43 found
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  1.  30
    Harvey R. Brown & James Read, Clarifying Possible Misconceptions in the Foundations of General Relativity.
    We discuss what we take to be three possible misconceptions in the foundations of general relativity, relating to: the interpretation of the weak equivalence principle and the relationship between gravity and inertia; the connection between gravitational redshift results and spacetime curvature; and the Einstein equivalence principle and the ability to ``transform away" gravity in local inertial coordinate systems.
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  2. Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley (2006). Minkowski Space-Time: A Glorious Non-Entity. In Dennis Dieks (ed.), The Ontology of Spacetime. Elsevier 67--89.
    It is argued that Minkowski space-time cannot serve as the deep structure within a ``constructive'' version of the special theory of relativity, contrary to widespread opinion in the philosophical community.
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  3.  19
    Harvey R. Brown & James Read, Three Common Misconceptions in General Relativity.
    We highlight and resolve what we take to be three common misconceptions in general relativity, relating to the interpretation of the weak equivalence principle and the relationship between gravity and inertia; the connection between gravitational redshift results and spacetime curvature; and the strong equivalence principle and the local recovery of special relativity in curved, dynamical spacetime.
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  4. Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown (2004). Are Gauge Symmetry Transformations Observable? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
    In a recent paper in the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Kosso discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by ’t Hooft has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper we present our preferred approach to the empirical (...)
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  5.  32
    Harvey R. Brown & Christopher Gordon Timpson, Bell on Bell's Theorem: The Changing Face of Nonlocality.
    Between 1964 and 1990, the notion of nonlocality in Bell's papers underwent a profound change as his nonlocality theorem gradually became detached from quantum mechanics, and referred to wider probabilistic theories involving correlations between separated beables. The proposition that standard quantum mechanics is itself nonlocal became divorced from the Bell theorem per se from 1976 on, although this important point is widely overlooked in the literature. In 1990, the year of his death, Bell would express serious misgivings (...)
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  6. Oliver Pooley & Harvey R. Brown (2002). Relationalism Rehabilitated? I: Classical Mechanics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):183--204.
    The implications for the substantivalist–relationalist controversy of Barbour and Bertotti's successful implementation of a Machian approach to dynamics are investigated. It is argued that in the context of Newtonian mechanics, the Machian framework provides a genuinely relational interpretation of dynamics and that it is more explanatory than the conventional, substantival interpretation. In a companion paper (Pooley [2002a]), the viability of the Machian framework as an interpretation of relativistic physics is explored. 1 Introduction 2 Newton versus Leibniz 3 Absolute space versus (...)
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  7.  77
    Harvey R. Brown & Jos Uffink (2001). The Origins of Time-Asymmetry in Thermodynamics: The Minus First Law. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 32 (4):525-538.
    This paper investigates what the source of time-asymmetry is in thermodynamics, and comments on the question whether a time-symmetric formulation of the Second Law is possible.
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  8.  28
    Harvey R. Brown, The Theory of the Rise of Sap in Trees: Some Historical and Conceptual Remarks.
    The ability of trees to suck water from roots to leaves, sometimes to heights of over a hundred meters, is remarkable given the absence of any mechanical pump. This study deals with a number of issues, of both an historical and conceptual nature, in the orthodox ``Cohesion-Tension'' theory of the ascent of sap in trees. The theory relies chiefly on the exceptional cohesive and adhesive properties of water, the structural properties of trees, and the role of evaporation from leaves. But (...)
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  9.  48
    Katherine Brading & Harvey R. Brown (2004). Are Gauge Symmetry Transformations Observable? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):645-665.
    In a recent paper in this journal, Kosso ([2000]) discussed the observational status of continuous symmetries of physics. While we are in broad agreement with his approach, we disagree with his analysis. In the discussion of the status of gauge symmetry, a set of examples offered by 't Hooft ([1980]) has influenced several philosophers, including Kosso; in all cases the interpretation of the examples is mistaken. In this paper, we present our preferred approach to the empirical significance of symmetries, re-analysing (...)
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  10. Harvey R. Brown & Roland Sypel (1995). On the Meaning of the Relativity Principle and Other Symmetries. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9 (3):235 – 253.
    Abstract The historical evolution of the principle of relativity from Galileo to Einstein is briefly traced, and purported difficulties with Einstein's formulation of the principle are examined and dismissed. This formulation is then compared to a precise version formulated recently in the geometrical language of spacetime theories. We claim that the recent version is both logically puzzling and fails to capture a crucial physical insight contained in the earlier formulations. The implications of this claim for the modern treatment of general (...)
