Many philosophers have been attracted to a restricted version of the principle of indifference in the case of self-locating belief. Roughly speaking, this principle states that, within any given possible world, one should be indifferent between different hypotheses concerning who one is within that possible world, so long as those hypotheses are compatible with one’s evidence. My first goal is to defend a more precise version of this principle. After responding to several existing criticisms of such a principle, I argue (...) that existing formulations of the principle are crucially ambiguous, and I go on to defend a particular disambiguation of the principle. According to the disambiguation I defend, how we should apply this restricted principle of indifference sensitively depends on our background metaphysical beliefs. My second goal is to apply this disambiguated principle to classical skeptical problems in epistemology. In particular, I argue that Eternalism threatens to lead us to external world skepticism, and Modal Realism threatens to lead us to inductive skepticism. (shrink)
I argue that notions of relative fundamentality need to be invoked if there is to be something substantive at stake in the debate between proponents of Harvey Brown's dynamical approach to relativity and defenders of a more traditional interpretation of spacetime. I will review some problems that stand in the way of the advocate of the dynamical approach making good on their claim that dynamical symmetries are more fundamental than spacetime symmetries.
The experience of time passing is a fundamental part of the human experience, but what is the relationship between conscious experiences in time and the relativistic nature of space and time? It is natural to think that our phenomenal experiences are realised by neuralevents in our brains. And it seems plausible that the order of these neural events makes a difference to our phenomenology. Yet, relativity theory entails that in some cases these neural events lack objective temporal orders. Instead, their (...) temporal order is different relative to different, equally valid frames of reference. How then is this relativity compatible that intuitively there is only a single, objective way in which things appear to us? This question is at the centre of this thesis. I will present the context of the debate within the theory of Special Relativity and how different problems seem to arise between consciousness and Special Relativity. I will then introduce some basic key concepts for understanding Special Relativity. After introducing the foundation of the problem and a specific formulation that provides the structure of the rest of the thesis, I will present four different possible solutions to the problems, analysing their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, I will use one of the proposed solutions, the objective objection, to argue that the problem never actually arises to begin with and that it is based on a misreading of Special Relativity. I also argue that the objective objection is much more general than its originator proposes. (shrink)
In what follows, I will provide some elements for constructing Mariátegui’s plural spatiotemporal conception of history. I will do so by focusing on the two books he published in his lifetime: The contemporary scene and Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality. In a footnote in the Seven Essays, the reader encounters a concept that opens up the problem of plural temporality in Latin American Marxism: relativismo histórico (historical relativism). This will be the keystone concept upon which certain fragments of Mariátegui’s (...) writings will be put together to construct the concept of plural temporality. This involves taking a detour through what Mariátegui understood by relativismo (relativism). In that detour, we find that Mariátegui’s use of relativismo consists in translating and assimilating the insights of one of the pillars of contemporary physics: Einstein’s theory of relativity. For Mariátegui, the relativistic theory of spacetime undermined the old “absolutes” of the positivist unilinear philosophy of history. I then argue that Mariátegui, through his friend and comrade Hugo Pesce, assimilates and translates the “revolutionary” theory of spacetime as a weapon against the unilinear philosophy of history and as a resource to construct a concept of plural spatiotemporal concept of history. Re-situating Mariátegui’s work along this axis puts some pressure on certain Bergsonian and Sorelian readings that overemphasize the importance of Myth and Humanity as a “metaphysical animal” and thereby tend to underemphasize or outright suppress his creative assimilation and translation of the sciences of his time. (shrink)
The Lorentz transformations can be interpreted either in ontological or epistemic terms. The invariance of c could have a different interpretation, as a side-effect of the exclusive role of light as signal between frames of reference. It would not necessarily pose an absolute cosmic speed limit. Time dilation would have a different explanation.
One of the key episodes of history of modern physics – Paul Dirac’s startling contrivance of the relativistic theory of the electron – is elicited in the context of lucid epistemological model of mature theory change. The peculiar character of Dirac’s synthesis of special relativity and quantum mechanics is revealed by comparison with Einstein’s sophisticated methodology of the General Relativity contrivance. The subtle structure of Dirac’s scientific research program and first and foremost the odd principles that put up its powerful (...) heuristics is scrutinized with special emphasis on the highly controversial tenet of “mathematical beauty.” It is contended that despite the relentless Dirac’s remarks denigrating the controversial role of philosophy one can trace its indirect influence through Arthur Eddington’s and Hermann Weyl’s whimsical mathematical models. Accordingly, the milestones of Dirac’s research programme realization in the distinctive context of the applied epistemological doctrine are indicated. (shrink)
Attempts to establish a dialogue between the natural sciences and theology were made in the 20th century along with, among other things, the arrival of new groundbreaking theories in physics, but these attempts met with many content-related and methodological challenges. Philosophy, which plays an essential role as an intermediary in this relationship, has often proven to be a signiﬁcant obstacle. The failure of neo-Thomism’s reception to Einstein’s theory in Poland led the Polish cosmologist, philosopher, and theologian Michael Heller to introduce (...) the concept of philosophy in science as a possible basis for dialogue. It proved fruitful, and years later, Heller was awarded the Templeton Prize for building bridges between science and theology. As it later transpired, the notion of philosophy in science has considerable intellectual potential for enriching the dialogue between natural sciences and theology. This article brieﬂy discusses some examples of how the theory of relativity was received by some Polish neo-Thomists. Furthermore, the paper presents the sources of inspiration for Heller’s approach and the beneﬁts it oﬀers. Finally, another project that he named the theology of science is also discussed. (shrink)
A well known conception of axiomatization has it that an axiomatized theory must be interpreted, or otherwise coordinated with reality, in order to acquire empirical content. An early version of this account is often ascribed to key figures in the logical empiricist movement, and to central figures in the early “formalist” tradition in mathematics as well. In this context, Reichenbach’s “coordinative definitions” are regarded as investing abstract propositions with empirical significance. We argue that over-emphasis on the abstract elements of this (...) approach fails to appreciate a rich tradition of empirical axiomatization in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, evident in particular in the work of Moritz Pasch, Heinrich Hertz, David Hilbert, and Reichenbach himself. We claim that such over-emphasis leads to a misunderstanding of the role of empirical facts in Reichenbach’s approach to the axiomatization of a physical theory, and of the role of Reichenbach’s coordinative definitions in particular. (shrink)
According to orthodoxy, our best physical theories strongly support Eternalism over Presentism. Our goal is to argue against this consensus, by arguing that a certain overlooked aspect of our best physical theories strongly supports Presentism over Eternalism.
This paper shows how key aspects of Aristotle’s core concepts of matter and motion, some of which have recently been shown to help make sense of quantum mechanical indeterminacy, align with some important results of the energy-momentum relationship of special relativity. In this conception, mobility and indeterminacy are inherently linked to each other and to materiality. Applying these ideas to massless particles, which relativity tells us move at the maximal cosmic speed, allows us to draw the conclusion that they must (...) be the most basic physical bodies, that is, mobile substances. The most familiar massless particle, the photon, constitutes light. Furthermore, because the photon composes luminous matter but cannot be decomposed into anything else more basic, it fulfills the definition of element. (shrink)
Einstein’s theory of Special relativity is founded on an error made by Hendrick Lorentz. It is not necessary to expose the mathematical inconsistencies of special relativity, since the theory collapses by simply exposing the error made by Lorentz. In doing so, it not only causes special relativity to collapse, but also general relativity, and the many theories built upon these two deceptive theories. There are many claims of tests made which supposedly prove SR or GR, such as the eclipse of (...) 1919, the Hafele-Keating experiment, GPS, the orbit of Mercury, and muons. The error of these will also be shown as well as an area of astronomy which has been negatively impacted by SR. The epistemology approach to special relativity: you can know it is a false theory when the theory requires deceiving the student for acceptance and the tests which support the theory can be proven false. (shrink)
By identifying the formal role of light in relativity theory with the formal role of text in Gadamer’s theory of hermeneutics, the two theories are brought into relationship. Through this fusion, the privileging of “space” in physics and the privileging of “time” in hermeneutics are reciprocally interrogated as horizons of truth.
Taking the formal analogies between black holes and classical thermodynamics seriously seems to first require that classical thermodynamics applies in relativistic regimes. Yet, by scrutinizing how classical temperature is extended into special relativity, I argue that the concept falls apart. I examine four consilient procedures for establishing the classical temperature: the Carnot process, the thermometer, kinetic theory, and black-body radiation. I argue that their relativistic counterparts demonstrate no such consilience in defining the relativistic temperature. As such, classical temperature doesn’t appear (...) to survive a relativistic extension. I suggest two interpretations for this situation: eliminativism akin to simultaneity, or pluralism akin to rotation. (shrink)
Brown and Pooley’s ‘dynamical approach’ to physical theories asserts, in opposition to the orthodox position on physical geometry, that facts about physical geometry are grounded in, or explained by, facts about dynamical fields, not the other way round. John Norton has claimed that the proponent of the dynamical approach is illicitly committed to spatiotemporal presumptions in ‘constructing’ space-time from facts about dynamical symmetries. In this article, I present an abstract, algebraic formulation of field theories and demonstrate that the proponent of (...) the dynamical approach is not committed, in special relativity, to the illicit presumptions to which Norton refers. (shrink)
This essay explores Kaila's interpretation of the special theory of relativity. Although the relevance of his work to logical empiricism is well-known, not much has been written on what Kaila calls the ‘Einstein-Minkowski invariance theory’. Kaila's interpretation focuses on two salient features. First, he emphasizes the importance of the invariance of the spacetime interval. The general point about spacetime invariance has been known at least since Minkowski, yet Kaila applies his overall tripartite theory of invariances to space, time and spacetime (...) in an original way. Second, Kaila provides a non-conventionalist argument for the isotropic speed of electromagnetic signals. The standard Einstein synchrony is not a mere convention but a part of a larger empirical theory. According to Kaila's holistic principle of testability, which stands in contrast to the theses of translatability and verification, different items in the theory cannot be sharply divided into conventional and empirical. Kaila's invariantism/non-conventionalism about relativity reflects an interesting case in the gradual transition from positivism to realism within the philosophy of science. (shrink)
This dissertation is about human knowledge of reality. In particular, it argues that scientific knowledge is bounded by historically available instruments and theories; nevertheless, the use of several independent instruments and theories can provide access to the persistent potentialities of reality. The replicability of scientific observations and experiments allows us to obtain explorable evidence of robust entities and properties. The dissertation includes seven chapters. It also studies three cases – namely, Higgs bosons and hypothetical Ϝ-particles (section 2.4), the Ptolemaic and (...) Kepler model of the planets (section 6.7), and the special theory of relativity (chapter 7). -/- Chapter 1 is the introduction of the dissertation. Chapter 2 clarifies the notion of the real on the basis of two concepts: persistence and resistance. These concepts enable me to explain my ontological belief in the real potentialities of human-independent things and the implications of this view for the perceptual and epistemological levels of discussion. On the basis of the concept of “overlapping perspectives”, chapter 3 argues that entity realism and perspectivism are complementary. That is, an entity that manifests itself through several experimental/observational methods is something real, but our knowledge of its nature is perspectival. Critically studying the recent views of entity realism, chapter 4 extends the discussion of entity realism and provides a criterion for the reality of property tokens. Chapter 5, in contrast, develops the perspectival aspects of my view on the basis of the phenomenological-hermeneutical approaches to the philosophy of science. This chapter also elaborates my view of empirical evidence, as briefly expressed in sections 2.5 and 4.5. Chapter 6 concerns diachronic theoretical perspectives. It first explains my view of progress, according to which current perspectives are broader than past ones. Second, it argues that the successful explanations and predictions of abandoned theories can be accounted for from our currently acceptable perspectives. The case study of Ptolemaic astronomy supports the argument of this chapter. Chapter 7 serves as the conclusion of the dissertation by applying the central themes of the previous chapters to the case study of special relativity theory. I interpret frame-dependent properties, such as length and time duration, and the constancy of the speed of light according to realist perspectivism. (shrink)
I explore two views about the relationship between spatial experience and spatial reality: spatial functionalism and spatial presentationalism. Roughly, spatial functionalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties are those playing a certain causal role in producing spatial experience while spatial presentationalism claims that the instantiated spatial properties include those presented in spatial experience. I argue that each view, in its own way, leads to an ontologically inflationary form of primitivism: whereas spatial functionalism leads to primitivism about phenomenal representation, spatial presentationalism (...) leads to primitivism about spatial properties. I conclude by discussing how to adjudicate between spatial functionalism and spatial presentationalism. (shrink)
Retrocausal quantum mechanics (RQM) provides a local causal explanation of Bell correlations. It is widely thought that RQM is consistent with special relativity. In this paper, I point out that this view is not wholly right. It is argued that RQM violates the Lorentz invariance of the temporal relation between cause and effect for certain spacelike separated events in Bell-type experiments.
This paper argues that contrary to what is commonly claimed, presentism is perfectly consistent with the special theory of relativity. More precisely, this paper provides a formulation of a novel relativistic version of presentism that preserves the core “metaphysical stance” of classical presentism, and is fully compatible with special relativity. Others have tried to relativize presentism, but the view put forward here is different from the views that have been proposed in the past.
