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Special Relativity, Misc

Edited by Virendra Tripathi (University of Nebraska, Lincoln, University of Nebraska, Omaha)
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  1. Hajnal Andréka, Judit X. Madarász, István Németi & Gergely Székely (2012). A Logic Road From Special Relativity to General Relativity. Synthese 186 (3):633 - 649.
    We present a streamlined axiom system of special relativity in first-order logic. From this axiom system we "derive" an axiom system of general relativity in two natural steps. We will also see how the axioms of special relativity transform into those of general relativity. This way we hope to make general relativity more accessible for the non-specialist.
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  2. Robert K. Clifton (1989). Some Recent Controversy Over the Possibility of Experimentally Determining Isotropy in the Speed of Light. Philosophy of Science 56 (4):688-696.
    The most recent attempt at factually establishing a "true" value for the one-way velocity of light is shown to be faulty. The proposal consists of two round-trip photons travelling first in vacuo and then through a medium of refractive index n before returning to their common point of origin. It is shown that this proposal, as well as a similar one considered by Salmon (1977), presupposes that the one-way velocities of light are equal to the round-trip value. Furthermore, experiments of (...)
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  3. Gordon N. Fleming (2011). Observations on Unstable Quantons, Hyperplane Dependence and Quantum Fields. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (2):136-147.
    There is persistent heterodoxy in the physics literature concerning the proper treatment of those quantons that are unstable against spontaneous decay. Following a brief litany of this heterodoxy, I develop some of the consequences of assuming that such quantons can exist, undecayed and isolated, at definite times and that their treatment can be carried out within a standard quantum theoretic state space. This assumption requires hyperplane dependence for the unstable quanton states and leads to clarification of some recent results concerning (...)
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  4. Gordon N. Fleming, Shirokov's Contracting Lifetimes and the Interpretation of Velocity Eigenstates for Unstable Quantons.
    This paper is concerned with the interpretation of velocity eigenstates for unstable quantons, their relationship to space-like momentum eigenstates for such quantons and the explanation of Shirokov’s contracting lifetimes for such velocity eigenstates. It is an elaboration of a portion of the authors earlier study.
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  5. Gordon N. Fleming (1995). Examining the Compatibility of Special Relativity and Quantum Theory. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 26 (3):325-331.
  6. Michael Friedman (2010). Einstein, Kant, and the A Priori. In Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.), Epsa Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Springer. 65--73.
  7. Shan Gao, Three Possible Implications of Spacetime Discreteness.
    We analyze the possible implications of spacetime discreteness for the special and general relativity and quantum theory. It is argued that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime may explain the invariance of the speed of light in special relativity and Einstein’s equivalence principle in general relativity. Moreover, the discreteness of spacetime may also result in the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics, which may provide a possible solution to the quantum measurement problem. These interesting results might (...)
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  8. Cody Gilmore (2012). Keep in Touch. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):85-111.
    I introduce a puzzle about contact and de re temporal predication in relativistic spacetime. In particular, I describe an apparent counterexample to the following principle, roughly stated: if B is never in a position to say ‘I was touching A, I am touching A, and I will be touching A’, then (time travel aside) A is never in a position to say ‘I was touching B, I am touching B, and I will be touching B’. In the case I present, (...)
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  9. Cody Gilmore (2006). Where in the Relativistic World Are We? Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):199–236.
    I formulate a theory of persistence in the endurantist family and pose a problem for the conjunction of this theory with orthodox versions of special or general relativity. The problem centers around the question: Where are things?
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  10. Amit Hagar (2014). Discrete or Continuous? The Quest for Fundamental Length in Modern Physics. Cambridge University Press.
    A book on the notion of fundamental length, covering issues in the philosophy of math, metaphysics, and the history and the philosophy of modern physics, from classical electrodynamics to current theories of quantum gravity. Published (2014) in Cambridge University Press.
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  11. Amit Hagar (2013). Review of Tim Maudlin's Philosophy of Physics: Space & Time. [REVIEW] Physics in Perspective (x).
  12. Amit Hagar (2008). Length Matters: The Einstein–Swann Correspondence and the Constructive Approach to the Special Theory of Relativity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (3):532-556.
    I discuss a rarely mentioned correspondence between Einstein and Swann on the constructive approach to the special theory of relativity, in which Einstein points out that the attempts to construct a dynamical explanation of relativistic kinematical effects require postulating a fundamental length scale in the level of the dynamics. I use this correspondence to shed light on several issues under dispute in current philosophy of spacetime that were highlighted recently in Harvey Brown’s monograph Physical Relativity, namely, Einstein’s view on the (...)
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  13. H. P. K. (1967). Spacetime Physics. Review of Metaphysics 20 (4):734-735.
