Chapter

What is Special Relativity?

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/10.1093/0199275831.003.0008
 						What is Special Relativity?

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This chapter begins with a discussion of Minkowski's geometrization of special relativity (SR). It then discusses Minkowski space-time, what absolute geometry explains, and special relativity. It is argued that Einstein's contribution was not to establish a clear-cut divide between kinematics and dynamics, but the demonstration (a) of the full operational significance of the Lorentz transformations, and (b) that the latter could be obtained by imposing simple phenomenological constraints on the nature of the fundamental interactions in physics.

Keywords: Minkowski; geometrization; absolute geometry; kinetics; dynamics; Lorentz transformations

Chapter.  10856 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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