This contributed volume is the result of a July 2010 workshop at the University of Wuppertal Interdisciplinary Centre for Science and Technology Studies which brought together world-wide experts from physics, philosophy and history, in order to address a set of questions first posed in the 1950s: How do we compare spacetime theories? How do we judge, objectively, which is the “best” theory? Is there even a unique answer to this question? The goal of the workshop, and of this book, is to contribute to the development of a meta-theory of spacetime theories. Such a meta-theory would reveal insights about specific spacetime theories by distilling their essential similarities and differences, deliver a framework for a class of theories that could be helpful as a blueprint to build other meta-theories, and provide a higher level viewpoint for judging which theory most accurately describes nature. But rather than drawing a map in broad strokes, the focus is on particularly rich regions in the “space of spacetime theories.” This work will be of interest to physicists, as well as philosophers and historians of science working with or interested in General Relativity and/or Space, Time and Gravitation more generally.
Author: Jonathan Bain
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-04-07
This book seeks to answer the question "What explains CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection?" These properties play foundational roles in relativistic quantum field theories (RQFTs), are supported by high-precision experiments, and figure into explanations of a wide range of phenomena, from antimatter, to the periodic table of the elements, to superconductors and superfluids. They can be derived in RQFTs by means of the famous CPT and Spin-Statistics theorems; but, the author argues, these theorems cannot be said to explain these properties, at least under standard philosophical accounts of scientific explanation. This is because there are multiple, in some cases incompatible, ways of deriving these theorems, and, secondly, because the theorems fail for the types of theories that underwrite the empirical evidence: non-relativistic quantum theories, and realistic interacting RQFTs. The goal of this book is to work towards an understanding of CPT invariance and the spin-statistics connection by first providing an analysis of the necessary and sufficient conditions for these properties, and second by advocating a particular account of explanation appropriate for this context.
Author: David E. Rowe
Release Date: 2018-06-28
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.
An enlightening introduction to the philosophy of time and space. J.B. Kennedy offers an introduction to one of the liveliest and most popular fields in philosophy - time and space - aimed specifically at a beginning readership with no background in philosophy or science. He goes to the philosophical heart of the issues without recourse to jargon, mathematics, or logical formulas and introduces Einstein's revolutionary ideas in a clear and simple way, as well as concepts and arguments of other relevant philosophers, both ancient and modern. Current debates in philosophy and physics are also handled with exemplary clarity and Kennedy is able to provide readers with a real sense of where we have come from and where we are going. The writing is engaging, lively, and entertaining and serves to introduce the subject to beginning students as well as providing a clear statement of the "state of the debate" for a popular science readership. Kennedy covers such topics as Einstein's special and general relativity, how to build an atom bomb, the four-dimensional universe, the possibility of time travel, the impossibility of motion, whether space curves, the big bang, black holes, and the idea of inflationary and accelerating universes.
Author: Jean Eisenstaedt
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 1992-02-07
Among the considerations of the two dozen papers are the reception and development of Einstein's theory of general relativity in various institutions around the world; conceptual issues of the theory, especially themes, concepts, and principles associated with his theory of gravity; a number of tech
Excellent introduction probes deeply into Euclidean space, Riemann's space, Einstein's general relativity, gravitational waves and energy, and laws of conservation. "A classic of physics." — British Journal for Philosophy and Science.
Author: J.V. Narlikar
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 1986-07-31
For several decades since its inception, Einstein's general theory of relativity stood somewhat aloof from the rest of physics. Paradoxically, the attributes which normally boost a physical theory - namely, its perfection as a theoreti cal framework and the extraordinary intellectual achievement underlying i- prevented the general theory from being assimilated in the mainstream of physics. It was as if theoreticians hesitated to tamper with something that is manifestly so beautiful. Happily, two developments in the 1970s have narrowed the gap. In 1974 Stephen Hawking arrived at the remarkable result that black holes radiate after all. And in the second half of the decade, particle physicists discovered that the only scenario for applying their grand unified theories was offered by the very early phase in the history of the Big Bang universe. In both cases, it was necessary to discuss the ideas of quantum field theory in the background of curved spacetime that is basic to general relativity. This is, however, only half the total story. If gravity is to be brought into the general fold of theoretical physics we have to know how to quantize it. To date this has proved a formidable task although most physicists would agree that, as in the case of grand unified theories, quantum gravity will have applications to cosmology, in the very early stages of the Big Bang universe. In fact, the present picture of the Big Bang universe necessarily forces us to think of quantum cosmology.
Many regard Albert Einstein as the greatest physicist since Newton. What exactly did he do that is so important in physics? We provide an introduction to his physics at a level accessible to an undergraduate physics student. All equations are worked out in detail from the beginning. Einstein's doctoral thesis and his Brownian motion paper were decisive contributions to our understanding of matter as composed of molecules and atoms. Einstein was one of the founding fathers of quantum theory: his photon proposal through the investigation of blackbody radiation, his quantum theory of photoelectric effect and specific heat, his calculation of radiation fluctuation giving the first statement of wave-particle duality, his introduction of probability in the description of quantum radiative transitions, and finally the quantum statistics and Bose-Einstein condensation. Einstein's special theory of relativity gave us the famous E=mc2 relation and the new kinematics leading to the idea of the 4-dimensional spacetime as the arena in which physical events take place. Einstein's geometric theory of gravity, general relativity, extends Newton's theory to time-dependent and strong gravitational fields. It laid the ground work for the study of black holes and cosmology. This is a physics book with material presented in the historical context. We do not stop at Einstein's discovery, but carry the discussion onto some of the later advances: Bell's theorem, quantum field theory, gauge theories and Kaluza-Klein unification in a spacetime with an extra spatial dimension. Accessibility of the material to a modern-day reader is the goal of our presentation. Although the book is written with primarily a physics readership in mind (it can also function as a textbook), enough pedagogical support material is provided that anyone with a solid background in introductory physics can, with some effort, understand a good part of this presentation.
Author: Tim Maudlin
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-03-08
The third edition of Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity has been carefully updated to reflect significant developments, including a new chapter covering important recent work in the foundations of physics. A new edition of the premier philosophical study of Bell’s Theorem and its implication for the relativistic account of space and time Discusses Roderich Tumiulka’s explicit, relativistic theory that can reproduce the quantum mechanical violation of Bell’s inequality. Discusses the "Free Will Theorem" of John Conway and Simon Kochen Introduces philosophers to the relevant physics and demonstrates how philosophical analysis can help inform physics
Author: Thomas J. McFarlane
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Release Date: 2002-12
This collection of parallel quotes shows how modern scientific and ancient Eastern thought reveal the same results, and touches on the essential nature of energy and matter, the relationship between subject and object, and the limits of language in understanding and describing reality.
Author: A.A. Coley
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2003-10-31
Dynamical systems theory is especially well-suited for determining the possible asymptotic states (at both early and late times) of cosmological models, particularly when the governing equations are a finite system of autonomous ordinary differential equations. In this book we discuss cosmological models as dynamical systems, with particular emphasis on applications in the early Universe. We point out the important role of self-similar models. We review the asymptotic properties of spatially homogeneous perfect fluid models in general relativity. We then discuss results concerning scalar field models with an exponential potential (both with and without barotropic matter). Finally, we discuss the dynamical properties of cosmological models derived from the string effective action. This book is a valuable source for all graduate students and professional astronomers who are interested in modern developments in cosmology.