Philosophy of Physics: Space and Time

Princeton University Press
10
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This concise book introduces nonphysicists to the core philosophical issues surrounding the nature and structure of space and time, and is also an ideal resource for physicists interested in the conceptual foundations of space-time theory. Tim Maudlin's broad historical overview examines Aristotelian and Newtonian accounts of space and time, and traces how Galileo's conceptions of relativity and space-time led to Einstein's special and general theories of relativity. Maudlin explains special relativity with enough detail to solve concrete physical problems while presenting general relativity in more qualitative terms. Additional topics include the Twins Paradox, the physical aspects of the Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction, the constancy of the speed of light, time travel, the direction of time, and more.
  • Introduces nonphysicists to the philosophical foundations of space-time theory
  • Provides a broad historical overview, from Aristotle to Einstein
  • Explains special relativity geometrically, emphasizing the intrinsic structure of space-time
  • Covers the Twins Paradox, Galilean relativity, time travel, and more
  • Requires only basic algebra and no formal knowledge of physics
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About the author

Tim Maudlin is professor of philosophy at New York University. His books include The Metaphysics within Physics and Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity.
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Reviews

4.1
10 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jul 22, 2012
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Pages
200
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ISBN
9781400842339
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Science / Physics / General
Science / Physics / Relativity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Tim Maudlin
Topology is the mathematical study of the most basic geometrical structure of a space. Mathematical physics uses topological spaces as the formal means for describing physical space and time. This book proposes a completely new mathematical structure for describing geometrical notions such as continuity, connectedness, boundaries of sets, and so on, in order to provide a better mathematical tool for understanding space-time. This is the initial volume in a two-volume set, the first of which develops the mathematical structure and the second of which applies it to classical and Relativistic physics. The book begins with a brief historical review of the development of mathematics as it relates to geometry, and an overview of standard topology. The new theory, the Theory of Linear Structures, is presented and compared to standard topology. The Theory of Linear Structures replaces the foundational notion of standard topology, the open set, with the notion of a continuous line. Axioms for the Theory of Linear Structures are laid down, and definitions of other geometrical notions developed in those terms. Various novel geometrical properties, such as a space being intrinsically directed, are defined using these resources. Applications of the theory to discrete spaces (where the standard theory of open sets gets little purchase) are particularly noted. The mathematics is developed up through homotopy theory and compactness, along with ways to represent both affine (straight line) and metrical structure.
Tim Maudlin
Topology is the mathematical study of the most basic geometrical structure of a space. Mathematical physics uses topological spaces as the formal means for describing physical space and time. This book proposes a completely new mathematical structure for describing geometrical notions such as continuity, connectedness, boundaries of sets, and so on, in order to provide a better mathematical tool for understanding space-time. This is the initial volume in a two-volume set, the first of which develops the mathematical structure and the second of which applies it to classical and Relativistic physics. The book begins with a brief historical review of the development of mathematics as it relates to geometry, and an overview of standard topology. The new theory, the Theory of Linear Structures, is presented and compared to standard topology. The Theory of Linear Structures replaces the foundational notion of standard topology, the open set, with the notion of a continuous line. Axioms for the Theory of Linear Structures are laid down, and definitions of other geometrical notions developed in those terms. Various novel geometrical properties, such as a space being intrinsically directed, are defined using these resources. Applications of the theory to discrete spaces (where the standard theory of open sets gets little purchase) are particularly noted. The mathematics is developed up through homotopy theory and compactness, along with ways to represent both affine (straight line) and metrical structure.
Tim Maudlin
Topology is the mathematical study of the most basic geometrical structure of a space. Mathematical physics uses topological spaces as the formal means for describing physical space and time. This book proposes a completely new mathematical structure for describing geometrical notions such as continuity, connectedness, boundaries of sets, and so on, in order to provide a better mathematical tool for understanding space-time. This is the initial volume in a two-volume set, the first of which develops the mathematical structure and the second of which applies it to classical and Relativistic physics. The book begins with a brief historical review of the development of mathematics as it relates to geometry, and an overview of standard topology. The new theory, the Theory of Linear Structures, is presented and compared to standard topology. The Theory of Linear Structures replaces the foundational notion of standard topology, the open set, with the notion of a continuous line. Axioms for the Theory of Linear Structures are laid down, and definitions of other geometrical notions developed in those terms. Various novel geometrical properties, such as a space being intrinsically directed, are defined using these resources. Applications of the theory to discrete spaces (where the standard theory of open sets gets little purchase) are particularly noted. The mathematics is developed up through homotopy theory and compactness, along with ways to represent both affine (straight line) and metrical structure.
Tim Maudlin
Topology is the mathematical study of the most basic geometrical structure of a space. Mathematical physics uses topological spaces as the formal means for describing physical space and time. This book proposes a completely new mathematical structure for describing geometrical notions such as continuity, connectedness, boundaries of sets, and so on, in order to provide a better mathematical tool for understanding space-time. This is the initial volume in a two-volume set, the first of which develops the mathematical structure and the second of which applies it to classical and Relativistic physics. The book begins with a brief historical review of the development of mathematics as it relates to geometry, and an overview of standard topology. The new theory, the Theory of Linear Structures, is presented and compared to standard topology. The Theory of Linear Structures replaces the foundational notion of standard topology, the open set, with the notion of a continuous line. Axioms for the Theory of Linear Structures are laid down, and definitions of other geometrical notions developed in those terms. Various novel geometrical properties, such as a space being intrinsically directed, are defined using these resources. Applications of the theory to discrete spaces (where the standard theory of open sets gets little purchase) are particularly noted. The mathematics is developed up through homotopy theory and compactness, along with ways to represent both affine (straight line) and metrical structure.
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