The Theory of the Relativity of Motion: An Introduction to the Theory of Relativity

 
9781434416292: The Theory of the Relativity of Motion: An Introduction to the Theory of Relativity
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This book presents an introduction to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which has become a necessary part of the theoretical equipment of every physicist. Even if we regard the Einstein theory of relativity merely as a convenient tool for the prediction of electromagnetic and optical phenomena, its importance to the physicist is very great, not only because its introduction greatly simplifies the deduction of many theorems which were already familiar in the older theories based on a stationary ether, but also because it leads simply and directly to correct conclusions in the case of such experiments as those of Michelson and Morley, Trouton and Noble, and Kaufman and Bucherer, which can be made to agree with the idea of a stationary ether only by the introduction of complicated and ad hoc assumptions. Regarded from a more philosophical point of view, an acceptance of the Einstein theory of relativity shows us the advisability of completely remodelling some of our most fundamental ideas. In particular we shall now do well to change our concepts of space and time in such a way as to give up the old idea of their complete independence, a notion which we have received as the inheritance of a long ancestral experience with bodies moving with slow velocities, but which no longer proves pragmatic when we deal with velocities approaching that of light.

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About the Author:

Richard Chace Tolman (1881-1948) was an American mathematical physicist and physical chemist who was an authority on statistical mechanics. He also made important contributions to theoretical cosmology in the years soon after Einstein's discovery of general relativity. He was a professor of physical chemistry and mathematical physics at the California Institute of Technology.

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