9781591024170

Space and Time in Contemporary Physics

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781591024170

  • ISBN10:

    159102417X

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 6/1/2006
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books

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Summary

This is one of the clearest expositions in laypersons terms of Einstein's theory of relativity and its paradigm-shifting implications for philosophy and common-sense notions of reality. Moritz Schlick, the influential German philosopher and leaders of the positivist school of philosophy known as the Vienna Circle, wrote this short work in 1919 specifically to introduce readers unfamiliar with Einstein's theories to the profound importance of the physicist's immense contributions. Einstein himself reviewed Schlick's work before publication and is thanked in the preface for 'giving me many useful hints'. With a talent for illustrative analogies and a concise, lucid style of presentation, Schlick explains both the special and the general theories of relativity. Beginning with the older Newtonian view of space, time, and the laws governing matter, the author proceeds to show how Einstein's theories solved certain problems inherent in the old view and provided a radical new conception of reality. Since their original publication, numerous experiments have confirmed Einstein's ideas. Thus, Schlick's work continues to be a valuable and highly accessible explication of one of science's most enduring achievements.

Table of Contents

From Newton to Einsteinp. 17
The Special Principle of Relativityp. 23
The Geometrical Relativity of Spacep. 37
The Mathematical Formulation of Spatial Relativityp. 43
The Inseparability of Geometry and Physics in Experiencep. 47
The Relativity of Motions and its Connexion with Inertia and Gravitationp. 51
The General Postulate of Relativity and the Measure-Determinations of the Space-time Continuump. 59
Enunciation and Significance of the Fundamental Law of the New Theoryp. 69
The Finitude of the Universep. 79
Relations to Philosophyp. 87
Indexp. 97
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