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Indeterminism, Gravitation, and Spacetime Theory

Fletcher, Samuel C. (2017) Indeterminism, Gravitation, and Spacetime Theory. Making It Formally Explicit: Probability, Causality and Indeterminism. pp. 179-191. ISSN 978-3-319-55486-0

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Abstract

Contemporary discussions of physical determinism that engage with modern spacetime and gravitational theory have typically focused on the question of the global uniqueness of solutions for initial-value problems. In this chapter I investigate the violation of local uniqueness, found in examples like Norton's dome, which are not typically considered in light of spacetime theory. In particular, I construct initial trajectories for massive particles whose worldlines are not uniquely determined from initial data, both for a charged particle in special relativistic electromagnetism and for a freely falling particle in pure general relativity. I also show that the existence of such examples implies the violation of the Strong Energy Condition, and consider their implications for the interpretation of spacetime theory.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fletcher, Samuel C.scfletch@umn.edu0000-0002-9061-8976
Additional Information: Volume edited by Gábor Hofer-Szabó and Leszek Wronski. This is the postprint version: after final peer review but before copyediting.
Keywords: Determinism, Indeterminism, Norton's Dome, Electromagnetism, Special Relativity, General Relativity, Strong Energy Condition, Test Particles
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Prof. Samuel C. Fletcher
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 22:15
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 22:15
Item ID: 17218
Journal or Publication Title: Making It Formally Explicit: Probability, Causality and Indeterminism
Publisher: Springer
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/978-3-319-55486-0_10
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 20 April 2017
Page Range: pp. 179-191
ISSN: 978-3-319-55486-0
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17218

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