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Simultaneity

Edited by Virendra Tripathi (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Omaha)
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  1. Jonathan Bain (2000). The Coordinate-Independent 2-Component Spinor Formalism and the Conventionality of Simultaneity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 31 (2):201-226.
    In recent articles, Zangari (1994) and Karakostas (1997) observe that while an &unknown;-extended version of the proper orthochronous Lorentz group O + (1,3) exists for values of &unknown; not equal to zero, no similar &unknown;-extended version of its double covering group SL(2, C) exists (where &unknown;=1-2&unknown; R , with &unknown; R the non-standard simultaneity parameter of Reichenbach). Thus, they maintain, since SL(2, C) is essential in describing the rotational behaviour of half-integer spin fields, and since there is empirical evidence for (...)
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  2. Gordon Belot (2013). Time in Classical and Relativistic Physics. In Adrian Bardon & Heather Dyke (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Time. Blackwell 185-200.
    This is a short, nontechnical introduction to features of time in classical and relativistic physics and their representation in the four-dimensional geometry of spacetime. Topics discussed include: the relativity of simultaneity in special and general relativity; the ‘twin paradox’ and differential aging effects in special and general relativity; and time travel in general relativity.
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  3. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2015). Causal Order, Temporal Order, and Becoming in Special Relativity. Topoi 34 (1):277-281.
    I reconstruct from Rietdijk and Putnam’s well-known papers an argument against the applicability of the concept of becoming in Special Relativity, which I think is unaffected by some of the objections found in the literature. I then consider a line of thought found in the discussion of the possible conventionality of simultaneity in Special Relativity, beginning with Reichenbach, and apply it to the debate over becoming. We see that it immediately renders Rietdijk and Putnam’s argument unsound. I end by comparing (...)
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  4. Hanoch Ben-Yami (2006). Causality and Temporal Order in Special Relativity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (3):459-479.
    David Malament tried to show that the causal theory of time leads to a unique determination of simultaneity relative to an inertial observer, namely standard simultaneity. I show that the causal relation Malament uses in his proofs, causal connectibility, should be replaced by a different causal relation, the one used by Reichenbach in his formulation of the theory. I also explain why Malament's reliance on the assumption that the observer has an eternal inertial history modifies our conception of simultaneity, and (...)
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  5. Fabien Besnard (2012). Simultaneity in Minkowski Spacetime: From Uniqueness to Arbitrariness. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 42 (9):1115-1134.
    Malament (Noûs 11:293–300, 1977) proved a certain uniqueness theorem about standard synchrony, also known as Poincaré-Einstein simultaneity, which has generated many commentaries over the years, some of them contradictory. We think that the situation called for some clarification. After reviewing and discussing some of the literature involved, we prove two results which, hopefully, will help clarifying this debate by filling the gap between the uniquess of Malament’s theorem, which allows the observer to use very few tools, and the complete arbitrariness (...)
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  6. Callender Craig (ed.) (forthcoming). The Oxford Handbook of Time. Oxford University Press.
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  7. Ted Dace, Special Relativity Completed.
    Though Einstein explained time dilation without recourse to a universal frame of reference, he erred by abolishing universal present moments. Relative simultaneity is insufficiently relativistic insofar as it depends on the absolute equality of reference frames in the measurement of the timing of events. Yet any given set of events privileges the frame in which the events take place. Relative to those events, the privileged frame yields the correct measurement of their timing while all other frames yield an incorrect measurement. (...)
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  8. Ted Dace (2015). Special Relativity in a Universe of Flowing Time. International Journal of Fundamental Physical Sciences 5 (3).
    By eliminating the need for an absolute frame of reference or ether, Einstein resolved the problem of the constancy of light-speed in all inertial frames but created a new problem in our understanding of time. The resolution of this problem requires no experimentation but only a careful analysis of special relativity, in particular the relativity of simultaneity. This concept is insufficiently relativistic insofar as Einstein failed to recognize that any given set of events privileges the frame in which the events (...)
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  9. Antony Eagle (2005). A Note on Dolby and Gull on Radar Time and the Twin 'Paradox'. American Journal of Physics 73:976–979.