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  14. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). On Relativity Theory and Openness of the Future. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):341-348.
    In a recent paper, Howard Stein makes a number of criticisms of an earlier paper of mine ('Are Probabilism and Special Relativity Incompatible?', Phil. Sci., 1985), which explored the question of whether the idea that the future is genuinely 'open' in a probabilistic universe is compatible with special relativity. I disagree with almost all of Stein's criticisms.
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  15. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part One: How to Solve the Problem of Induction. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):61-79.
    In this three-part paper, my concern is to expound and defend a conception of science, close to Einstein's, which I call aim-oriented empiricism. I argue that aim-oriented empiricsim has the following virtues. (i) It solve the problem of induction; (ii) it provides decisive reasons for rejecting van Fraassen's brilliantly defended but intuitively implausible constructive empiricism; (iii) it solves the problem of verisimilitude, the problem of explicating what it can mean to speak of scientific progress given that science advances from one (...)
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  16. Nicholas Maxwell (1993). Induction and Scientific Realism: Einstein Versus Van Fraassen Part Three: Einstein, Aim-Oriented Empiricism and the Discovery of Special and General Relativity. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (2):275-305.
    In this paper I show that Einstein made essential use of aim-oriented empiricism in scientific practice in developing special and general relativity. I conclude by considering to what extent Einstein came explicitly to advocate aim-oriented empiricism in his later years.
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  17. John D. Norton (2009). How Hume and Mach Helped Einstein Find Special Relativity. In Michael Friedman, Mary Domski & Michael Dickson (eds.), Discourse on a New Method: Reinvigorating the Marriage of History and Philosophy of Science. Open Court. 359--86.
    In recounting his discovery of special relativity, Einstein recalled a debt to the philosophical writings of Hume and Mach. I review the path Einstein took to special relativity and urge that, at a critical juncture, he was aided decisively not by any specific doctrine of space and time, but by a general account of concepts that Einstein found in Hume and Mach’s writings. That account required that concepts, used to represent the physical, must be properly grounded in experience. In so (...)
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  18. Julio Ostalé García (2002). Ortega y la Relatividad Especial. El Basilisco: Revista de Filosofía, Ciencias Humanas, Teoría de la Ciencia y de la Cultura 32:89-92.
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  19. Lydia Patton (2011). Reconsidering Experiments. Hopos 1 (2):209-226.
    Experiments may not reveal their full import at the time that they are performed. The scientists who perform them usually are testing a specific hypothesis and quite often have specific expectations limiting the possible inferences that can be drawn from the experiment. Nonetheless, as Hacking has said, experiments have lives of their own. Those lives do not end with the initial report of the results and consequences of the experiment. Going back and rethinking the consequences of the experiment in a (...)
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  20. Oliver Pooley (2013). Substantivalist and Relationalist Approaches to Spacetime. In Robert Batterman (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Physics. Oxford University Press.
    Substantivalists believe that spacetime and its parts are fundamental constituents of reality. Relationalists deny this, claiming that spacetime enjoys only a derivative existence. I begin by describing how the Galilean symmetries of Newtonian physics tell against both Newton's brand of substantivalism and the most obvious relationalist alternative. I then review the (now) obvious substantivalist response to the problem, which is to ditch substantival space for substantival spacetime. The resulting position has many affinities with what are arguably the most natural interpretations (...)
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  21. Mario Bacelar Valente, The Flow of Time in the Theory of Relativity.
    Dennis Dieks advanced the view that the idea of flow of time is implemented in the theory of relativity. The ‘flow’ results from the successive happening/becoming of events along the time-like worldline of a material system. This leads to a view of now as local to each worldline. Each past event of the worldline has occurred once as a nowpoint,and we take there to be an ever-changing present now-point ‘marking’ the unfolding of a physical system. In Dieks’ approach there is (...)
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  22. Mario Bacelar Valente, Time in the Theory of Relativity: On Natural Clocks, Proper Time, the Clock Hypothesis, and All That.
    When addressing the notion of proper time in the theory of relativity, it is usually taken for granted that the time read by an accelerated clock is given by the Minkowski proper time. However, there are authors like Harvey Brown that consider necessary an extra assumption to arrive at this result, the so-called clock hypothesis. In opposition to Brown, Richard TW Arthur takes the clock hypothesis to be already implicit in the theory. In this paper I will present a view (...)
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  23. Mario Bacelar Valente, The Relativity of Simultaneity and Presentism.
    According to conventional wisdom, presentism is at odds with the theory of relativity. This is supposed to be shown quite simply just by considering the relativity of simultaneity. In this paper I will show that conventional wisdom is wrong. In fact by clarifying the physical meaning of the relativity of simultaneity one can inform the philosophical debate and endorse a presentist view.
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