Physical Relativity

Space-time Structure from a Dynamical Perspective

Author: Harvey R. Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199275831

Category: Science

Page: 225

View: 4950


Physical Relativity explores the nature of the distinction at the heart of Einstein's 1905 formulation of his special theory of relativity: that between kinematics and dynamics. Einstein himself became increasingly uncomfortable with this distinction, and with the limitations of what he called the 'principle theory' approach inspired by the logic of thermodynamics. A handful of physicists and philosophers have over the last century likewise expressed doubts about Einstein'streatment of the relativistic behaviour of rigid bodies and clocks in motion in the kinematical part of his great paper, and suggested that the dynamical understanding of length contraction and time dilation intimated by the immediate precursors of Einstein is more fundamental. Harvey Brown both examines andextends these arguments (which support a more 'constructive' approach to relativistic effects in Einstein's terminology), after giving a careful analysis of key features of the pre-history of relativity theory. He argues furthermore that the geometrization of the theory by Minkowski in 1908 brought illumination, but not a causal explanation of relativistic effects. Finally, Brown tries to show that the dynamical interpretation of special relativity defended in the book is consistent with therole this theory must play as a limiting case of Einstein's 1915 theory of gravity: the general theory of relativity.Appearing in the centennial year of Einstein's celebrated paper on special relativity, Physical Relativity is an unusual, critical examination of the way Einstein formulated his theory. It also examines in detail certain specific historical and conceptual issues that have long given rise to debate in both special and general relativity theory, such as the conventionality of simultaneity, the principle of general covariance, and the consistency or otherwise of the special theory withquantum mechanics. Harvey Brown' s new interpretation of relativity theory will interest anyone working on these central topics in modern physics.

Quantum Systems under Gravitational Time Dilation

Author: Magdalena Zych

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319531921

Category: Science

Page: 139

View: 2685


This thesis introduces a new theoretical tool to explore the notion of time and temporal order in quantum mechanics: the relativistic quantum "clock" framework. It proposes novel thought experiments showing that proper time can display quantum features, e.g. when a “clock” runs different proper times in superposition. The resulting new physical effects can be tested in near-future laboratory experiments (with atoms, molecules and photons as "clocks"). The notion of time holds the key to the regime where quantum theory and general relativity overlap, which has not been directly tested yet and remains largely unexplored by the theory. The framework also applies to scenarios in which causal relations between events become non-classical and which were previously considered impossible to address without refuting quantum theory. The relativistic quantum "clock" framework offers new insights into the foundations of quantum theory and general relativity.

Towards a Theory of Spacetime Theories

Author: Dennis Lehmkuhl,Gregor Schiemann,Erhard Scholz

Publisher: Birkhäuser

ISBN: 1493932101

Category: Mathematics

Page: 335

View: 4373


This contributed volume is the result of a July 2010 workshop at the University of Wuppertal Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies which brought together world-wide experts from physics, philosophy and history, in order to address a set of questions first posed in the 1950s: How do we compare spacetime theories? How do we judge, objectively, which is the “best” theory? Is there even a unique answer to this question? The goal of the workshop, and of this book, is to contribute to the development of a meta-theory of spacetime theories. Such a meta-theory would reveal insights about specific spacetime theories by distilling their essential similarities and differences, deliver a framework for a class of theories that could be helpful as a blueprint to build other meta-theories, and provide a higher level viewpoint for judging which theory most accurately describes nature. But rather than drawing a map in broad strokes, the focus is on particularly rich regions in the “space of spacetime theories.” This work will be of interest to physicists, as well as philosophers and historians of science working with or interested in General Relativity and/or Space, Time and Gravitation more generally.

A Companion to the Philosophy of Time

Author: Adrian Bardon,Heather Dyke

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118522052

Category: Philosophy

Page: 600

View: 7278


A Companion to the Philosophy of Time presents the broadest treatment of this subject yet; 32 specially commissioned articles - written by an international line-up of experts – provide an unparalleled reference work for students and specialists alike in this exciting field. The most comprehensive reference work on the philosophy of time currently available The first collection to tackle the historical development of the philosophy of time in addition to covering contemporary work Provides a tripartite approach in its organization, covering history of the philosophy of time, time as a feature of the physical world, and time as a feature of experience Includes contributions from both distinguished, well-established scholars and rising stars in the field

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics

Author: Robert Batterman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0195392043

