Chapter

In The Eye of the Beholder

Michael Munowitz

in Knowing

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195167375
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787104 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167375.003.0003
In The Eye of the Beholder

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No observer is without bias. Physical observations are always made within some arbitrarily drawn reference frame, and any objective description of nature must necessarily be independent of the relative displacement, rotation, velocity, and time origin of one observer relative to another. The reconciliation of different observational perspectives is the first step towards understanding the constraints imposed on natural law by the principles of relativity and invariance, symmetry, and mechanical conservation.

Keywords: invariance; observer; reference frame; relativity; space; symmetry; time

Chapter.  8233 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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