Graduate studies at Western
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (1):33-51 (2001)
|Abstract||We start from John Norton's analysis (1985) of the reach of Einstein's version of the principle of equivalence which is not a local principle but an extension of the relativity principle to reference frames in constant acceleration on the background of Minkowski spacetime. We examine how such a point of view implies a profound, and not generally recognised, reconsideration of the concepts of inertial system and field in physics. We then reevaluate the role that the infinitesimal principle, if adequately formulated, can legitimately be claimed to play in general relativity. We show that what we call the 'punctual equivalence principle' has significant physical content and that it permits the derivation of the geodesic law.|
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