×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time
     

Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time

by Tim Maudlin
 

See All Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691143099

ISBN-13: 9780691143095

Pub. Date: 07/22/2012

Publisher: Princeton University Press

This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory.

Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how

Overview

This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory.

Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity using a geometrical approach, emphasizing intrinsic space-time structure rather than coordinate systems or references frames. He gives readers enough detail about special relativity to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in a more qualitative way, with an informative discussion of the geometrization of gravity, the bending of light, and black holes. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more.

  • Introduces nonphysicists to the philosophical foundations of space-time theory
  • Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein
  • Explains special relativity geometrically, emphasizing the intrinsic structure of space-time
  • Covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, and more
  • Requires only basic algebra and no formal knowledge of physics

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691143095
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/22/2012
Series:
Princeton Foundations of Contemporary Philosophy Series
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
1,281,173
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Introduction: The Aim and Structure of These Volumes xi

Chapter One
Classical Accounts of Space and Time 1
The Birth of Physics 1
Newton's First Law and Absolute Space 4
Absolute Time and the Persistence of Absolute Space 9
The Metaphysics of Absolute Space and Time 12

Chapter Two
Evidence for Spatial and Temporal Structure 17
Newton's Second Law and the Bucket Experiment 17
Arithmetic, Geometry, and Coordinates 24
The Symmetries of Space and the Leibniz-Clarke Debate 34

Chapter Three
Eliminating Unobservable Structure 47
Absolute Velocity and Galilean Relativity 47
Galilean Space-Time 54

Chapter Four
Special Relativity 67
Special Relativity and Minkowski Space-Time 67
The Twins Paradox 77
Minkowski Straightedge, Minkowski Compass 83
Constructing Lorentz Coordinates 87

Chapter Five
The Physics of Measurement 106
The Clock Hypothesis 106
Abstract Boosts and Physical Boosts 114
The "Constancy of the Speed of Light" 120
Deeper Accounts of Physical Principles 124

Chapter Six
General Relativity 126
Curved Space and Curved Space-Time 126
Geometrizing Away Gravity 131
Black Holes and the Big Bang 140
The Hole Argument 146
Suggested Readings on General Relativity 152

Chapter Seven
The Direction and Topology of Time 153
The Geometry of Time 153
Time Travel as a Technical Problem 162
The Direction of Time 165

Appendix: Some Problems in Special Relativistic Physics 171
References 177
Index 181

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews