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 reference 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
Tim Maudlin is professor of philosophy at New York
University. His books include The Metaphysics within Physics and Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity.
up the conceptual foundations of classical and modern physics, Maudlin
explains in a clear manner how Einstein's special and general theories
of relativity emerged from Newtonian mechanics and Galilean relativity. .
. . This is a solid work that deserves careful study and rewards
clear and comprehensive, this engrossing volume will be extremely
useful to students. Most introductions to space-time and relativity are
written by physicists, but readers interested in a careful examination
of the philosophical foundations of the subject are much better served
by starting here. I had fun reading this book."--Sean Carroll, author of
From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time
adroitly guides readers through the mathematical, physical, and
philosophical subtleties of Newtonian physics and special and general
relativity. The book is filled with lucid and original observations, and
succeeds in presenting material that was previously only accessible to
those who could stomach significant amounts of differential geometry. A
major contribution."--David Wallace, University of Oxford
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