Spacetime functionalism is the view that spacetime is a functional structure implemented by a more fundamental ontology. Lam and Wüthrich have recently argued that spacetime functionalism helps to solve the epistemological problem of empirical coherence in quantum gravity and suggested that it also (dis)solves the hard problem of spacetime, namely the problem of offering a picture consistent with the emergence of spacetime from a non-spatio-temporal structure. First, I will deny that spacetime functionalism solves the (...) hard problem by showing that it comes in various species, each entailing a different attitude towards, or answer to, the hard problem. Second, I will argue that the existence of an explanatory gap, which grounds the hard problem, has not been correctly taken into account in the literature. (shrink)
Important features of space and time are taken to be missing in quantum gravity, allegedly requiring an explanation of the emergence of spacetime from non-spatio-temporal theories. In this paper, we argue that the explanatory gap between general relativity and non-spatio- temporal quantum gravity theories might significantly be reduced with two moves. First, we point out that spacetime is already partially missing in the context of general relativity when understood from a dynamical perspective. Second, we argue that most approaches (...) to quantum gravity already start with an in-built distinction between structures to which the asymmetry between space and time can be traced back. (shrink)
I will defend two claims. First, Schaffer's priority monism is in tension with many research programs in quantum gravity. Second, priority monism can be modified into a view more amenable to this physics. The first claim is grounded in the fact that promising approaches to quantum gravity such as loop quantum gravity or string theory deny the fundamental reality of spacetime. Since fundamental spacetime plays an important role in Schaffer's priority monism by being identified with the fundamental structure, (...) namely the cosmos, the disappearance of spacetime in these views might undermine classical priority monism. My second claim is that priority monism can avoid this issue with two moves: first, in dropping one of its core assumption, namely that the fundamental structure is spatio-temporal, second, by identifying the connection between the non-spatio-temporal structure and the derivative spatio-temporal structure with mereological composition. (shrink)
Eleanor Knox has argued that our concept of spacetime applies to whichever structure plays a certain functional role in the laws (the role of determining local inertial structure). I raise two complications for this approach. First, our spacetime concept seems to have the structure of a cluster concept, which means that Knox's inertial criteria for spacetime cannot succeed with complete generality. Second, the notion of metaphysical fundamentality may feature in the spacetime concept, in which case (...) class='Hi'>spacetime functionalism may be uninformative in the absence of answers to fundamental metaphysical questions like the substantivalist/relationist debate. (shrink)
Several different quantum gravity research programmes suggest, for various reasons, that spacetime is not part of the fundamental ontology of physics. This gives rise to the problem of empirical coherence: if fundamental physical entities do not occupy spacetime or instantiate spatiotemporal properties, how can fundamental theories concerning those entities be justified by observation of spatiotemporally located things like meters, pointers and dials? I frame the problem of empirical coherence in terms of entailment: how could a non-spatiotemporal fundamental theory (...) entail spatiotemporal evidence propositions? Solutions to this puzzle can be classified as realist or antirealist, depending on whether or not they posit a non-fundamental spacetime structure grounded in or caused by the fundamental structure. These approaches place different constraints on our everyday concepts of space and time. Applying lessons from the philosophy of mind, I argue that only realism is both conceptually plausible and suitable for addressing the problem at hand. I suggest a role functionalist version of realism, which is consistent with both grounding and causation, and according to which our everyday concepts reveal something of the true nature of emergent spacetime. (shrink)
In a recent article, Ned Markosian gives an argument against four-dimensionalism understood as the view that time is one of four identical dimensions that constitute a single four-dimensional manifold. In this paper, I show that Markosian attacks a straw man as his argument targets a theory known to be false on empirical grounds. Four-dimensionalism rightly conceived in no way entails that time is identical to space. I then address two objections raised by Markosian against four-dimensionalism rightly conceived.