The special theory of relativity holds significant interest for scientific perspectivists. In this paper, I distinguish between two related meanings of “perspectival,” and argue that reference frames are perspectives, provided that perspectival means “being conditional” rather than “being partial.” Frame-dependent properties such as length, time duration, and simultaneity, are not partially measured in a reference frame, but their measurements are conditional on the choice of frame. I also discuss whether the constancy of the speed of light depends on perspectival factors (...) such as the idealized definition of the speed of light in a perfect vacuum and the Einstein synchronization convention. Furthermore, I argue for the view that the constancy of its speed is a robust property of light according to the conditions of currently acceptable experimental setups pertaining to special relativity, and conclude that this view supports perspectivism. (shrink)
It is often thought the relativity of simultaneity is inconsistent with presentism. This would be troubling as it conflicts with common sense and—arguably—the empirical data. This note gives a novel fragmentalist-presentist theory that allows for the (non-trivial) relativity of simultaneity. A detailed account of the canonical moving train argument is considered. Alice, standing at the train station, forms her own ontological fragment, in which Bob’s frame of reference, given by the moving train, is modified by the Lorentz transformations. On the (...) other hand, Bob, in the train, forms his own ontological fragment from which Alice’s space and time are modified by the corresponding Lorentz transformations. Each fragment accommodates a unique present moment but does not contain information about the unique present moment of another fragment. This allows for a ‘universal’ present moment that extends throughout space, but only from the perspective of each fragment. The relativity of simultaneity is, as it were, ‘relativised’ to each fragment. This is related to the idea that, roughly speaking, the time of relativity is McTaggart’s (1908) B-series (earlier times to later times) and the time of quantum mechanics is a (fragmentalist) A-series (future/present/past), where these two related series characterize one dimension of time. (shrink)
General relativity is the exact theory of gravity which has been experimentally found to be correct with extremely high accuracy. One of the most surprising predictions of the general theory is that time runs slow in a gravitational field. Its proof formally comes from Schwarzschild metric which is a solution of Einstein field equation for a spherically symmetric mass. However, as Einstein field equation is too complex, attempts have been made earlier to derive gravitational time dilation by direct use of (...) principle of equivalence and special theory of relativity. But, this objective has been accomplished partially till date as the resulting expression agrees with the exact expression only upto first order. In this paper, by using principle of equivalence and special relativity, we present a thought experiment which helps us to derive an expression that exactly matches with the expression for gravitational time delay. (shrink)
The paper considers the symmetries of a bit of information corresponding to one, two or three qubits of quantum information and identifiable as the three basic symmetries of the Standard model, U(1), SU(2), and SU(3) accordingly. They refer to “empty qubits” (or the free variable of quantum information), i.e. those in which no point is chosen (recorded). The choice of a certain point violates those symmetries. It can be represented furthermore as the choice of a privileged reference frame (e.g. that (...) of the Big Bang), which can be described exhaustively by means of 16 numbers (4 for position, 4 for velocity, and 8 for acceleration) independently of time, but in space-time continuum, and still one, 17th number is necessary for the mass of rest of the observer in it. The same 17 numbers describing exhaustively a privileged reference frame thus granted to be “zero”, respectively a certain violation of all the three symmetries of the Standard model or the “record” in a qubit in general, can be represented as 17 elementary wave functions (or classes of wave functions) after the bijection of natural and transfinite natural (ordinal) numbers in Hilbert arithmetic and further identified as those corresponding to the 17 elementary of particles of the Standard model. Two generalizations of the relevant concepts of general relativity are introduced: (1) “discrete reference frame” to the class of all arbitrarily accelerated reference frame constituting a smooth manifold; (2) a still more general principle of relativity to the general principle of relativity, and meaning the conservation of quantum information as to all discrete reference frames as to the smooth manifold of all reference frames of general relativity. Then, the bijective transition from an accelerated reference frame to the 17 elementary wave functions of the Standard model can be interpreted by the still more general principle of relativity as the equivalent redescription of a privileged reference frame: smooth into a discrete one. The conservation of quantum information related to the generalization of the concept of reference frame can be interpreted as restoring the concept of the ether, an absolutely immovable medium and reference frame in Newtonian mechanics, to which the relative motion can be interpreted as an absolute one, or logically: the relations, as properties. The new ether is to consist of qubits (or quantum information). One can track the conceptual pathway of the “ether” from Newtonian mechanics via special relativity, via general relativity, via quantum mechanics to the theory of quantum information (or “quantum mechanics and information”). The identification of entanglement and gravity can be considered also as a ‘byproduct” implied by the transition from the smooth “ether of special and general relativity’ to the “flat” ether of quantum mechanics and information. The qubit ether is out of the “temporal screen” in general and is depicted on it as both matter and energy, both dark and visible. (shrink)
