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The Equivalence Principle(s)

Lehmkuhl, Dennis (2019) The Equivalence Principle(s). [Preprint]

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Abstract

I discuss the relationship between different versions of the equivalence principle in general relativity, among them Einstein's equivalence principle, the weak equivalence principle, and the strong equivalence principle. I show that Einstein's version of the equivalence principle is intimately linked to his idea that in GR gravity and inertia are unified to a single field, quite like the electric and magnetic field had been unified in special relativistic electrodynamics. At the same time, what is now often called the strong equivalence principle, related to the local validity of special relativity, can also be found in Einstein's writings, albeit by a different name and clearly separated from what he calls the equivalence principle. I discuss both the development of Einstein's thoughts on the different versions of the equivalence principle, their relationship to the relativity principle, as well as later reflections and variants proposed.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Lehmkuhl, Dennislehmkuhl@caltech.edu
Keywords: General Relativity, Einstein, Equivalence Principle, Gravity, Unification, Laue, Synge
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr Dennis Lehmkuhl
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2020 02:15
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2020 02:15
Item ID: 17709
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Fields and Particles
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17709

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