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  11. Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley (2001). The Origins of the Spacetime Metric: Bell's Lorentzian Pedagogy and its Significance in General Relativity. In Craig Callender & Nick Huggett (eds.), Physics Meets Philosophy at the Plank Scale. Cambridge University Press 256--72.
    The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the `Lorentzian Pedagogy' defended by J.S. Bell in his essay ``How to teach special relativity'', and to explore its consistency with Einstein's thinking from 1905 to 1952. Some remarks are also made in this context on Weyl's philosophy of relativity and his 1918 gauge theory. Finally, it is argued that the Lorentzian pedagogy---which stresses the important connection between kinematics and dynamics---clarifies the role of rods and clocks in general relativity.
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  12. Katherine Bracing & Harvey R. Brown (2003). Symmetries and Noether's Theorems. In Katherine A. Brading & Elena Castellani (eds.), Symmetries in Physics: Philosophical Reflections. Cambridge University Press 89.
     
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  13.  45
    Jeeva Anandan & Harvey R. Brown (1995). On the Reality of Space-Time Geometry and the Wavefunction. Foundations of Physics 25 (2):349--60.
    The action-reaction principle (AR) is examined in three contexts: (1) the inertial-gravitational interaction between a particle and space-time geometry, (2) protective observation of an extended wave function of a single particle, and (3) the causal-stochastic or Bohm interpretation of quantum mechanics. A new criterion of reality is formulated using the AR principle. This criterion implies that the wave function of a single particle is real and justifies in the Bohm interpretation the dual ontology of the particle and its associated wave (...)
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  14.  64
    Harvey R. Brown & Peter Holland, Dynamical Versus Variational Symmetries: Understanding Noether's First Theorem.
    It is argued that awareness of the distinction between dynamical and variational symmetries is crucial to understanding the significance of Noether's 1918 work. Specific attention is paid, by way of a number of striking examples, to Noether's first theorem, which establishes a correlation between dynamical symmetries and conservation principles.
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  15.  53
    Harvey R. Brown & Rom Harré (eds.) (1988). Philosophical Foundations of Quantum Field Theory. Oxford University Press.
    Quantum field theory, one of the most rapidly developing areas of contemporary physics, is full of problems of great theoretical and philosophical interest. This collection of essays is the first systematic exploration of the nature and implications of quantum field theory. The contributors discuss quantum field theory from a wide variety of standpoints, exploring in detail its mathematical structure and metaphysical and methodological implications.
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  16.  97
    Harvey R. Brown (1997). On the Role of Special Relativity in General Relativity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (1):67 – 81.
    The existence of a definite tangent space structure (metric with Lorentzian signature) in the general theory of relativity is the consequence of a fundamental assumption concerning the local validity of special relativity. There is then at the heart of Einstein's theory of gravity an absolute element which depends essentially on a common feature of all the non-gravitational interactions in the world, and which has nothing to do with space-time curvature. Tentative implications of this point for (...)
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  17.  15
    Harvey R. Brown (1986). The Insolubility Proof of the Quantum Measurement Problem. Foundations of Physics 16 (9):857-870.
    Modern insolubility proofs of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics not only differ in their complexity and degree of generality, but also reveal a lack of agreement concerning the fundamental question of what constitutes such a proof. A systematic reworking of the (incomplete) 1970 Fine theorem is presented, which is intended to go some way toward clarifying the issue.
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  18. Harvey R. Brown (1990). Does the Principle of Relativity Imply Winnie's (1970) Equal Passage Times Principle? Philosophy of Science 57 (2):313-324.
    The kinematical principle of Equal Passage Times (EPT) was introduced by Winnie in his 1970 derivation of the relativistic coordinate transformations compatible with arbitrary synchrony conventions in one-dimensional space. In this paper, the claim by Winnie and later Giannoni that EPT is a direct consequence of the relativity principle is questioned. It is shown that EPT, given Einstein's 1905 postulates, is equivalent to the relativistic (synchrony independent) clock retardation principle, and that for standard synchrony it reduces to an isotropy condition (...)
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  19.  54
    Harvey R. Brown, Wayne Myrvold & Jos Uffink (2009). Boltzmann's H-Theorem, its Discontents, and the Birth of Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 40 (2):174-191.
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  20.  17
    Harvey R. Brown (2001). The Origins of Length Contraction: I. The Fitzgerald-Lorentz Deformation Hypothesis. American Journal of Physics 69:1044-1054.
