Preludes to a relativistic theory of gravitation
November 9, 2010 § 1 Comment
In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
The special theory of relativity had its origin in the development of electrodynamics. The mechanical theory of gravitation and the field theory of electrodynamics were based on the same concepts of space and time. The two theories were also fundamentally different and thus did not contradict each other.
Sadly, they were no longer compatible when Maxwell’s theory eliminated action at a distance from the realms of electrodynamics, and the Lorentz transformations ruled out action at a distance from the whole of physics, by depriving time and space of their absolute character.
Newton’s theory of gravitation is co-variant with respect to Galilean transformations, but not with respect to Lorentz transformations.
The theory of gravitation had to be changed into a relativistic field theory.
Rutabagas of a quiet past in a stormy present
May 2, 2010 § 1 Comment
By the turn of the twentieth century scientific group think was in an impasse. The branch of physics that was most developed as an experimental science was Galilean-Newtonian mechanics.
The law of inertia
Bodies when removed from interaction with other bodies will continue in their states of rest or straight line uniform motion. In other words, the motion of such bodies is unaccelerated.
Supposedly, the laws of mechanics take the same form in all inertial systems, that is, in all those coordinate systems which can be obtained by subjecting any one inertial system to arbitrary Galilean transformations.
All mechanistic branches, such as the theory of elastic bodies and hydrodynamics, or the mechanics of rigid bodies, can be deduced from the mechanics of free mass points by introducing suitable energies and by carrying out certain limiting processes.