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George Francis FitzGerald Biography
George Francis FitzGerald, or Fitzgerald, (3 August 1851 - 22 February 1901) was a professor of "natural and experimental philosophy" (i.e., what is now called physics and chemistry) at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland in the late 19th century.

In 1883, following from Maxwell's equations, he suggested a device for producing rapidly oscillating electric current, to generate electromagnetic waves, a phenonenon first shown experimentally by Heinrich Hertz.

However, he is better known for his conjecture in 1894 that if all moving objects were foreshortened in the direction of their motion, it would account for the curious result of the Michelson-Morley experiment. Mathematical equations that quantify this contraction were subsequently derived by Hendrik Lorentz in 1903, and the phenomenon is an essential element of Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, published in 1905, which provides an explanation of why such contraction occurs.
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article George Francis FitzGerald.