Relativity: The Theory and Its Philosophy

Elsevier
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Relativity: The Theory and its Philosophy provides a completely self-contained treatment of the philosophical foundations of the theory of relativity. It also surveys the most essential mathematical techniques and concepts that are indispensable to an understanding of the foundations of both the special and general theories of relativity. In short, the book includes a crash course in applied mathematics, ranging from elementary trigonometry to the classical tensor calculus.

Comprised of 11 chapters, this book begins with an introduction to fundamental mathematical concepts such as sets, relations, and functions; N-tuples, vectors, and matrices; and vector algebra and calculus. The discussion then turns to the concept of relativity and elementary foundations of Newtonian mechanics, as well as the principle of special relativity and its philosophical interpretation by means of empiricism and rationalism. Subsequent chapters focus on the status of the doctrine of conventionalism in the theory of special relativity; the commensurability of classical and relativistic mechanics; mathematical foundations of special relativistic physics; and the classical or Newtonian theory of gravitation. The principle of general covariance and its relation to the principle of general relativity are also examined. The final chapter addresses the fundamental question as to the actual information concerning the structure of spacetime that is conveyed to us through the theory of general relativity.

This monograph will be of interest to students, teachers, practitioners, and researchers in physics, mathematics, and philosophy.
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About the author

prolific author on all aspects of the philosophy of science and a pioneer in philosophy of technology, Mario Augusto Bunge was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1919 and educated at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata, receiving his Ph.D. in physics in 1952. He did research work in and taught theoretical physics in Argentina before moving to the United States in 1960, where he taught at several universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Texas, Delaware, and Temple University. He moved to Montreal in 1966, where he remains and has been Frothingham Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at McGill University since 1981. Bunge insists on describing both science and technology exactly as they are. His pioneering approach to the philosophy of technology includes a clear characterization of all the components of technological systems in systems-theory terms, including their value commitments and relationships to other institutions. Outspokenly critical of what he views as pseudo-science, including psychoanalysis, Bunge is equally strong in his defenses of democracy, although he also sees it as subject to much abuse.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Elsevier
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Published on
May 20, 2014
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781483139265
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Energy
Science / Mechanics / General
Science / Physics / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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This book provides a comprehensive treatment of the principles and applications of quantum mechanics with equal emphasis on concept building and problem solving. The book follows an integrated approach to expose the students to applications of quantum mechanics in both physics and chemistry streams. A chapter is devoted to biological applications as well, to evince the interest of the students pursuing courses in Biotechnology and Bioinformatics. Such unique organization of the book makes it suitable for both Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Chemistry courses, where the common areas like molecular structure and spectroscopy are emphasized. The book, in its second edition, continues to serve as an ideal textbook for the first-year postgraduate students of both physics and chemistry as well as for senior undergraduate students pursuing honours courses in these disciplines. It has been thoroughly revised and enlarged with the introduction of a new chapter on “Quantum Statistics and Planck's Law of Black-Body Radiation”, some important sections in various chapters and more worked-out examples. The book helps students learn difficult concepts of quantum mechanics with simpler mathematics and intuitive language, but without sacrificing rigour. It has informal classroom type approach suitable for self-learning. Key Features • Gives about 200 worked-out examples and chapter-end problems with hints and answers related to different areas of modern science including biology. • Highlights important technological developments based on Quantum Mechanics, such as electron microscope, scanning tunnelling microscope, lasers, Raman spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). • Provides adequate number of illustrations. • Includes detailed mathematical derivations separately in Appendices for a more rigorous approach.
Relativity: The Theory and its Philosophy provides a completely self-contained treatment of the philosophical foundations of the theory of relativity. It also surveys the most essential mathematical techniques and concepts that are indispensable to an understanding of the foundations of both the special and general theories of relativity. In short, the book includes a crash course in applied mathematics, ranging from elementary trigonometry to the classical tensor calculus.

Comprised of 11 chapters, this book begins with an introduction to fundamental mathematical concepts such as sets, relations, and functions; N-tuples, vectors, and matrices; and vector algebra and calculus. The discussion then turns to the concept of relativity and elementary foundations of Newtonian mechanics, as well as the principle of special relativity and its interpretation by means of empiricism and rationalism. Subsequent chapters focus on the status of the doctrine of conventionalism in the theory of special relativity; the commensurability of classical and relativistic mechanics; mathematical foundations of special relativistic physics; and the classical or Newtonian theory of gravitation. The principle of general covariance and its relation to the principle of general relativity are also examined. The final chapter addresses the fundamental question as to the actual information concerning the structure of spacetime that is conveyed to us through the theory of general relativity.

This monograph will be of interest to students, teachers, practitioners, and researchers in physics, mathematics, and philosophy.
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