This essay explores the possibility of constructing a structural realist interpretation of spacetime theories that can resolve the ontological debate between substantivalists and relationists. Drawing on various structuralist approaches in the philosophy of mathematics, as well as on the theoretical complexities of general relativity, our investigation will reveal that a structuralist approach can be beneficial to the spacetime theorist as a means of deflating some of the ontological disputes regarding similarly structured spacetimes.
The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including the General Theory of Relativity. The argument has given rise to an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime that delivers the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent extant replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. As part (...) of my argument, I show that threats to determinism of the sort brought out by the hole argument are more general than has heretofore been recognized. I then use these results to propose a novel essentialist doctrine about spacetime that successfully rescues determinism, what I call sufficiency metric essentialism. However, I go on to argue that once we realize what an essentialist doctrine about spacetime must look like in order to address the hole argument, we should reject all such doctrines, because they can't fulfill their ambition of improving on standard modal replies to the argument. I close by suggesting some lessons for future work on spacetime and the metaphysics of physics more broadly, and also drawing some general morals for contemporary metaphysics, in particular about (i) whether essence can be used to articulate a precise structuralist doctrine, and (ii) the relationship between essence and modality. (shrink)
We analyze the possible implications of spacetime discreteness for the special and general relativity and quantum theory. It is argued that the existence of a minimum size of spacetime may explain the invariance of the speed of light in special relativity and Einstein’s equivalence principle in general relativity. Moreover, the discreteness of spacetime may also result in the collapse of the wave function in quantum mechanics, which may provide a possible solution to the quantum measurement problem. These (...) interesting results might have some important implications for a complete theory of quantum gravity. (shrink)
I present a formal ontological theory where the basic building blocks of the world can be either things or events. In any case, the result is a Parmenidean worldview where change is not a global property. What we understand by change manifests as asymmetries in the pattern of the world-lines that constitute 4-dimensional existents. I maintain that such a view is in accord with current scientific knowledge.
I will introduce and motivate eliminativist super-relationism. This is the conjunction of relationism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects. According to the view, the universe is a big collection of spatio-temporal relations and natural properties, and no substance (material or spatio-temporal) exists in it. The view is original since eliminativism about material objects, when understood as including not only ordinary objects like tables or chairs but also physical particles, is generally taken to imply substantivalism about spacetime: if (...) properties are directly instantiated by spacetime without the mediation of material objects, then, surely, spacetime has to be a substance. After introducing briefly the two debates about spacetime (§1) and material objects (§2), I will present Schaffer's super-substantivalism (§3), the conjunction of substantivalism about spacetime and eliminativism about material objects at the fundamental level. I shall then expose and discuss the assumption from which the implication from eliminativism to substantivalism is drawn, and discuss the compatibility of eliminativism with relationism: if spacetime is not a substance, and if material objects are not real, how are we to understand the instantiation of properties (§4)? And what are the relata of spatio-temporal relations (§5)? I then show that each argument in favor of super-substantivalism offered by Schaffer also holds for super-relationism (§6) and examine several metaphysical consequences of the view (§7). I conclude that both super-substantivalism and super-relationism are compatible with Schaffer's priority monism (§8). (shrink)
This paper examines Descartes' problematic relational theory of motion, especially when viewed within the context of his dynamics, the Cartesian natural laws. The work of various commentators on Cartesian motion is also surveyed, with particular emphasis placed upon the recent important texts of Garber and Des Chene. In contrast to the methodology of most previous interpretations, however, this essay employs a modern "spacetime" approach to the problem. By this means, the role of dynamics in Descartes' theory, which has often (...) been neglected in favor of kinematic factors, is shown to be central to finding a solution to the puzzle of Cartesian motion. (shrink)
I present a discussion of some issues in the ontology of spacetime. After a characterisation of the controversies among relationists, substantivalists, eternalists, and presentists, I offer a new argument for rejecting presentism, the doctrine that only present objects exist. Then, I outline and defend a form of spacetime realism that I call event substantivalism. I propose an ontological theory for the emergence of spacetime from more basic entities. Finally, I argue that a relational theory of pre-geometric entities (...) can give rise to substantival spacetime in such a way that relationism and substantivalism are not necessarily opposed positions, but rather complementary. In an appendix I give axiomatic formulations of my ontological views. (shrink)
Endurantism, the view that material objects are wholly present at each moment of their careers, is under threat from supersubstantivalism, the view that material objects are identical to spacetime regions. I discuss three compromise positions. They are alike in that they all take material objects to be composed of spacetime points or regions without being identical to any such point or region. They differ in whether they permit multilocation and in whether they generate cases of mereologically coincident entities.
In ‘Location and Perdurance’ (2010), I argued that there are no compelling mereological or sortal grounds requiring the perdurantist to distinguish the molecule Abel from the atom Abel in Gilmore’s original case (2007). The remaining issue Gilmore originally raised concerned the ‘mass history’ of Adam and Abel, the distribution of ‘their’ mass over spacetime. My response to this issue was to admit that mass histories needed to be relativised to a way of partitioning the location of Adam/Abel, but that (...) did not amount to relativising any fundamental natural intrinsic properties—the latter are all had unrelativised, and (so most perdurantists would say). (shrink)
In recent years, the branching spacetime (BST) interpretation of quantum mechanics has come under study by a number of philosophers, physicists and mathematicians. This paper points out some implications of the BST interpretation for two areas of quantum physics: (1) quantum gravity, and (2) stochastic interpretations of quantum mechanics.
This paper assesses branching spacetime theories in light of metaphysical considerations concerning time. I present the A, B, and C series in terms of the temporal structure they impose on sets of events, and raise problems for two elements of extant branching spacetime theories—McCall’s ‘branch attrition’, and the ‘no backward branching’ feature of Belnap’s ‘branching space-time’—in terms of their respective A- and B-theoretic nature. I argue that McCall’s presentation of branch attrition can only be coherently formulated on a (...) model with at least two temporal dimensions, and that this results in severing the link between branch attrition and the ﬂow of time. I argue that ‘no backward branching’ prohibits Belnap’s theory from capturing the modal content of indeterministic physical theories, and results in it ascribing to the world a time-asymmetric modal structure that lacks physical justiﬁcation. (shrink)
A number of approaches to quantum gravity (QG) seem to imply that spacetime does not exist. Philosophers are quick to point out, however, that the loss of spacetime should not be regarded as total. Rather, we should interpret these approaches as ones that threaten the fundamentality but not the existence of spacetime. In this paper, I argue for two claims. First, I argue that spacetime realism is not forced by QG; spacetime eliminativism remains an option. (...) Second, I argue that eliminativism provides a useful framework for developing two existing approaches to the metaphysics of QG, involving functionalism and mereology respectively. (shrink)
This essay examines the underdetermination problem that plagues structuralist approaches to spacetime theories, with special emphasis placed on the epistemic brands of structuralism, whether of the scientific realist variety or not. Recent non-realist structuralist accounts, by Friedman and van Fraassen, have touted the fact that different structures can accommodate the same evidence as a virtue vis-à-vis their realist counterparts; but, as will be argued, these claims gain little traction against a properly constructed liberal version of epistemic structural realism. Overall, (...) a broad construal of spacetime theories along epistemic structural realist lines will be defended which draws upon both Friedman’s earlier work and the convergence of approximate structure over theory change, but which also challenges various claims of the ontic structural realists. (shrink)
The theoretical contradiction between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity about gravity was ended, since spacetime is not structural property of the gravitational fi eld like Einstein said. Exactly spacetime is the structural geometric property of the matter and energy that it gives their geometric dimensions. Thus, spacetime is not continent of the matter (Substantialism), since it is contained. Neither is the category of the relations between material bodies or between their events (Relationalism) since is not relational property; (...)spacetime is structural property. The particle-wave, of matter and eld, has intrinsically three spatial dimensions and one temporal dimension. The spacetime is intrinsically the structural quality of particle-wave. The spacetime is the geometric dimensions of the particle-wave itself and for others. Therefore, the matter and its movements are containing itself. Now only Quantum Gravity is possible. (shrink)
We define and develop a notion of spacetime that incorporates both McTaggart's A-series and his B-series that is consistent with special relativity. This 'McTaggartian spacetime' or 'AB-spacetime' requires *five* not *4* variables. The interface of two AB-spacetimes from different *ontological perspectives* is quantum mechanical. This note concentrates on the physics and not the philosophy. This is an invitation to contribute to a theory that is a work in progress.