    One of the widespread confusions concerning the history of the 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment has to do with the initial explanation of this celebrated null result due independently to FitzGerald and Lorentz. In neither case was a strict, longitudinal length contraction hypothesis invoked, as is commonly supposed. Lorentz postulated, particularly in 1895, any one of a certain family of possible deformation effects for rigid bodies in motion, including purely transverse alteration, and expansion as well as contraction; FitzGerald may well have had (...)
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  21.  23
    Harvey R. Brown, Michelson, Fitzgerald and Lorentz: The Origins of Relativity Revisited.
    It is argued that an unheralded moment marking the beginnings of relativity theory occurred in 1889, when G. F. FitzGerald, no doubt with the puzzling 1887 Michelson-Morley experiment fresh in mind, wrote to Heaviside about the possible effects of motion on inter-molecular forces in bodies. Emphasis is placed on the difference between FitzGerald's and Lorentz's independent justifications of the shape distortion effect involved. Finally, the importance of the their `constructive' approach to kinematics---stripped of any commitment to the physicality of the (...)
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  22.  61
    Andrew Elby, Harvey R. Brown & Sara Foster (1993). What Makes a Theory Physically “Complete”? Foundations of Physics 23 (7):971-985.
    Three claims about what makes a theory “physically complete” are (1) Shimony's assertion that a complete theory says “all there is to say” about nature; (2) EPR's requirement that a complete theory describe all “elements of reality”; and (3) Ballentine and Jarrett's claim that a “predictively complete” theory must obey a condition used in Bell deviations. After introducing “statistical completeness” as a partial formalization of (1), we explore the logical and motivational relationships connecting these completeness conditions. We find that statistical (...)
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  23.  10
    Harvey R. Brown (1993). Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics in the Emergence of Special Relativity. In S. French & H. Kamminga (eds.), Correspondence, Invariance and Heuristics. Kluwer 227--60.
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  24.  46
    Harvey R. Brown & Adolfo Maia Jr (1993). Light-Speed Constancy Versus Light-Speed Invariance in the Derivation of Relativistic Kinematics. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (3):381-407.
    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 [1949]; Steigler [1952]; (...)
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  25.  20
    Christopher G. Timpson & Harvey R. Brown, Building with Quantum Correlations.
    'Correlations without correlata' is an influential way of thinking of quantum entanglement as a form primitive correlation which nonetheless maintains locality of quantum theory. A number of arguments have sought to suggest that such a view leads either to internal inconsistency or to conflict with the empirical predictions of quantum mechanics. Here wew explicate and provide a partial defence of the notion, arguing that these objections import unwarranted conceptions of correlation properties as hidden variables. A more plausible account sees the (...)
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  26.  32
    Peter Holland & Harvey R. Brown (2003). The Non-Relativistic Limits of the Maxwell and Dirac Equations: The Role of Galilean and Gauge Invariance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 34 (2):161-187.
    The aim of this paper is to illustrate four properties of the non-relativistic limits of relativistic theories: (a) that a massless relativistic field may have a meaningful non-relativistic limit, (b) that a relativistic field may have more than one non-relativistic limit, (c) that coupled relativistic systems may be ''more relativistic'' than their uncoupled counterparts, and (d) that the properties of the non-relativistic limit of a dynamical equation may differ from those obtained when the limiting equation is based directly on exact (...)
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  27.  62
    Harvey R. Brown & Christopher G. Timpson, Why Special Relativity Should Not Be a Template for a Fundamental Reformulation of Quantum Mechanics.
    In a comparison of the principles of special relativity and of quantum mechanics, the former theory is marked by its relative economy and apparent explanatory simplicity. A number of theorists have thus been led to search for a small number of postulates - essentially information theoretic in nature - that would play the role in quantum mechanics that the relativity principle and the light postulate jointly play in Einstein's 1905 special relativity theory. The purpose of the present paper is to (...)
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  28.  6
    Robert Marsland Iii, Harvey R. Brown & Giovanni Valente, Ambiguities in Order-Theoretic Formulations of Thermodynamics.
    Since the 1909 work of Carathéodory, formulations of thermodynamics have gained ground which highlight the role of the the binary relation of adiabatic accessibility between equilibrium states. A feature of Carathéodory's system is that the version therein of the second law contains an ambiguity about the nature of irreversible adiabatic processes, making it weaker than the traditional Kelvin-Planck statement of the law. This paper attempts first to clarify the nature of this ambiguity, by defining the arrow of time in thermodynamics (...)
