Towards A Theory Of Spacetime Theories

Author: Dennis Lehmkuhl
Publisher: Birkhäuser
ISBN: 9781493932108
Size: 12.38 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 57

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.

Cpt Invariance And The Spin Statistics Connection

Author: Jonathan Bain
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780191044557
Size: 14.91 MB
Format: PDF
View: 44

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.

The Completeness Of Scientific Theories

Author: Martin Carrier
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789401109109
Size: 19.81 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 11

Earlier in this century, many philosophers of science (for example, Rudolf Carnap) drew a fairly sharp distinction between theory and observation, between theoretical terms like 'mass' and 'electron', and observation terms like 'measures three meters in length' and 'is _2° Celsius'. By simply looking at our instruments we can ascertain what numbers our measurements yield. Creatures like mass are different: we determine mass by calculation; we never directly observe a mass. Nor an electron: this term is introduced in order to explain what we observe. This (once standard) distinction between theory and observation was eventually found to be wanting. First, if the distinction holds, it is difficult to see what can characterize the relationship between theory :md observation. How can theoretical terms explain that which is itself in no way theorized? The second point leads out of the first: are not the instruments that provide us with observational material themselves creatures of theory? Is it really possible to have an observation language that is entirely barren of theory? The theory-Iadenness of observation languages is now an accept ed feature of the logic of science. Many regard such dependence of observation on theory as a virtue. If our instruments of observation do not derive their meaning from theories, whence comes that meaning? Surely - in science - we have nothing else but theories to tell us what to try to observe.

Architectures Of Time

Author: Sanford Kwinter
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262611813
Size: 10.30 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 66

An exploration of twentienth-century conceptions of time and their relation to artistic form.

Fractal Space Time And Microphysics

Author: L Nottale
Publisher: World Scientific
ISBN: 9789814520218
Size: 15.40 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
View: 61

This is the first detailed account of a new approach to microphysics based on two leading ideas: (i) the explicit dependence of physical laws on scale encountered in quantum physics, is the manifestation of a fundamental principle of nature, scale relativity. This generalizes Einstein's principle of (motion) relativity to scale transformations; (ii) the mathematical achievement of this principle needs the introduction of a nondifferentiable space-time varying with resolution, i.e. characterized by its fractal properties. The author discusses in detail reactualization of the principle of relativity and its application to scale transformations, physical laws which are explicitly scale dependent, and fractals as a new geometric description of space-time. Contents:General IntroductionRelativity and Quantum PhysicsFrom Fractal Objects to Fractal SpacesFractal Dimension of a Quantum PathThe Fractal Structure of Quantum Space-TimeTowards a Special Theory of Scale RelativityProspects Readership:Physicists, mathematicians, philosophers, epistemologists and astrophysicists. keywords:Relativity;Fractals;Space-Time Geometry;Scale Laws;Non-Differentiability;Non-Standard Analysis;Quantum Mechanics;High Energies;Planck Scale;Chaos;Cosmology

Einstein And The Changing Worldviews Of Physics

Author: Christoph Lehner
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9780817649401
Size: 17.67 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
View: 71

This volume reviews conceptual conflicts at the foundations of physics now and in the past century. The focus is on the conditions and consequences of Einstein’s pathbreaking achievements that sealed the decline of the classical notions of space, time, radiation, and matter, and resulted in the theory of relativity. Particular attention is paid to the implications of conceptual conflicts for scientific views of the world at large, thus providing the basis for a comparison of the demise of the mechanical worldview at the turn of the 20th century with the challenges presented by cosmology at the turn of the 21st century. Throughout the work, Einstein’s contributions are not seen in isolation but instead set into the wider intellectual context of dealing with the problem of gravitation in the twilight of classical physics; the investigation of the historical development is carried out with a number of epistemological questions in mind, concerning, in particular, the transformation process of knowledge associated with the changing worldviews of physics.

Einstein Picasso

Author: Arthur J. Miller
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9780786723133
Size: 12.14 MB
Format: PDF
View: 49

The most important scientist of the twentieth century and the most important artist had their periods of greatest creativity almost simultaneously and in remarkably similar circumstances. This fascinating parallel biography of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso as young men examines their greatest creations-Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Einstein's special theory of relativity. Miller shows how these breakthroughs arose not only from within their respective fields but from larger currents in the intellectual culture of the times. Ultimately, Miller shows how Einstein and Picasso, in a deep and important sense, were both working on the same problem.