Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond

Overview

Max Jammer's Concepts of Simultaneity presents a comprehensive, accessible account of the historical development of an important and controversial concept—which played a critical role in initiating modern theoretical physics—from the days of Egyptian hieroglyphs through to Einstein's work in 1905, and beyond. Beginning with the use of the concept of simultaneity in ancient Egypt and in the Bible, the study discusses its role in Greek and medieval philosophy as well as its significance in Newtonian physics and in ...

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Concepts of Simultaneity: From Antiquity to Einstein and Beyond

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Overview

Max Jammer's Concepts of Simultaneity presents a comprehensive, accessible account of the historical development of an important and controversial concept—which played a critical role in initiating modern theoretical physics—from the days of Egyptian hieroglyphs through to Einstein's work in 1905, and beyond. Beginning with the use of the concept of simultaneity in ancient Egypt and in the Bible, the study discusses its role in Greek and medieval philosophy as well as its significance in Newtonian physics and in the ideas of Leibniz, Kant, and other classical philosophers. The central theme of Jammer's presentation is a critical analysis of the use of this concept by philosophers of science, like Poincaré, and its significant role in inaugurating modern theoretical physics in Einstein's special theory of relativity. Particular attention is paid to the philosophical problem of whether the notion of distant simultaneity presents a factual reality or only a hypothetical convention. The study concludes with an analysis of simultaneity's importance in general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Physics Today - Alberto A. Martinez
Concepts of Simultaneity excels at clearly explaining subtle but important issues. The book is incisive and valuable; it will appeal not only to historians and philosophers of physics but also to physicists drawn to the elements of special relativity.
American Scientist - Jill North
Concepts of Simultaneity provides a welcome survey of the development of our views and theories of simultaneity, bringing together sources in history, physics and philosophy. The book covers an impressive array of material.
Sudies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics - Allen I. Janis
The view of simultaneity presented by Max Jammer is almost breathtaking... I think Jammer has written a valuable book.
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences - Mark Shumelda
Presents a very well-researched and thought-provoking analysis of the topic.
Isis - Craig Callender
I highly recommend the book.
Mathematical Reviews - Howard E. Brandt
Jammer's book is a significant contribution to the literature on the physics of time and merits the attention of both physicists and philosophers of science.
Choice
This interesting, carefully crafted analysis of some fundamental ideas belongs in good college library collections... Highly recommended.
Physics Today
Concepts of Simultaneity excels at clearly explaining subtle but important issues. The book is incisive and valuable; it will appeal not only to historians and philosophers of physics but also to physicists drawn to the elements of special relativity.

— Alberto A. Martinez

Choice

This interesting, carefully crafted analysis of some fundamental ideas belongs in good college library collections... Highly recommended.

American Scientist
Concepts of Simultaneity provides a welcome survey of the development of our views and theories of simultaneity, bringing together sources in history, physics and philosophy. The book covers an impressive array of material.

— Jill North

Sudies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
The view of simultaneity presented by Max Jammer is almost breathtaking... I think Jammer has written a valuable book.

— Allen I. Janis

History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Presents a very well-researched and thought-provoking analysis of the topic.

— Mark Shumelda

Isis
I highly recommend the book.

— Craig Callender

Mathematical Reviews
Jammer's book is a significant contribution to the literature on the physics of time and merits the attention of both physicists and philosophers of science.

— Howard E. Brandt

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801884221
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Jammer, who was personally acquainted with Albert Einstein while at Princeton, is former president and professor emeritus of Bar-Ilan University and author of a number of important books, mainly in the philosophy of physics. Among his numerous awards are the Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the much coveted Israel Prize.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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