By considering situations from the paradox of the twins in relativity, it is shown that time passes at different rates along different world lines, answering some well-known objections. The best explanation for the different rates is that time indeed passes. If time along a world line is something with a rate, and a variable rate, then it is difficult to see it as merely a unique, invariant, monotonic parameter without any further explanation of what it is. Although it could, conceivably, (...) be explained by the flow of something, it is better explained by the passing of a point present, which faces the problem that there is no absolute simultaneity in special relativity so that the present for an object is confined to just that object. This raises problems about presentism, eternalism, simultaneity, and special relativity. These issues are addressed first by giving accounts of presentism and eternalism and then an account of existence and times for objects relative to world lines. Finally, an analogy between a world of relativistic objects and Leibniz’s ontology of monads. (shrink)
Special relativity inclines most contemporary interpreters (DiSalle, Maudlin, Penrose, Sider, Wheeler) away from the Thomistic three-dimensional, substance ontology. Most interpreters say space and time serve only as hermeneutics for accessing the deeper ontological foundation, four-dimensional spacetime. Unfortunately, this reigning narrative seems to replace the conventions of measuring rods and clocks with an even greater convention. Noticeably absent in the literature is a Thomistic interpretation of special relativity. Some Thomistic authors (Feser, Kiley, McLaughlin, Moreno) defend aspects of Aquinas’ metaphysics on the (...) periphery of special relativity, and suggest misgivings about four-dimensionalism. But none have attempted to demonstrate the viability of a three-dimensional alternative. This paper attempts to do just that, to provide a three-dimensional, Thomistic interpretation of special relativistic phenomenon—specifically, length contraction and time dilation. Behind this phenomenon, I argue, is the ordinary physical structure of clocks and the fact that every Aristotelian motion involves multiple true velocities. (shrink)
This chapter discusses some aspects of the relation between temporal experience and the A versus B debate. To begin with, I provide an overview of the A versus B debate and, following Baron et al. (2015), distinguish between two B-theoretic responses to the A- theoretic argument from experience, veridicalism and illusionism. I then argue for veridicalism over illusionism, by examining our (putative) experiences as of presentness and as of time passing. I close with some remarks on the relation between veridicalism (...) and a deflationary view of the A versus B debate. I suggest that the deflationary view can provide further support for veridicalism. (shrink)
Tempo.Samuele Iaquinto - 2020 - In Enciclopedia Italiana di Lettere, Scienze e Arti, X Appendice. Rome: Treccani. pp. 615-619.details
Il tempo sembra scorrere incessantemente. Tutta la nostra vita può in effetti essere descritta come una lunga serie di eventi disposti in un preciso ordine temporale. La ragione per cui esistono un prima e un dopo – suggerisce il senso comune – risiede nell’intrinseco dinamismo della realtà, nel costante mutare di ciò che è presente. L’istante in cui scrivo queste parole si distanzia da un passato via via più remoto, per procedere verso un futuro di là da venire. Da millenni, (...) fisica e filosofia si interrogano su quanto di questa immagine intuitiva della realtà corrisponda al vero. Comprendere la natura del tempo acquisisce particolare rilevanza nei momenti in cui appare più difficile prevedere cosa ci riserva il futuro. La pandemia da Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) nel 2020, per citare un esempio, ci ha costretti a operare in scenari dall’elevato grado di incertezza, ponendoci faccia a faccia con una delle domande più complesse che ci si possa porre: il futuro è già scritto o è in nostro potere modificarlo? (shrink)
The aim of this doctoral dissertation is to closely explore the nature of Einstein’s block universe and to tease out its implications for the nature of time and human freedom. Four questions, in particular, are central to this dissertation, and set out the four dimensions of this philosophical investigation: (1) Does the block universe view of time follow inevitably from the theory of special relativity? (2) Is there room for the passage of time in the block universe? (3) Can we (...) distinguish past from future in the block universe? (4) Is there room for human freedom in the block universe? Although the answer of most philosophers would be yes, triple no, my own answer, controversially, is no, triple yes. -/- I thereby challenge the status quo with respect to each of these metaphysical questions, and argue that none of these questions can be answered from looking at physics alone. Physics may constrain our metaphysics, but it certainly does not settle it. What is needed in order to answer these questions, are additional metaphysical assumptions that fall outside the scope of modern physics. My primary goal in this dissertation, therefore, is not to settle the debates on the nature of time and human freedom, but to clarify them by expliciting the metaphysical assumptions that are otherwise left implicit. (shrink)
Despite the widespread assumptions on the compatibility between non-relativistic quantum mechanics and special relativity, there still remains a considerable amount of unresolved problems to which few authors explicitly pay attention. Most of them involve the aim of coherently achieving a relativistic description of quantum collapses and quantum entanglements. These processes seem to challenge our present picture of the physical world in terms of space-time structures.
McTaggart famously introduced the A- and B-series as rival metaphysical accounts of time. This paper shall reorient the debate over the original distinction. Instead of treating the series as competing theories about the nature of time, it will be argued that they are different viewpoints on a world that is fundamentally physical. To that end, non-reductive physicalism is proposed to reconcile the series.
