Philosophy of Physics

Author: Tim Maudlin
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691143095
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Philosophy

Introduces non-physicists to core philosophical issues surrounding the nature & structure of space & time, & is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein, & covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, & more.

Raum und Zeit in der gegenw rtigen Physik Space and Time in Contemporary Physics

Author: Moritz Schlick
Publisher: Lulu.com
ISBN: 9781329127791
Release Date: 2015-05-10
Genre: Education

This book presents the third edition (1920) of Moritz Schlick's introduction to the special and general theories of relativity, side-by-side with the English translation by Henry L. Brose, published that same year. It will be useful to students of physics and the history of science who wish to approach the literature in German directly, as well as students of German who are curious about the subject.

The Physicist and the Philosopher

Author: Jimena Canales
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400865772
Release Date: 2015-06-09
Genre: Science

On April 6, 1922, in Paris, Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson publicly debated the nature of time. Einstein considered Bergson's theory of time to be a soft, psychological notion, irreconcilable with the quantitative realities of physics. Bergson, who gained fame as a philosopher by arguing that time should not be understood exclusively through the lens of science, criticized Einstein's theory of time for being a metaphysics grafted on to science, one that ignored the intuitive aspects of time. The Physicist and the Philosopher tells the remarkable story of how this explosive debate transformed our understanding of time and drove a rift between science and the humanities that persists today. Jimena Canales introduces readers to the revolutionary ideas of Einstein and Bergson, describes how they dramatically collided in Paris, and traces how this clash of worldviews reverberated across the twentieth century. She shows how it provoked responses from figures such as Bertrand Russell and Martin Heidegger, and carried repercussions for American pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, and quantum mechanics. Canales explains how the new technologies of the period—such as wristwatches, radio, and film—helped to shape people’s conceptions of time and further polarized the public debate. She also discusses how Bergson and Einstein, toward the end of their lives, each reflected on his rival’s legacy—Bergson during the Nazi occupation of Paris and Einstein in the context of the first hydrogen bomb explosion. The Physicist and the Philosopher is a magisterial and revealing account that shows how scientific truth was placed on trial in a divided century marked by a new sense of time.

Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

Author: Max Jammer
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400823781
Release Date: 2009-06-08
Genre: Science

The concept of mass is one of the most fundamental notions in physics, comparable in importance only to those of space and time. But in contrast to the latter, which are the subject of innumerable physical and philosophical studies, the concept of mass has been but rarely investigated. Here Max Jammer, a leading philosopher and historian of physics, provides a concise but comprehensive, coherent, and self-contained study of the concept of mass as it is defined, interpreted, and applied in contemporary physics and as it is critically examined in the modern philosophy of science. With its focus on theories proposed after the mid-1950s, the book is the first of its kind, covering the most recent experimental and theoretical investigations into the nature of mass and its role in modern physics, from the realm of elementary particles to the cosmology of galaxies. The book begins with an analysis of the persistent difficulties of defining inertial mass in a noncircular manner and discusses the related question of whether mass is an observational or a theoretical concept. It then studies the notion of mass in special relativity and the delicate problem of whether the relativistic rest mass is the only legitimate notion of mass and whether it is identical with the classical (Newtonian) mass. This is followed by a critical analysis of the different derivations of the famous mass-energy relationship E = mc2 and its conflicting interpretations. Jammer then devotes a chapter to the distinction between inertial and gravitational mass and to the various versions of the so-called equivalence principle with which Newton initiated his Principia but which also became the starting point of Einstein's general relativity, which supersedes Newtonian physics. The book concludes with a presentation of recently proposed global and local dynamical theories of the origin and nature of mass. Destined to become a much-consulted reference for philosophers and physicists, this book is also written for the nonprofessional general reader interested in the foundations of physics.

Physical Theory

Author: Lawrence Sklar
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195145649
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Philosophy

This collection surveys two aspects of contemporary philosophy of science: the methods of physical science and crucial aspects of foundational theories of physics. Part 1 explores the methodological topics, scientific explanation, probabilistic explanation, laws of nature, interpretation of theories, the structure of physical theories, and evolution and revolution in scientific change. In part 2 the studies of foundational physics explore contemporary theories of space and time, quantum theories of fields, and statistical mechanics.

