Relativity and the Nature of Spacetime / Edition 1

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Overview

The most important question that is addressed in this book is "what is the nature (the ontological status) of spacetime?" or, equivalently, "what is the dimensionality of the world at the macroscopic level?" The answer to this question is developed via a thorough analysis of relativistic effects and explicitly asking whether the objects involved in those effects are three-dimensional or four-dimensional. This analysis clearly shows that if the world and the physical objects were three-dimensional, none of the kinematic relativistic effects and the experimental evidence supporting them would be possible. The implications of this result for physics, philosophy, and our entire world view are discussed. This new edition has been significantly expanded with new sections, appendices, notes and references. The arguments of the previous edition are strengthened; new developments in the field are presented and integrated to yield a thoroughly convincing and clear treatment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews of the second edition:

“The book under review is mainly devoted to the physical consequences of special relativity and to the unveiling of the very nature of spacetime. … The book is clear and well written and the bibliographic references are very good. It is recommended to physicists and to philosophers of science.” (Francesco Sorge, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2011 i)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9783540238898
  • Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York, LLC
  • Publication date: 5/16/2005
  • Series: The Frontiers Collection Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Presently: Assistant Professor, Science College, Concordia University (in fact, I am associated with three departments - Liberal Arts College, Philosophy Department, and Science College)

1984 -1989: Adjunct Professor, Philosophy Department, Sofia University

1986 -1989: Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Doctoral degrees in theoretical physics (1997, Concordia University) and philosophy of science (1988, Institute of Philosophy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1

Pt. I From Galileo to Minkowski

2 On the Impossibility of Detecting Uniform Motion 15

3 Exploring the Internal Logic of Galilee's Principle of Relativity 29

4 Relativity in Euclidean Space and in Spacetime 55

Pt. II On the Nature of Spacetime: Conceptual and Philosophical Issues

5 Relativity and the Dimensionality of the World: Spacetime Is Real 121

6 Why Is the Issue of the Nature of Spacetime So Important? 153

Pt. III Implications of the Reality of Spacetime for Physics

7 Propagation of Light in Non-Inertial Reference Frames 183

8 Calculating the Electric Field of a Charge in a Non-Inertial Reference Frame 221

9 Inertia as a Manifestation of the Reality of Spacetime 237

10 Spacetime and the Nature of Quantum Objects 265

A Quantum Mechanical Arguments Against the Reality of Spacetime 277

B The Nature of Spacetime and Validity of Scientific Theories 281

C Classical Electromagnetic Mass Theory and the Arguments Against It 293

D Calculation of the Self-Force 297

References 301

Index 309

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