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  29.  16
    Harvey R. Brown & Michael L. G. Redhead (1981). A Critique of the Disturbance Theory of Indeterminacy in Quantum Mechanics. Foundations of Physics 11 (1-2):1-20.
    Heisenberg'sgendanken experiments in quantum mechanics have given rise to a widespread belief that the indeterminacy relations holding for the variables of a quantal system can be explained quasiclassically in terms of a disturbance suffered by the system in interaction with a quantal measurement, or state preparation, agent. There are a number of criticisms of this doctrine in the literature, which are critically examined in this article and found to be ininconclusive, the chief error being the conflation of this disturbance with (...)
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  30.  50
    Simon Saunders & Harvey R. Brown (eds.) (1991). The Philosophy of Vacuum. Oxford University Press.
    The vacuum is fast emerging as the central structure of modern physics. This collection brings together philosophically-minded specialists who engage these issues in the context of classical gravity, quantum electrodynamics, and the grand unification program. The vacuum emerges as the synthesis of concepts of space, time, and matter; in the context of relativity and the quantum this new synthesis represents a structure of the most intricate and novel complexity. This book is a work in modern metaphysics, in which the concepts (...)
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  31.  25
    Harvey R. Brown & Peter Holland, Simple Applications of Noether's First Theorem in Quantum Mechanics and Electromagnetism.
    Internal global symmetries exist for the free non-relativistic Schrodinger particle, whose associated Noether charges---the space integrals of the wavefunction and the wavefunction multiplied by the spatial coordinate---are exhibited. Analogous symmetries in classical electromagnetism are also demonstrated.
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  32.  6
    Harvey R. Brown, Curious and Sublime: The Connection Between Uncertainty and Probability in Physics.
    From its first significant appearance in physics, the notion of probability has been linked in the minds of physicists with the notion of uncertainty. But the link may prove to be tenuous, if quantum mechanics, construed in terms of the Everett interpretation, is anything to go by.
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  33.  46
    Harvey R. Brown & Wayne Myrvold, Boltzmann's H-Theorem, its Limitations, and the Birth of Statistical Mechanics.
    A comparison is made of the traditional Loschmidt and Zermelo objections to Boltzmann's H-theorem, and its simplified variant in the Ehrenfests' 1912 wind-tree model. The little-cited 1896 objection of Zermelo is also analysed. Significant differences between the objections are highlighted, and several old and modern misconceptions concerning both them and the H-theorem are clarified. We give particular emphasis to the radical nature of Poincare's and Zermelo's attack, and the importance of the shift in Boltzmann's thinking in response to the objections (...)
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  34.  6
    Roland Sypel & Harvey R. Brown (1992). When is a Physical Theory Relativistic? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:507 - 514.
    Considerable work within the modern 'space-time theory' approach to relativity physics has been devoted to clarifying the role and meaning of the principle of relativity. Two recent discussions of the principle within this approach, due to Arntzenius (1990) and Friedman (1983), are found to contain difficulties.
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  35. Harvey R. Brown & Oliver Pooley (1999). The Problem of Induction From the Perspective of Physics. Manuscrito 22 (2):29.
     
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  36.  6
    Harvey R. Brown (1979). Reviews. [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):187-191.
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  37. Harvey R. Brown (2007). A. ElitzurS. DolevN. KolendaQuo Vadis Quantum Mechanics? 2005SpringerBerlin, Heidelberg, New York3-540-22188-3 (61 Figs., 421pp., $59.95, Hardcover). [REVIEW] Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 38 (4):979-982.
     
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  38. Harvey R. Brown, Wayne Myrvold & Jos Uffink (2009). Boltzmann's H-Theorem, its Discontents, and the Birth of Statistical Mechanics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 40 (2):174-191.
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  39. Harvey R. Brown (1979). ELINFANTE, F. J.: "Measurements and Time Reversal in Objective Quantum Theory". [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30:187.
     
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  40. Harvey R. Brown (1986). HENDRY, JOHN: "The Creation of Quantum Mechanics and the Bohr-Pauli Dialogue". [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37:497.
     
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  41. Harvey R. Brown & Jos Uffink (2001). The Origins of Time-Asymmetry in Thermodynamics: The Minus First Law. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (4):525-538.
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  42. Andrew Elby, Harvey R. Brown & Sara Foster (1993). What Makes a Physical Theory “Complete”. Foundations of Physics 23 (7).
     
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  43. Peter Holland & Harvey R. Brown (2003). The Non-Relativistic Limits of the Maxwell and Dirac Equations: The Role of Galilean and Gauge Invariance. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 34 (2):161-187.
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