We present a deductive theory of space-time which is realistic, objective, and relational. It is realistic because it assumes the existence of physical things endowed with concrete properties. It is objective because it can be formulated without any reference to cognoscent subjects or sensorial fields. Finally, it is relational because it assumes that space-time is not a thing but a complex of relations among things. In this way, the original program of Leibniz is consummated, in the sense that space is (...) ultimately an order of coexistents, and time is an order of succesives. In this context, we show that the metric and topological properties of Minkowskian space-time are reduced to relational properties of concrete things. We also sketch how our theory can be extended to encompass a Riemannian space-time. (shrink)
In The Divine Fractal, Studtmann (2021) introduced a novel conception of God, what he calls the symmetry conception, and showed that such a conception not only can be formalized within extensional non-well-founded set theory but also entails the Thomistic view that God is identical to her essence. In this paper, I show that Studtmann’s symmetry conception of God can be integrated into a recent approach to quantum gravity, namely causal set theory. The theory that results has two significant consequences. First, (...) God is the necessarily existing set of spacetime events. Second, the square root of the probability that a spacetime event randomly chosen from N spacetime events is uncaused is given by the following formula: ((Harmonic [N])/N)^(1/2). I conclude the paper by briefly discussing a connection between this formula and the cosmological constant. (shrink)
This is a chapter of the planned monograph "Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity", co-authored by Nick Huggett and Christian Wüthrich and under contract with Oxford University Press. (More information at www<dot>beyondspacetime<dot>net.) This chapter introduces causal set theory and identifies and articulates a 'problem of space' in this theory.
This paper dealing with extension of the Einstein eld equations using apparatus of contemporary generalization of the classical Lorentzian geometry named in literature Colombeau distributional geometry, see for example [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7] and [32]. The regularizations of singularities presented in some solutions of the Einstein equations is an important part of this approach. Any singularities present in some solutions of the Einstein equations recognized only in the sense of Colombeau generalized functions [1], [2] and not classically. (...) In this paper essentially new class Colombeau solutions to Einstein eld equations is obtained. The vacuum energy density of free scalar quantum field with a distributional background spacetime also is considered. It has been widely believed that, except in very extreme situations, the influence of gravity on quantum fields should amount to just small, sub-dominant contributions. Here we argue that this belief is false by showing that there exist well-behaved spacetime evolutions where the vacuum energy density of free quantum fields is forced, by the very same background distributional spacetime such distributional BHs, to become dominant over any classical energy density component. This semiclassical gravity effect finds its roots in the singular behavior of quantum fields on curved spacetimes. In particular we obtain that the vacuum fluctuations have a singular behavior on BHs horizon. (shrink)
During the 20th century there were a couple of scientists who announced the observation of exceptional heat during the electrolysis of water with the help of Palladium electrodes. In spite of the opinion of the community of nuclear physicists that low energy generated nuclear fusion is a hoax there is a lot of research to understand and create the observed emission of exceptional electromagnetic radiation. This paper explains with the help of the concept of quantized space the simple mechanism that (...) is responsible for the decrease of the Coulomb force of Hydrogen nuclei, established by Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons. (shrink)
