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Scott A. Walter
Nantes University
  1. Ether and Electrons in Relativity Theory.Scott A. Walter - 2018 - In Jaume Navarro (ed.), Ether and Modernity. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. pp. 67-87.
    This chapter discusses the roles of ether and electrons in relativity theory. One of the most radical moves made by Albert Einstein was to dismiss the ether from electrodynamics. His fellow physicists felt challenged by Einstein’s view, and they came up with a variety of responses, ranging from enthusiastic approval, to dismissive rejection. Among the naysayers were the electron theorists, who were unanimous in their affirmation of the ether, even if they agreed with other aspects of Einstein’s theory of relativity. (...)
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  2. Figures of Light in the Early History of Relativity (1905-1914).Scott A. Walter - 2018 - In David E. Rowe, Tilman Sauer & Scott A. Walter (eds.), Einstein Studies. New York, USA: Birkhäuser. pp. 3-50.
    Albert Einstein's bold assertion of the form-invariance of the equation of a spherical light wave with respect to inertial frames of reference became, in the space of six years, the preferred foundation of his theory of relativity. Early on, however, Einstein's universal light-sphere invariance was challenged on epistemological grounds by Henri Poincaré, who promoted an alternative demonstration of the foundations of relativity theory based on the notion of a light-ellipsoid. Drawing in part on archival sources, this paper shows how an (...)
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  3.  43
    Roberto Lalli. Building the General Relativity and Gravitation Community During the Cold War. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Springer Briefs in History of Science and Technology, 2017, Xiv + 168 Pp. ISBN: 9783319546544. [REVIEW]Scott A. Walter - 2020 - Centaurus 61 (4):451-453.
  4.  2
    Beyond Einstein: Perspectives on Geometry, Gravitation, and Cosmology in the Twentieth Century.David E. Rowe, Tilman Sauer & Scott A. Walter (eds.) - 2018 - New York, USA: Springer New York.
    Beyond Einstein: Perspectives on Geometry, Gravitation, and Cosmology explores the rich interplay between mathematical and physical ideas by studying the interactions of major actors and the roles of important research communities over the course of the last century.
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    Poincaré on Clocks in Motion.Scott A. Walter - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:131-141.
    Recently-discovered manuscripts throw new light on Poincaré’s discovery of the Lorentz group, and his ether-based interpretation of the Lorentz transformation. At first, Poincaré postulated longitudinal contraction of bodies in motion with respect to the ether, and ignored time deformation. In April, 1909, he acknowledged temporal deformation due to translation, obtaining thereby a theory of relativity more compatible with those of Einstein and Minkowski.
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    Letters to the Editor.Scott A. Walter - 2008 - Isis 99 (2):374-374.
    This letter corrects errors of fact contained in a review by Yves Gingras of a biopic about Henri Poincaré.
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    La vérité en géométrie: sur le rejet mathématique de la doctrine conventionnaliste.Scott A. Walter - 1997 - Philosophia Scientiae 2 (3):103-135.
    The reception of Poincaré’s conventionalist doctrine of space by mathematicians is studied for the period 1891–1911. The opposing view of Riemann and Helmholtz, according to which the geometry of space is an empirical question, is shown to have swayed several geometers. This preference is considered in the context of changing views of the nature of space in theoretical physics, and with respect to structural and social changes within mathematics. Included in the latter evolution is the emergence of non-Euclidean geometry as (...)
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    Breaking in the Four-Vectors: The Four-Dimensional Movement in Gravitation.Scott A. Walter - 2007 - In Jürgen Renn & Matthias Schemmel (eds.), The Genesis of General Relativity, Volume 3. Springer. pp. 193-252.
    The law of gravitational attraction is a window on three formal approaches to laws of nature based on Lorentz-invariance: Poincaré’s four-dimensional vector space (1906), Minkowski’s matrix calculus and spacetime geometry (1908), and Sommerfeld’s 4-vector algebra (1910). In virtue of a common appeal to 4-vectors for the characterization of gravitational attraction, these three contributions track the emergence and early development of four-dimensional physics.
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