    Recently a suggestion has been made that standard textbook representations of hypersurfaces of simultaneity for the travelling twin in the twin 'paradox' are incorrect. This suggestion is false: the standard textbooks are in agreement with a proper understanding of the relativity of simultaneity.
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  10. Brian Ellis (1971). On Conventionality and Simultaneity - a Reply. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 49 (2):177 – 203.
    This paper is a response to the "panel discussion of simultaneity by slow clock transport in the special and general theories of relativity" ("philosophy of science", 36, (march, 1969), Pp. 1-81) which arose out of a paper by brian ellis and peter bowman on "conventionality in distant simultaneity", ("philosophy of science", 34, (june, 1967), Pp. 116-36). It is argued that the basic disagreement between the pittsburgh panel and us is an epistemological one. In particular, Our concept of a good physical (...)
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  11. Eugene Feenberg (1974). Conventionality in Distant Simultaneity. Foundations of Physics 4 (1):121-126.
    Thought experiments are described in which the one-way velocity of light appears as a physical quantity. A rotating shaft is used to define distant synchrony for a system of clocks along the shaft. In this context Einstein's definition of distant simultaneity is seen as based on a physical assumption (and not merely on an overwhelmingly sensible choice in a range of conventional possibilities).
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  12. Luke Fenton-Glynn & Thomas Kroedel (2015). Relativity, Quantum Entanglement, Counterfactuals, and Causation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (1):45-67.
    We investigate whether standard counterfactual analyses of causation imply that the outcomes of space-like separated measurements on entangled particles are causally related. Although it has sometimes been claimed that standard CACs imply such a causal relation, we argue that a careful examination of David Lewis’s influential counterfactual semantics casts doubt on this. We discuss ways in which Lewis’s semantics and standard CACs might be extended to the case of space-like correlations.
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  13. Amit Hagar (2013). Review of Tim Maudlin's Philosophy of Physics: Space & Time. [REVIEW] Physics in Perspective (x).
  14. Robert D. Klauber (2007). Relativistic Rotation: A Comparison of Theories. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 37 (2):198-252.
    Alternative theories of relativistic rotation considered viable as of 2004 are compared in the light of experiments reported in 2005. En route, the contentious issue of simultaneity choice in rotation is resolved by showing that only one simultaneity choice, the one possessing continuous time, gives rise, via the general relativistic equation of motion, to the correct Newtonian limit Coriolis acceleration. In addition, the widely dispersed argument purporting Lorentz contraction in rotation and the concomitant curved surface of a rotating disk is (...)
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  15. Marco Mamone-Capria (2012). Simultaneity as an Invariant Equivalence Relation. Foundations of Physics 42 (11):1365-1383.
    This paper deals with the concept of simultaneity in classical and relativistic physics as construed in terms of group-invariant equivalence relations. A full examination of Newton, Galilei and Poincaré invariant equivalence relations in ℝ4 is presented, which provides alternative proofs, additions and occasionally corrections of results in the literature, including Malament’s theorem and some of its variants. It is argued that the interpretation of simultaneity as an invariant equivalence relation, although interesting for its own sake, does not cut in the (...)
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  16. Dylan N. Manson (2014). The Relativity of Simultaneity is Not a Temporal Illusion: A Critique of Brogaard and Marlow. Analysis 74 (2):234-236.
    In a recent issue of this journal Berit Brogaard and Kristian Marlow claim that an absolute frame of reference is compatible with Einstein’s Special Relativity. To achieve this they tweak Einstein’s famous train and embankment thought experiment and unjustifiably attribute, to Einstein, Hans Reichenbach’s claim that cause and effect are always temporally separated. Their conclusion is incompatible with the proper Lorentz transformations to show how time dilates from one frame of reference to another; transformations they show no evidence of having (...)
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  17. Jill North (2008). Book Review. Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond. Max Jammer. [REVIEW] American Scienctist 98 (1).
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  18. Sean Enda Power (2011). Temporal Illusions -- Philosophical Considerations. In A. Vatakis, A. Esposito, M. Giagkou, F. Cummins & G. Papadelis (eds.), Multidisciplinary Aspects of Time and Time Perception. Springer 11-35.