In this essay the author overcomes the theoretical contradiction between General Relativity that defines the gravitational field as a geometric aspect of spacetime, either as potential or curvature, and Quantum Gravity that defines it as a fundamental force of interaction, with the change in the conception of spacetime of structural geometric property from the gravitational field, to the conception of spacetime structural geometric property of matter in motion. Spacetime is not a continent of matter (Substantialism) but (...) rather is contained in matter insofar as it constitutes the geometric structure that gives it its shape and allows its changes, to which as space it confers its ability to contain and as time its capacity to becoming. Nor is spacetime the category of geometric relations of material bodies and their events (Relationism), since it is not a relational property of matter but rather the geometric spacetime structural property of matter, which it endows with their abilities to self-contain and transform. The author's conception of spacetime is that dynamic energy-matter, geometrically endowed with the four dimensions of spacetime, is spatially self-contained and temporarily self-transforming. The wave-particle, of matter and of the field, does not exist in spacetime, but this is the intrinsic structural geometric property of the wave-particle, therefore, attached to its own internal nature, as its intrinsic dimensional geometric property which with the force of law is manifested in its quantitative measurements, either when the wave particle itself is taken or in relation to others. Thus, only theories on gravity from Quantum Gravity are possible, although they must be reformulated, renouncing to integrate them with the geometric vision derived from the equations of the so-called "General Relativity". (shrink)
This book deals with Colombeau solutions to Einstein field equations in general relativity: Gravitational singularities, distributional SAdS BH spacetime-induced vacuum dominance. This book covers key areas of Colombeau nonlinear generalized functions, distributional Riemannian, geometry, distributional schwarzschild geometry, Schwarzschild singularity, Schwarzschild horizon, smooth regularization, nonsmooth regularization, quantum fields, curved spacetime, vacuum fluctuations, vacuum dominance etc. This book contains various materials suitable for students, researchers and academicians of this area.
Based on the Russian school of Logunov and others, with the contribution of Tom van Flandern, and his previous works on space-time, gravitational waves and speed of the gravity, the author discusses the theory of the time-space fluid that results from the supposed gravitational waves that would have detected LIGO, and reaffirms the space-time as a structural geometric property of the dynamic matter (radiation, matter and quantum vacuum), now with the strong argument that without escape, in an unnatural way, the (...) physicists and philosophers of science confer the conception of the author to that ridiculous material-space-time, while depriving Matter, of the intrinsic space-time. In addition, he warns about the conceptual contradiction existing between NASA and Caltech over gravitational waves, being absurd the concept of Caltech, operator of LIGO, since gravitational waves would propagate in five non-detectable dimensions. NASA valiant and validly recognizes that they would be waves of space; therefore, there are no space-time waves that correspond to gravitational waves that, according to the great current of relativistic physicists, would exist. Finally, the author reaffirms that the quadrupole waves detected by LIGO are waves of the quantum vacuum. (shrink)
Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity was once the leading theory in theoretical physics. Unfortunately the theory describes macroscopic reality without a clear link with the the microcosm in respect to the properties of spacetime. However the theory of General Relativity has proved to predict macroscopic phenomena in a very accurate way. Nowadays most theoretical physicists use the conceptual framework of quantum theory. So it is not surprisingly that the question about the “true nature” of spacetime becomes very (...) intrigue. (shrink)
Typically, a less fundamental theory, or structure, emerging from a more fundamental one is an example of synchronic emergence. A model (and the physical state it describes) emerging from a prior model (state) upon which it nevertheless depends is an example of diachronic emergence. The case of spacetime emergent from quantum gravity and quantum cosmology challenges these two conceptions of emergence. Here, I propose two more-general conceptions of emergence, analogous to the synchronic and diachronic ones, but which are potentially (...) applicable to the case of emergent spacetime: an inter-level, hierarchical conception, and an intra-level, `flat' conception. I then explore whether, and how, these ideas may be applicable in the case of several putative examples of relativistic spacetime emergent from the non-spatiotemporal structures described by different approaches to quantum gravity, and of spacetime emergent from a non-spatiotemporal `big bang' state according to different examples of quantum cosmology. (shrink)
We outline a simple development of special and general relativity based on the physical meaning of the spacetime interval. The Lorentz transformation is not used.
