British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):381-407 (1993)
|Abstract||It is still perhaps not widely appreciated that in 1905 Einstein used his postulate concerning the ‘constancy’ of the light-speed in the ‘resting’ frame, in conjunction with the principle of relativity, to derive numerical light-speed invariance. Now a ‘weak’ version of the relativity principle (or, alternatively, appeal to the Michelson—Morley experiment) leads from Einstein's light postulate to a condition that we call universal light-speed constancy. which is weaker than light-speed invariance. It follows from earlier independent investigations (Robertson ; Steigler ; Tzanakis and Kyritsis ) that this condition is none the less sufficient to derive the Lorentz transformations up to a scale factor, given the well-known kinematic principle of ‘reciprocity’. In this paper, we follow Robertson and explore the kinematics consistent with universal light-speed constancy without imposing reciprocity, and we recover the Lorentz transformations by further appeal only to the weak relativity principle and spatial isotropy.|
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