PhilSci Archive

On the Reduction of General Relativity to Newtonian Gravitation

Fletcher, Samuel C. (2019) On the Reduction of General Relativity to Newtonian Gravitation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 68. pp. 1-15. ISSN 1355-2198

[img]
Preview
Text
reduction_shpmp.pdf

Download (498kB) | Preview

Abstract

Intertheoretic reduction in physics aspires to be both to be explanatory and perfectly general: it endeavors to explain why an older, simpler theory continues to be as successful as it is in terms of a newer, more sophisticated theory, and it aims to relate or otherwise account for as many features of the two theories as possible. Despite often being introduced as straightforward cases of intertheoretic reduction, candidate accounts of the reduction of general relativity to Newtonian gravitation have either been insufficiently general or rigorous, or have not clearly been able to explain the empirical success of Newtonian gravitation. Building on work by Ehlers and others, I propose a different account of the reduction relation that is perfectly general and meets the explanatory demand one would make of it. In doing so, I highlight the role that a topology on the collection of all spacetimes plays in defining the relation, and how the selection of the topology corresponds with broader or narrower classes of observables that one demands be well-approximated in the limit.


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

Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Fletcher, Samuel C.scfletch@umn.edu0000-0002-9061-8976
Keywords: Intertheoretic reduction, Units, Topology, Similarity, Observables, General Relativity, Newtonian Gravitation, Newton-Cartan Theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Prof. Samuel C. Fletcher
Date Deposited: 26 May 2020 22:58
Last Modified: 26 May 2020 22:58
Item ID: 17236
Journal or Publication Title: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1016/j. shpsb.2019.04.005
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 10 April 2019
Page Range: pp. 1-15
Volume: 68
ISSN: 1355-2198
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17236

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Altmetric.com

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item