformation
Lorentz Transformation
This transformation derives its name, of course, from Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (18531928), a Dutch physicist. Unlike the Galilean transformation, the Lorentz transformation involves a change of spatial distance and a change of time interval between two inertial systems. For a simple case where the new coordinate system is moving with constant velocity v along the xaxis of the old coordinate system , the transformation is as in the figure, where y' = y and z' = z.
In general, the Lorentz transformation allows a change of the origin of a coordinate system, a rotation around the origin, a reversal of spatial or temporal direction, and a uniform movement along a spatial axis.
If a physical law remains the same under the Lorentz transformation, it is called "Lorentz invariant". This is what Einstein aimed at, as regards both mechanics and electromagnetism, in his special relativity (but only inertial systems were in view).
Lorentz moving up!

Lorentz moving to right!

Lorentz contraction!
For Lorentz, see a biography in the Nobel Foundation.
Last modified March 30, 2003. (c) Soshichi Uchii