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John Fox on the Ritz Translation

Carnegie-Mellon University

Department of Physics
Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213
[412] 621-2600

April 21, 1975
Lt. Robert S. Fritzius
103 W. Sunset, NAS
FPO San Francisco, California 94132

Dear Lt. Fritzius:

      You have undertaken an ambitious project in translating the long 1908 paper of W. Ritz. Although I believe that experimental evidence is against Ritz's theory, I also believe that there are a number of interesting critical ideas in his paper. Furthermore it is of interest for the general philosophy of science that Ritz's theory, so different in structure from that of Maxwell, Lorentz and Einstein, could come so close to describing correctly the vast quantity of phenomena described today by relativistic electromagnetic theory.

      An English translation of Ritz's monumental effort is certainly worthwhile. I would be delighted to have a copy when your labors are finished.


John G. Fox
Professor of Physics

Footnote: Professor Fox passed away in 1980 (aged 64) before I could send him a copy of the Introduction and First Part of Ritz's Critical Researches on General Electrodynamics.