Category: Philosophy

Page: 688

View: 7170


This Oxford Handbook provides an overview of many of the topics that currently engage philosophers of physics. It surveys new issues and the problems that have become a focus of attention in recent years. It also provides up-to-date discussions of the still very important problems that dominated the field in the past. In the late 20th Century, the philosophy of physics was largely focused on orthodox Quantum Mechanics and Relativity Theory. The measurement problem, the question of the possibility of hidden variables, and the nature of quantum locality dominated the literature on the quantum mechanics, whereas questions about relationalism vs. substantivalism, and issues about underdetermination of theories dominated the literature on spacetime. These issues still receive considerable attention from philosophers, but many have shifted their attentions to other questions related to quantum mechanics and to spacetime theories. Quantum field theory has become a major focus, particularly from the point of view of algebraic foundations. Concurrent with these trends, there has been a focus on understanding gauge invariance and symmetries. The philosophy of physics has evolved even further in recent years with attention being paid to theories that, for the most part, were largely ignored in the past. For example, the relationship between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics—-once thought to be a paradigm instance of unproblematic theory reduction—-is now a hotly debated topic. The implicit, and sometimes explicit, reductionist methodology of both philosophers and physicists has been severely criticized and attention has now turned to the explanatory and descriptive roles of "non-fundamental,'' phenomenological theories. This shift of attention includes "old'' theories such as classical mechanics, once deemed to be of little philosophical interest. Furthermore, some philosophers have become more interested in "less fundamental'' contemporary physics such as condensed matter theory. Questions abound with implications for the nature of models, idealizations, and explanation in physics. This Handbook showcases all these aspects of this complex and dynamic discipline.

God in an Open Universe

Science, Metaphysics, and Open Theism

Author: William Hasker,Thomas Jay Oord

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1630877832

Category: Religion

Page: 214

View: 7366


Since its inception, the discussion surrounding Open Theism has been dominated by polemics. On crucial philosophical issues, Openness proponents have largely been devoted to explicating the underlying framework and logical arguments supporting their perspective against competing theological and philosophical perspectives. As a result, very little constructive work has been done on the interconnections between Open Theism and the natural sciences. Given the central place of sciences in today's world, any perspective that hopes to have a broad impact must necessarily address such disciplines in a sustained and constructive manner. To date such engagements from the Openness perspective have been rare. God in an Open Universe addresses this deficiency. This book demonstrates that Open Theism makes a distinctive and highly fruitful contribution to the conversation and constructive work occurring between philosophy, theology, and the sciences. The various essays explore subjects ranging from physics to prayer, from special relativity to divine providence, from metaphysics to evolution, and from space-time to God. All who work at the intersection of theology and the sciences will benefit greatly from these essays that break new ground in this important conversation.

Astronomy Methods

A Physical Approach to Astronomical Observations

Author: Hale Bradt

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521535519

Category: Science

Page: 433

View: 2003


Astronomy Methods is an introduction to basic practical tools, methods and phenomena that underlie quantitative astronomy. Taking a technical approach, the author covers a rich diversity of topics across all branches of astronomy, from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. Clear, systematic presentations of the topics are accompanied by diagrams and problem sets. Written for undergraduates and graduate students, this book contains a wealth of information that is required for the practice and study of quantitative and analytical astronomy and astrophysics.

Space, Time, Matter

Author: Hermann Weyl

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 9780486602677

Category: Science

Page: 330

View: 3901


"The standard treatise on the general theory of relativity." — Nature "Whatever the future may bring, Professor Weyl's book will remain a classic of physics." — British Journal for Philosophy and Science Reflecting the revolution in scientific and philosophic thought which accompanied the Einstein relativity theories, Dr. Weyl has probed deeply into the notions of space, time, and matter. A rigorous examination of the state of our knowledge of the world following these developments is undertaken with this guiding principle: that although further scientific thought may take us far beyond our present conception of the world, we may never again return to the previous narrow and restricted scheme. Although a degree of mathematical sophistication is presupposed, Dr. Weyl develops all the tensor calculus necessary to his exposition. He then proceeds to an analysis of the concept of Euclidean space and the spatial conceptions of Riemann. From this the nature of the amalgamation of space and time is derived. This leads to an exposition and examination of Einstein's general theory of relativity and the concomitant theory of gravitation. A detailed investigation follows devoted to gravitational waves, a rigorous solution of the problem of one body, laws of conservation, and the energy of gravitation. Dr. Weyl's introduction of the concept of tensor-density as a magnitude of quantity (contrasted with tensors which are considered to be magnitudes of intensity) is a major step toward a clearer understanding of the relationships among space, time, and matter.

Frontiers of fundamental physics

eighth international symposium FFP8, Madrid, Spain, 17-19 October 2006

Author: Antonio Alfonso-Faus

Publisher: Amer Inst of Physics

ISBN: 9780735404120

Category: Science

Page: 269

View: 3958


All papers were peer reviewed. The broad objective of Frontiers of Fundamental Physics has been to enable scholars working in different areas to meet and exchange ideas and status reports. In this edition, the foundations of physics have been discussed and the role of science and its connection with society. The idea of supplying a site to impel this debate among workers of science and all the society also appeared. Changing the way of doing science could contribute to improve the society in a fairer social system, a science for all the peoples of the world. Moreover, alternative ideas should be taken into account to help the progress of science. Topics discussed include: high energy physics including string theory and quantum gravity; astro-particle physics; theoretical physics; applied mathematics; astrophysics and cosmology; alternative theories.