    Does the status of certain temporal experiences as illusory depend on one’s conception of time? Our concept of time in part determines our concept of what we hold to be real and unreal; what we hold to be real and unreal partially determines what we hold to be illusory; thus, our concept of time in part determines what we hold to be illusory. This paper argues that this dependency of illusions on the concept of time is applicable to illusions of (...)
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  19. Stephen E. Robbins (2010). sSecial Relativity and Perception: The Singular Time of Philosophy and Physics. Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 1:500-531.
    The Special Theory of Relativity (STR) holds sway as a theory of time due to its apparently successful predictive structure regarding time-related phenomena such as the increased life spans of mesons or retarded clocks on jets circling the globe, and due to the relativization of simultaneity intrinsic to this theoretical structure. Yet the very structure of the theory demands that such very real physical effects be construed as non-ontological. The scope and depth of this contradiction is explored and, if these (...)
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  20. Robert Rynasiewicz (2012). Simultaneity, Convention, and Gauge Freedom. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 43 (2):90-94.
    As is well know from Einstein the choice of a criterion for distant simultaneity is equivalent to stipulating one-way speeds for the transit of light. It is shown that any choice of non-standard synchrony is equivalent to a Lorentz local time boost. From this and considerations from the hole argument, it follows that there is a non-trivial sense in which distant simultaneity is conventional, at least to the extent that the “gauge freedom” arising in the hole argument is non-trivial.
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  21. Wesley C. Salmon (1969). The Conventionality of Simultaneity. Philosophy of Science 36 (1):44-63.
    After describing a new method of synchronizing spatially separated clocks by means of clock transport, this paper discusses the philosophical import of the existence of such methods, including those of Ellis and Bowman and of Bridgman, with special reference to the Ellis-Bowman claim that "the thesis of the coventionality of distant simultaneity... is thus either trivialized or refuted." I argue that the physical facts do not support this philosophical conclusion, and that a substantial part of their argument against Reichenbach, in (...)
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  22. Sahotra Sarkar & John Stachel (1999). Did Malament Prove the Non-Conventionality of Simultaneity in the Special Theory of Relativity? Philosophy of Science 66 (2):208-220.
    David Malament's (1977) well-known result, which is often taken to show the uniqueness of the Poincare-Einstein convention for defining simultaneity, involves an unwarranted physical assumption: that any simultaneity relation must remain invariant under temporal reflections. Once that assumption is removed, his other criteria for defining simultaneity are also satisfied by membership in the same backward (forward) null cone of the family of such cones with vertices on an inertial path. What is then unique about the Poincare-Einstein convention is that it (...)
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  23. Steven Savitt & Roberto Torretti (2011). Time in the Special Theory of Relativity. In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press 546--570.
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  24. Andrew Wutke, A Study on Invariance of Temporal Coincidence.
    This paper presents an attempt to define temporal coincidence starting from the first principles. The temporal coincidence defined here differs from Einstein’s simultaneity for it is invariant across inertial frames - not relative. The meaning and significance of temporal coincidence is derived from axioms of existence and it somehow relates to Kant’s notion of simultaneity. Consistentl y applied to the Special Theory of Relativity framework, temporal coincidence does not in any way create mathematical contradictions; however it allows looking at some (...)
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  25. Andrew Wutke, The Apparent Nature of Relative Simultaneity.
    This paper presents the proof of the apparent nature of relative simultaneity originally derived from Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity (STR). The proof does not challenge the validity of the STR but uncovers fundamental and widespread error in understanding of practical implications of Lorentz transformations. It is demonstrated that more than a century long debates generally miss the point. This results in counterintuitive claims of coexisting multiple time realities by mere equivalence of equal clock indications and simultaneity. Such claims have (...)
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  26. Peter Øhrstrøm (1980). Conventionality in Distant Simultaneity. Foundations of Physics 10 (3-4):333-343.
    The paper defends the thesis of conventionality in distant simultaneity within the special theory of relativity. The thesis can be expressed in the following way: There is no method independent of standard synchronization by which the one-way velocity of light can be measured if all empirical consequences of the special theory of relativity are to be accepted. Three methods which have recently been suggested are investigated. It is shown that they all depend on the method of standard synchronization. It is (...)
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