PhilSci Archive

Approximate Local Poincaré Spacetime Symmetry in General Relativity

Fletcher, Samuel C. (2020) Approximate Local Poincaré Spacetime Symmetry in General Relativity. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
LocLorentz (1).pdf

Download (179kB) | Preview

Abstract

How does general relativity reduce, or explain the success of, special relativity? Answering this question, which Einstein took as a desideratum in the formulation of the former, is of acknowledged importance, yet there continues to be disagreement about how exactly it is best answered. I advocate here that part of the best answer involves showing that every relativistic spacetime has an approximate local Poincaré spacetime symmetry group, the spacetime symmetry group of Minkowski spacetime. This explains the application of Minkowski spacetime concepts that depend on, e.g., the conserved quantities that spacetime symmetries guarantee. I contrast this approach with another that instead invokes the strong equivalence principle, which focuses on the distinct notion of Poincaré invariance of dynamical equations. After showing with some examples that neither notion is necessary for the other, I use those examples to illuminate contrasting positions on the explanatory role of local approximate spacetime geometry, defending Torretti (1996) against criticisms by Brown and Pooley (2001). Finally, I acknowledge that establishing approximate local Poincaré spacetime symmetry is not a complete answer to the explanatory question with which I led, discussing in the concluding section further work that could lead to an answer. This includes specifying the circumstances under which matter fields in a general relativistic spacetime "behave" locally like those in Minkowski spacetime.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fletcher, Samuel C.scfletch@umn.edu0000-0002-9061-8976
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Claus Beisbart, Tilman Sauer, and Christian Wüthrich, eds. "Thinking about Space and Time." Einstein Studies, vol. 15, Birkhäuser.
Keywords: Intertheoretic reduction, Special Relativity, Local spacetime symmetry, Poincaré invariance
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Prof. Samuel C. Fletcher
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 22:41
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 22:41
Item ID: 17229
Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: 3 March 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17229

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item