David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 41 (1):45 - 53 (2010)
In modern physics, the constant "c" plays a twofold role. On the one hand, "c" is the well known velocity of light in an empty Minkowskian space—time, on the other hand "c" is a characteristic number of Special Relativity that governs the Lorentz transformation and its consequences for the measurements of space—time intervals. We ask for the interrelations between these two, at first sight different meanings of "c". The conjecture that the value of "c" has any influence on the structure of space—time is based on the operational interpretation of Special Relativity, which uses light rays for measurements of space—time intervals. We do not follow this way of reasoning but replace it by a more realistic approach that allows to show that the structure of the Minkowskian space—time can be reconstructed already on the basis of a restricted classical ontology (Mittelstaedt, Philosophie der Physik und der Raum-Zeit, Mannheim: BI-Wissenschaftsverlag, 1988 and Mittelstaedt, Kaltblütig: Philosophie von einem rationalen Standpunkt, Stuttgart: S. Hirzel Verlag, pp. 221-240, 2003), and that without any reference to the propagation of light. However, the space—time obtained in this way contains still an unknown constant. We show that this constant agrees numerically with "c" but that it must conceptually clearly be distinguished from the velocity of light. Hence, we argue for a clear distinction between the two faces of "c" and for a dualism of space—time and matter
|Keywords||Special relativity Light signals Minkowskian space–time|
|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
George Gamow (1940). Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland. Cambridge, Eng.,The University Press.
Peter Mittelstaedt (2006). The Intuitiveness and Truth of Modern Physics. In Emily Carson & Renate Huber (eds.), Intuition and the Axiomatic Method. Springer. 251--266.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Emile Borel (1960). Space and Time. New York, Dover Publications.
Mario Bacelar Valente, Did the Concepts of Space and Time Change That Much with the 1905 Theory of Relativity?
Yuri Balashov (2000). Persistence and Space-Time. The Monist 83 (3):321-340.
Robert W. Latzer (1972). Nondirected Light Signals and the Structure of Time. Synthese 24 (1-2):236 - 280.
Added to index2010-06-12
Total downloads26 ( #75,378 of 1,410,209 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #155,456 of 1,410,209 )
How can I increase my downloads?