The paper focuses on the role of relativistic ideas in Wittgenstein’s philosophy. In particular, it focuses on On Certainty (1969), where in (305), Wittgenstein explicitly invokes Einstein’s theory of relativity: “Here once more there is needed a step like the one taken in relativity theory.” The aim of the paper is to establish a connection between Wittgenstein and Einstein that is both theoretically and exegetically sound. In particular, the paper argues that Wittgenstein’s reaction to scepticism closely resembles Einstein’s reaction to (...) the ether. (shrink)
Interpretations of Einstein’s equation differ primarily concerning whether E = mc2 entails that mass and energy are the same property of physical systems, and hence whether there is any sense in which mass is ever ‘converted’ into energy. In this paper, I examine six interpretations of Einstein’s equation and argue that all but one fail to satisfy a minimal set of conditions that all interpretations of physical theories ought to satisfy. I argue that we should prefer the interpretation of Einstein’s (...) equation that holds that mass and energy are distinct properties of physical systems. This interpretation also carries along the view that while most cases of ‘conversion’ are not genuine examples of mass being ‘converted’ into energy, it is possible that the there are such ‘conversions’ in the sense that a certain amount of energy ‘appears’ and an equivalent of mass ‘disappears’. Finally, I suggest that the interpretation I defend is the only one that does not blur the distinction between what Einstein called ‘principle’ and ‘constructive’ theories. This is philosophically significant because it emphasizes that explanations of Einstein’s equation and the ‘conversion’ of mass and energy must be top‐down explanations. (shrink)
It is common in the literature on classical electrodynamics and relativity theory that the transformation rules for the basic electrodynamical quantities are derived from the hypothesis that the relativity principle applies to Maxwell's electrodynamics. As it will turn out from our analysis, these derivations raise several problems, and certain steps are logically questionable. This is, however, not our main concern in this paper. Even if these derivations were completely correct, they leave open the following questions: Is the RP a true (...) law of nature for electrodynamical phenomena? Are, at least, the transformation rules of the fundamental electrodynamical quantities, derived from the RP, true? Is the RP consistent with the laws of ED in a single inertial frame of reference? Are, at least, the derived transformation rules consistent with the laws of ED in a single frame of reference? Obviously, and are empirical questions. In this paper, we will investigate problems and. Abstract First we will give a general mathematical formulation of the RP. In the second part, we will deal with the operational definitions of the fundamental electrodynamical quantities. As we will see, these semantic issues are not as trivial as one might think. In the third part of the paper, applying what J. S. Bell calls “Lorentzian pedagogy”---according to which the laws of physics in any one reference frame account for all physical phenomena---we will show that the transformation rules of the electrodynamical quantities are identical with the ones obtained by presuming the covariance of the equations of ED, and that the covariance is indeed satisfied. Abstract As to problem, the situation is much more complex. As we will see, the RP is actually not a matter of the covariance of the physical equations, but it is a matter of the details of the solutions of the equations, which describe the behavior of moving objects. This raises conceptual problems concerning the meaning of the notion “the same system in a collective motion”. In case of ED, there seems no satisfactory solution to this conceptual problem; thus, contrary to the widespread views, the question we asked in the title has no obvious answer. (shrink)
This thesis is a study of the notion of time in modern physics, consisting of two parts. Part I takes seriously the doctrine that modern physics should be treated as the primary guide to the nature of time. To this end, it offers an analysis of the various conceptions of time that emerge in the context of various physical theories and, furthermore, an analysis of the relation between these conceptions of time and the more orthodox philosophical views on the nature (...) of time. In Part II I explore the interpretation of nonrelativistic quantum mechanics in light of the suggestion that an overly Newtonian conception of time might be contributing to some of the difficulties that we face in interpreting the quantum mechanical formalism. In particular, I argue in favour of introducing backwards-in-time causal influences as part of an alternative conception of time that is consistent with the picture of reality that arises in the context of the quantum formalism. Moreover, I demonstrate that this conception of time can already be found in a particular formulation of classical mechanics. One might see that one of the central themes of Part II originates from a failure to heed properly the doctrine of Part I: study into the nature of time should be guided by modern physics and thus we should be careful not to insert a preconceived Newtonian conception of time unwittingly into our interpretation of the quantum mechanical formalism. Thus, whereas Part I is intended as a demonstration of methodology with respect to the study of time, Part II in a sense explores a confusion that can be seen as arising in the absence of this methodology. (shrink)
