Reconsidering a Scientiﬁc Revolution: The Case of Einstein 6ersus Lorentz
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The relationship between Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity and Hendrik A. Lorentz’s ether theory is best understood in terms of competing interpretations of Lorentz invariance. In the 1890s, Lorentz proved and exploited the Lorentz invariance of Maxwell’s equations, the laws governing electromagnetic ﬁelds in the ether, with what he called the theorem of corresponding states. To account for the negative results of attempts to detect the earth’s motion through the ether, Lorentz, in effect, had to assume that the laws governing the matter interacting with the ﬁelds are Lorentz invariant as well. This additional assumption can be seen as a generalization of the well-known contraction hypothesis. In Lorentz’s theory, it remained an unexplained coincidence that both the laws governing ﬁelds and the laws governing matter should be Lorentz invariant. In special relativity, by contrast, the Lorentz invariance of all physical laws directly reﬂects the Minkowski space-time structure posited by the theory. One can use this observation to produce a common-cause argument to show that the relativistic interpretation of Lorentz invariance is preferable to Lorentz’s interpretation
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Samuel Schindler (2013). Theory-Laden Experimentation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):89-.
Wesley Van Camp (2011). Principle Theories, Constructive Theories, and Explanation in Modern Physics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 42 (1):23-31.
Samuel Schindler (2014). Novelty, Coherence, and Mendeleev's Periodic Table. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 45 (1):62-69.
Similar books and articles
László E. Szabó (2004). On the Meaning of Lorentz Covariance. Foundations Of Physics Letters 17:479-496.
Håkan Törnebohm (1962). The Lorentz-Formulae and the Metrical Principle. Philosophy of Science 29 (3):269-278.
Herbert Dingle (1960). Relativity and Electromagnetism: An Epistemological Appraisal. Philosophy of Science 27 (3):233-253.
Mathias Frisch (2005). Mechanisms, Principles, and Lorentz's Cautious Realism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 36 (4):659-679.
Abraham Ungar (1986). The Lorentz Transformation Group of the Special Theory of Relativity Without Einstein's Isotropy Convention. Philosophy of Science 53 (3):395-402.
Dennis Dieks (1984). The “Reality” of the Lorentz Contraction. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 15 (2):330-342.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads6 ( #230,646 of 1,410,540 )
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?