The Deep Metaphysics of Space

Author: Edward Slowik
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 9783319448688
Release Date: 2016-10-12
Genre: Science

This volume explores the inadequacies of the two standard conceptions of space or spacetime, substantivalism and relationism, and in the process, proposes a new historical interpretation of these physical theories. This book also examines and develops alternative ontological conceptions of space, and explores additional historical elements of seventeenth century theories and other metaphysical themes. The author first discusses the two main opposing theories of the ontology of space. One, known as substantivalism, proposes space to be an entity that can exist independently of material things. The other, relationism, contends that space is a relation among material things. Readers will learn about specific problems with this dichotomy. First, Newton and Leibniz are often upheld as the retrospective forerunners of substantivalism and relationism. But, their work often contradicts the central tenets of these views. Second, these theories have proven problematic when transferred to a modern setting, especially with regards to general relativity and the recent quantum gravity hypotheses. The author details an alternative set of concepts that address these problems. The author also develops a new classificational system that provides a more accurate taxonomy for the elements of all spatial ontologies. This classification obtains successful analogies between Newton, Leibniz, and other natural philosophers with contemporary physical theories.

Quantum Philosophy

Author: Roland Omnès
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691095515
Release Date: 2002
Genre: Science

In this magisterial work, Roland Omnès takes us from the academies of ancient Greece to the laboratories of modern science as he seeks to do no less than rebuild the foundations of the philosophy of knowledge. One of the world's leading quantum physicists, Omnès reviews the history and recent development of mathematics, logic, and the physical sciences to show that current work in quantum theory offers new answers to questions that have puzzled philosophers for centuries: Is the world ultimately intelligible? Are all events caused? Do objects have definitive locations? Omnès addresses these profound questions with vigorous arguments and clear, colorful writing, aiming not just to advance scholarship but to enlighten readers with no background in science or philosophy. The book opens with an insightful and sweeping account of the main developments in science and the philosophy of knowledge from the pre-Socratic era to the nineteenth century. Omnès then traces the emergence in modern thought of a fracture between our intuitive, commonsense views of the world and the abstract and--for most people--incomprehensible world portrayed by advanced physics, math, and logic. He argues that the fracture appeared because the insights of Einstein and Bohr, the logical advances of Frege, Russell, and Gödel, and the necessary mathematics of infinity of Cantor and Hilbert cannot be fully expressed by words or images only. Quantum mechanics played an important role in this development, as it seemed to undermine intuitive notions of intelligibility, locality, and causality. However, Omnès argues that common sense and quantum mechanics are not as incompatible as many have thought. In fact, he makes the provocative argument that the "consistent-histories" approach to quantum mechanics, developed over the past fifteen years, places common sense (slightly reappraised and circumscribed) on a firm scientific and philosophical footing for the first time. In doing so, it provides what philosophers have sought through the ages: a sure foundation for human knowledge. Quantum Philosophy is a profound work of contemporary science and philosophy and an eloquent history of the long struggle to understand the nature of the world and of knowledge itself.

Raum Zeit Materie

Author: Hermann Weyl
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: UOM:39015078594721
Release Date: 1923
Genre: Science

Dieser Buchtitel ist Teil des Digitalisierungsprojekts Springer Book Archives mit Publikationen, die seit den Anfängen des Verlags von 1842 erschienen sind. Der Verlag stellt mit diesem Archiv Quellen für die historische wie auch die disziplingeschichtliche Forschung zur Verfügung, die jeweils im historischen Kontext betrachtet werden müssen. Dieser Titel erschien in der Zeit vor 1945 und wird daher in seiner zeittypischen politisch-ideologischen Ausrichtung vom Verlag nicht beworben.

GAMMA

Author: Julian Havil
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISBN: 9783540484967
Release Date: 2007-04-21
Genre: Mathematics

Jeder kennt p = 3,14159..., viele kennen e = 2,71828..., einige i. Und dann? Die "viertwichtigste" Konstante ist die Eulersche Zahl g = 0,5772156... - benannt nach dem genialen Leonhard Euler (1707-1783). Bis heute ist unbekannt, ob g eine rationale Zahl ist. Das Buch lotet die "obskure" Konstante aus. Die Reise beginnt mit Logarithmen und der harmonischen Reihe. Es folgen Zeta-Funktionen und Eulers wunderbare Identität, Bernoulli-Zahlen, Madelungsche Konstanten, Fettfinger in Wörterbüchern, elende mathematische Würmer und Jeeps in der Wüste. Besser kann man nicht über Mathematik schreiben. Was Julian Havil dazu zu sagen hat, ist spektakulär.