Mass-Energy-Momentum: Only there Because of Spacetime?

I describe how relativistic field theory generalizes the paradigm property of material systems, the possession of mass, to the requirement that they have a mass–energy–momentum density tensor T µ associated with them. I argue that T µ does not represent an intrinsic property of matter. For it will become evident that the definition of T µ depends on the metric field g µ in a variety of ways. Accordingly, since g µ represents the geometry of spacetime itself, the properties of mass, stress, energy, and momentum should not be seen as intrinsic properties of matter, but as relational properties that material systems have only in virtue of their relation to spacetime structure
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr003
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Carl Hoefer (2014). Mach׳s Principle as Action-at-a-Distance in GR: The Causality Question. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 48:128-136.

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