Chapter

Classical and Relativistic Spacetime

Yuri Balashov

in Persistence and Spacetime

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199579921
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722899 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199579921.003.0003
Classical and Relativistic Spacetime

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A simplified overview of the geometrical structure of Newtonian, neo‐Newtonian (Galilean), and special relativistic (Minkowski) spacetime, intended for the non‐specialist. The notions of reference frame, coordinate system and coordinate transformation are briefly introduced, followed by a more extended discussion of kinematic relativistic phenomena, such as relativity of simultaneity, length contraction and time dilation, which are important for the arguments of later chapters. The interplay of important ideas of invariance, perspectivalism and objectivity is of special note.

Keywords: Newtonian spacetime; Galilean spacetime; Minkowski spacetime; relativity of simultaneity; length contraction; time dilation; invariance; perspectivalism; reference frame; coordinate transformation

Chapter.  9000 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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