Chapter

The Relativity Principle and the Fable of Albert Keinstein

Harvey R. Brown

in Physical Relativity

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199275830
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603914 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199275831.003.0003
 						The Relativity Principle and the Fable of Albert Keinstein

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This chapter argues that Albert Einstein was not the first to use the relativity principle (RP) as a postulate in the treatment of a problem in physics. Christian Huygens had done so over two hundred years earlier in his treatment of collisions. It is shown that even Newton in his pre-Principia writings viewed the RP as having the same axiomatic status as his laws. But the prominent role played by the principle in Einstein's 1905 paper on moving bodies in electrodynamics marked the beginning of a new attitude concerning the foundational status of symmetries in physics.

Keywords: Einstein; relativity principle; Galileo; Newton; Keinstein; dynamics-kinematics

Chapter.  3689 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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