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Philosophy of Physics

ISBN-10: 0691143099

ISBN-13: 9780691143095

Edition: 2012

Authors: Tim Maudlin

List price: $40.00
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This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory.Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity using a geometrical approach, emphasizing intrinsic space-time structure rather than coordinate systems or references frames. He gives readers enough detail about special relativity to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in a more qualitative way, with an informative discussion of the geometrization of gravity, the bending of light, and black holes. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more.Introduces nonphysicists to the philosophical foundations of space-time theoryProvides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to EinsteinExplains special relativity geometrically, emphasizing the intrinsic structure of space-timeCovers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, and moreRequires only basic algebra and no formal knowledge of physics
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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/22/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 200
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Tim Maudlin is professor of philosophy at New York University. His books include "The Metaphysics within Physics" and "Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity."

Introduction: The Aim and Structure of These Volumes
Classical Accounts of Space and Time
The Birth of Physics
Newton's First Law and Absolute Space
Absolute Time and the Persistence of Absolute Space
The Metaphysics of Absolute Space and Time
Evidence for Spatial and Temporal Structure
Newton's Second Law and the Bucket Experiment
Arithmetic, Geometry, and Coordinates
The Symmetries of Space and the Leibniz-Clarke Debate
Eliminating Unobservable Structure
Absolute Velocity and Galilean Relativity
Galilean Space-Time
Special Relativity
Special Relativity and Minkowski Space-Time
The Twins Paradox
Minkowski Straightedge, Minkowski Compass
Constructing Lorentz Coordinates
The Physics of Measurement
The Clock Hypothesis
Abstract Boosts and Physical Boosts
The "Constancy of the Speed of Light"
Deeper Accounts of Physical Principles
General Relativity
Curved Space and Curved Space-Time
Geometrizing Away Gravity
Black Holes and the Big Bang
The Hole Argument
Suggested Readings on General Relativity
The Direction and Topology of Time
The Geometry of Time
Time Travel as a Technical Problem
The Direction of Time
Appendix: Some Problems in Special Relativistic Physics