Press release. -/- The ebook entitled, Einstein’s Revolution: A Study of Theory-Unification, gives students of physics and philosophy, and general readers, an epistemological insight into the genesis of Einstein’s special relativity and its further unification with other theories, that ended well by the construction of general relativity. The book was developed by Rinat Nugayev who graduated from Kazan State University relativity department and got his M.Sci at Moscow State University department of philosophy of science and Ph.D at Moscow Institute of (...) Philosophy, Russian Academy of Science. He has forty years of philosophy of science and relativistic astrophysics teaching and research experience evincing in more than 200 papers in the scientific journals of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, USA, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Poland, Romania, France, Greece, Japan and some other countries, and 8 monographs. Revolutions in physics all embody theoretical unification. Hence the overall aim of the present book is to unfold Einstein’s unificationist modus operandi, the hallmarks of actual Einstein’s methodology of unification that engendered his 1905 special relativity, as well as his 1915 general relativity. To achieve the object, a lucid epistemic model is exposed aimed at an analysis of the reasons for mature theory change in science (chapter1). According to the model, scientific revolutions were not due to fanciful creation of new ideas ‘ex nihilo’, but rather to the long-term processes of the reconciliation, interpenetration and intertwinement of ‘old’ research traditions preceding such breaks .Accordingly, origins of scientific revolutions lie not in a clash of fundamental theories with facts, but of “old” mature research traditions with each other, leading to contradictions that can only be attenuated in a more general theoretical approach. In chapter 2 it is contended that Einstein’s ingenious approach to special relativity creation, substantially distinguishing him from Lorentz’s and Poincaré’s invaluable impacts, turns to be a milestone of maxwellian electrodynamics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics reconciliation design. Special relativity turns out to be grounded on Einstein’s breakthrough 1905 light quantum hypothesis. Eventually the author amends the received view on the general relativity genesis by stressing that the main reason for Einstein’s victory over the rival programmes of Abraham and Nordström was a unificationist character of Einstein’s research programme (chapter 3). Rinat M. Nugayev, Ph.D, professor of Volga Region Academy, Kazan, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Russian Federation. (shrink)
South Korean high school students are being taught Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. In this article, I examine the portrayal of this theory in South Korean high school physics textbooks and discuss an alternative method used to solve the analyzed problems. This examination of how these South Korean textbooks present this theory has revealed two main flaws: First, the textbooks’ contents present historically fallacious backgrounds regarding the origin of this theory because of a blind dependence on popular undergraduate textbooks, which (...) ignore the revolutionary aspects of the theory in physics. And second, the current ingredients of teaching this theory are so simply enumerated and conceptually confused that students are not provided with good opportunities to develop critical capacities for evaluating scientific theories. Reviewing textbooks used in South Korea, I will, first, claim that the history of science contributes to understand not merely the origins but also two principles of this theory. Second, in addition to this claim, I argue that we should distinguish not only hypotheses from principles but also phenomena from theoretical consequences and evidence. Finally, I suggest an alternative way in which theory testing occurs in the process of evaluation among competitive theories on the basis of data, not in the simple relation between a hypothesis and evidence. (shrink)
This article provides a non-technical overview of the conflict between the special theory of relativity and the dynamic theories of time. The chief argument against dynamic theories of time from relativistic mechanics is presented. The space of current responses to that argument is subsequently mapped.
This paper investigates the relationship between structural explanation and the New Mechanistic account of explanation. The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, to argue that some phenomena in the domain of fundamental physics, although mechanically brute, are structurally explained; and secondly, by elaborating on the contrast between SE and mechanistic explanation to better clarify some features of SE. Finally, this paper will argue that, notwithstanding their apparently antithetical character, SE and ME can be reconciled within a unified account of (...) general scientific explanation. (shrink)
Summary The present paper constitutes an elaboration of a previous work by one of us which, among other things, proposed some modifications of Popper's tetradic schema. Here, in the first part, we consider critically and develop further these modifications and elaborate on methods which prove more satisfactory for the mapping of the problem solving processes in Physics. We also find the opportunity to make some comments on Physics and on its relation to Mathematics. In the second part, there is an (...) attempt to test the above ideas on the genesis and development of the Special Relativity Theory. In doing this, we concentrate mainly on Einstein's 1905 paper and try to explicitate its relation with the situation Physics found itself in that period as well as to clarify the epistemological status of Einstein's two postulates. (shrink)
