The Riddle of Gravitation

Por • 9 dic, 2011 • Sección: Opinion

A.M. Sid-Ahmed

Abstract: There is no doubt that both the special and general theories of relativity capture the imagination. The anti-intuitive properties of the special theory of relativity and its deep philosophical implications, the bizzare and dazzling predictions of the general theory of relativity: the curvature of spacetime, the exotic characteristics of black holes, the bewildering prospects of gravitational waves, the discovery of astronomical objects as quasers and pulsers, the expansion and the (possible) recontraction of the universe…, are all breathtaking phenomena. In this paper, we give a philosophical non-technical treatment of both the special and the general theory of relativity together with an exposition of some of the latest physical theories. We then give an outline of an axiomatic approach to relativity theories due to Andreka and Nemeti that throws light on the logical structure of both theories. This is followed by an exposition of some of the bewildering results established by Andreka and Nemeti concerning the foundations of mathematics using the notion of relativistic computers. We next give a survey on the meaning and philosophical implications of the the quantum theory and end the paper by an imaginary debate between Einstein and Neils Bohr reflecting both Einstein’s and Bohr’s philosophical views on the quantum world.
The paper is written in a somewhat untraditional manner; there are too many footnotes. In order not to burden the reader with all the details, we have collected the more advanced material the footnotes. We think that this makes the paper easier to read and simpler to follow. The paper in full is adressed more to experts.

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