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ELECTROMAGNETIC MASS AND THE INERTIAL PROPERTIES OF NUCLEI,
ILLINOIS UNIV AT URBANA COORDINATED SCIENCE LAB
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According to the theory of relativity the inertial mass of any physical system should be a scalar quantity no matter how distorted its electromagnetic structure and the excess inertial mass of electromagnetic origin should not be observable. Experimental evidence on both these points was examined for nuclei. Nuclei are particularly significant for this test because they are the only structures excepting the elementary particles which possess an appreciable fraction of their net mass in the form of electrostatic energy, they are the only structures which are formed as a result of the equilibrium between two very different types of known forces electromagnetic, and nuclear, and their dimensions are large enough that there is reason to trust the validity of the electromagnetic laws. It is found that the inertial mass of a distorted nucleus, as measured by a mass spectrometer, has no observable asymmetry to an accuracy of 1 part in 100 of the asymmetry which is calculated to exist as a consequence of the electromagnetic energy. It is found that a comparison of nuclear mass differences as measured by the mass spectrometer and by nuclear reactions shows that the excess electromagnetic inertial mass is not observable, to an accuracy of 1 part in 600.
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