Einstein structured the theoretical frame of his work on gravity under the Special Relativity and Minkowski´s spacetime using three guide principles: The strong principle of equivalence establishes that acceleration and gravity are equivalents. Mach´s principle explains the inertia of the bodies and particles as completely determined by the total mass existent in the universe. And, general covariance searches to extend the principle of relativity from inertial motion to accelerated motion. Mach´s principle was abandoned quickly, general covariance resulted mathematical property of (...) the tensors and principle of equivalence inconsistent and it can only apply to punctual gravity, no to extended gravity. Also, the basic principle of Special Relativity, i.e., the constancy of the speed of the electromagnetic wave in the vacuum was abandoned, static Minkowski´s spacetime was replaced to dynamic Lorentz´s manifold and the main conceptual fundament of the theory, i.e. spacetime is not known what is. Of other hand, gravity never was conceptually defined; neither answers what is the law of gravity in general. However, the predictions arise of Einstein equations are rigorously exacts. Thus, the conclusion is that on gravity, it has only the equations. In this work it shows that principle of equivalence applies really to punctual and extended gravity, gravity is defined as effect of change of coordinates although in the case of the extended gravity with change of geometry from Minkowski´s spacetime to Lorentz´s manifold; and the gravitational motion is the geodesic motion that well it can declare as the general law of gravity. (shrink)
This article is a summary of an expanded version of my previous publication Ref. [ 1 ]. In particular, in Ref.  using a new axiomatic matrix approach – which has been formulated on the basis of ring theory and Clifford algebra – by first quantization (followed by a basic procedure of minimal coupling to the space-time geometry) of a special relativistic algebraic matrix equation, a certain massive form of gravitational field equations – with new matrix formalism and also a (...) definite form of torsion which generates the gravitational field's invariant mass – is derived uniquely. It is shown that the massless case of these derived equations is equivalent to the Einstein field equations (including a cosmological constant). Moreover, it has been shown that the matrix formalism of derived gravitational field equations, is compatible with matrix representations of certain Clifford algebras. (shrink)
The rigid recoil of a crystal is the accepted mechanism for the Mössbauer effect. It’s at odds with the special theory of relativity which does not allow perfectly rigid bodies. The standard model of particle physics which includes QED should not allow any signals to be transmitted faster than the speed of light. If perturbation theory can be used, then the X-ray emitted in a Mössbauer decay must come from a single nuclear decay vertex at which the 4-momentum is exactly (...) conserved in a Feynman diagram. Then the 4-momentum of the final state Mössbauer nucleus must be slightly off the mass shell. This off-shell behavior would be followed by subsequent diffusion of momentum throughout the crystal to bring the nucleus back onto the mass shell and the crystal to a final relaxed state in which it moves rigidly with the appropriate recoil velocity. This mechanism explains the Mössbauer effect at the microscopic level and reconciles it with relativity. Because off-mass-shell quantum mechanics is required, the on-mass-shell theories developed originally for the Mössbauer effect are inadequate. Another possibility is that that the recoil response involves a non-perturbative effect in the standard model which could allow for a non-local instantaneous momentum transfer between the crystal and the decay, as proposed for example by Preparata and others in super-radiance theory. The recoil time of the crystal is probably not instantaneous, and if it could be measured, one could distinguish between various theories. An experiment is proposed in this paper to measure this time. The idea is to measure the total energy radiated due to bremsstrahlung from a charged Mössbauer crystal which has experienced a recoil. Using Larmor’s formula, along with corrections to it, allows one to design an experiment. The favored idea is to use many small nano-spheres of Mössbauer-active metals, whose outer surfaces are charged. The energy radiated then varies as the charge squared divided by the recoil time. This can then be measured with the extreme sensitivity available in Mössbauer experiments. If it turns out that experiments prove the need for off-mass-shell theory, then this would have profound implications for all of condensed matter physics. It would mean that an off-mass-shell theory like those considered by Stueckelberg, Horwitz, Piron, Greenberger, and many others are required to describe nature. The inclusion of these would be a major shift in the foundations. It would mean that there are new dynamic variables—the rest masses of particles. The ability to measure the diffusion relaxation time should prove useful also in chemical analysis, and provide a new class of analytical methods for material science. This problem is also interesting because the Mössbauer effect is a phenomenon where the solid-state environment dramatically and indisputably influences the probability of a nuclear process. (shrink)
In this paper and its sequel, I consider the significance of Jarrett’s and Shimony’s analyses of the so-called factorisability condition for clarifying the nature of quantum non-locality. In this paper, I focus on four types of non-locality: superluminal signalling, action-at-a-distance, non-separability and holism. In the second paper, I consider a fifth type of non-locality: superluminal causation according to ‘logically weak’ concepts of causation, where causal dependence requires neither action nor signalling. In this connection, I pay special attention to the difficulties (...) that superluminal causation raises in relativistic space–time. I conclude by evaluating the relevance of Jarrett’s and Shimony’s analyses for clarifying the question of the compatibility of quantum non-locality with relativity theory. My main conclusions are, first: these analyses are significant for clarifying the questions of superluminal signalling in quantum phenomena and for the compatibility of these phenomena with relativity. But, second, by contrast: these analyses are not very significant for the study of action-at-a distance, superluminal causation, non-separability and holism in quantum phenomena. (shrink)