Harvey R. Brown

in Physical Relativity

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199275830
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603914 | DOI:

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Following Einstein's brilliant 1905 work on the electrodynamics of moving bodies, and its geometrization by Minkowski which proved to be so important for the development of Einstein's general theory of relativity, it became standard to view the FitzGerald-Lorentz hypothesis as the right idea based on the wrong reasoning. This chapter expresses doubts that this standard view is correct, and believes that posterity will look kindly on the merits of the pre-Einsteinian, ‘constructive’ reasoning of FitzGerald, if not Lorentz. The theories of FitzeGerald, Michelson, Heaviside, Einstein, and Bell are discussed. The chapter also considers what space-time is not.

Keywords: FitzGerald; Michelson; Heaviside; Einstein; Bell; Lorentzian Pedagogy; space-time

Chapter.  4818 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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