Artículos con la etiqueta ‘Albert Einstein’

Historical Approach to Physics according to Kant, Einstein, and Hegel

Por • 28 ene, 2013 • Category: Crítica

It is known that Einstein’s conceptual base for his theory of relativity was the philosophy formulated by Immanuel Kant. Things appear differently to observers in different frames. However, Kant’s Ding-an-Sich leads to the existence of the absolute reference frame which is not acceptable in Einstein’s theory. It is possible to avoid this conflict using the ancient Chinese philosophy of Taoism where two different views can co-exist in harmony. This is not enough to explain Einstein’s discovery of the mass-energy relation. The energy-momentum relations for slow and ultra-fast particles take different forms. Einstein was able to synthesize these two formulas to create his energy-mass relation. Indeed, this is what Hegelianism is about in physics. Isaac Newton synthesized open orbits for comets and closed orbits for planets to create his second law of motion. Maxwell combined electricity and magnetism to create his four equations to the present-day wireless world. In order to synthesize wave and particle views of matter, Heisenberg formulated his uncertainty principle. Relativity and quantum mechanics are the two greatest theories formulated in the 20th Century. Efforts to synthesize these two theories are discussed in detail.

Poincare and Special Relativity

Por • 17 ene, 2012 • Category: Ciencia y tecnología

Henri Poincare’s work on mathematical features of the Lorentz transformations was an important precursor to the development of special relativity. In this paper I compare the approaches taken by Poincare and Einstein, aiming to come to an understanding of the philosophical ideas underlying their methods. In section (1) I assess Poincare’s contribution, concluding that although he inspired much of the mathematical formalism of special relativity, he cannot be credited with an overall conceptual grasp of the theory. In section (2) I investigate the origins of the two approaches, tracing differences to a disagreement about the appropriate direction for explanation in physics; I also discuss implications for modern controversies regarding explanation in the philosophy of special relativity. Finally, in section (3) I consider the links between Poincare’s philosophy and his science, arguing that apparent inconsistencies in his attitude to special relativity can be traced back to his acceptance of a `convenience thesis’ regarding conventions.