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The origin of the spacetime metric: Bell's `Lorentzian pedagogy' and its significance in general relativity

Brown, Harvey R. and Pooley, Oliver (1999) The origin of the spacetime metric: Bell's `Lorentzian pedagogy' and its significance in general relativity. [Preprint]


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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the `Lorentzian Pedagogy' defended by J.S. Bell in his essay ``How to teach special relativity'', and to explore its consistency with Einstein's thinking from 1905 to 1952. Some remarks are also made in this context on Weyl's philosophy of relativity and his 1918 gauge theory. Finally, it is argued that the Lorentzian pedagogy---which stresses the important connection between kinematics and dynamics---clarifies the role of rods and clocks in general relativity.

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Item Type: Preprint
Brown, Harvey R.
Pooley, Oliver
Additional Information: This is a preprint of a contribution to C. Callender and N. Huggett (eds) ``Physics Meets Philosophy at the Planck Scale'', (Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 256--72.
Keywords: special relativity, general relativity, space-time metric, gauge theory, length contraction, time dilation, principle theories, constructive theories, Einstein, Lorentz, FitzGerald, Bell, Weyl, Torretti
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Oliver Pooley
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2003
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:12
Item ID: 1385

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