We present an elementary system of axioms for the geometry of Minkowski spacetime. It strikes a balance between a simple and streamlined set of axioms and the attempt to give a direct formalization in first-order logic of the standard account of Minkowski spacetime in [Maudlin 2012] and [Malament, unpublished]. It is intended for future use in the formalization of physical theories in Minkowski spacetime. The choice of primitives is in the spirit of [Tarski 1959]: a predicate of (...) betwenness and a four place predicate to compare the square of the relativistic intervals. Minkowski spacetime is described as a four dimensional ‘vector space’ that can be decomposed everywhere into a spacelike hyperplane - which obeys the Euclidean axioms in [Tarski and Givant, 1999] - and an orthogonal timelike line. The length of other ‘vectors’ are calculated according to Pythagora’s theorem. We conclude with a Representation Theorem relating models of our system that satisfy second order continuity to the mathematical structure called ‘Minkowski spacetime’ in physics textbooks. (shrink)
This is a chapter of the planned monograph "Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity", co-authored by Nick Huggett and Christian Wüthrich and under contract with Oxford University Press. (More information at www<dot>beyondspacetime<dot>net.) This chapter introduces the problem of emergence of spacetime in quantum gravity. It introduces the main philosophical challenge to spacetime emergence and sketches our preferred solution to it.
Spacetime and motion are interconnected concepts. A better understanding of motion leads to a better understanding of spacetime. We use the historical critical analysis of the various theoretical proposals on motion in search of clues ignored. The prediction of the general relativity that the motion occurs in the static gravitational field is not valid because the motion always occurs in a given medium as vacuum, atmosphere, water, etc. The concept of motion and the equations of the special and (...) general relativity, as the theory of Galilee-Newton reduce motion elements to particle and spacetime. In this paper, we present the medium (in special, the quantum vacuum), as the third essential element of motion, inseparable of spacetime since it is its material support of which the spacetime is its structural form, and we analyse its consequences in the theories of spacetime. Our contribution is declare, that the spacetime itself does not exist, or is a relational property of matter, but a structural property of matter. (shrink)
This is a chapter of the planned monograph "Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity", co-authored by Nick Huggett and Christian Wüthrich and under contract with Oxford University Press. This chapter analyses the nature and derivation of spacetime topology and geometry according to string theory.
Gravity is the curvature of spacetime, the structural property of static gravitational field, a geometric field, in curved coordinates, according the functions guv, that express geometric relations between material events. Course, general relativity is a relational theory, however, gravity, a thinking category, has symetric physical effects with matter. We use, analitic and critic method of reread the general relativity, since the perspective of the history of the science and the philosophy of the science. Our goal is driver the debate (...) on gravity, to the arena of the quantum physics, but without the ballast of the general relativity. We find that through of relativist aether was attempted transform spacetime in a substantia without succes, the consequence was return to problematic geometric field. The philosophy of the science intervenes, and according the best philosophical theory of substantivalism, spacetime is a inmaterial, geometric substantia. Then, the metaphysics arrives to a full solution in the super-substantivalism theory, that affirms: matter arises from geometric spacetime. Thus, it explains consistently the symetric physical effects between spacetime and matter. Surely, this solution is a medieval speculation. Our conclusion is that since general relativity do not defined physically spacetime leads necessarily to philosophical definitions of relationism and substantivalism on spacetime that are unacceptable physically. Therefore, gravity is not the curvature of spacetime. (shrink)
There is, among some scientists and philosophers, the idea that any theory that would allow the time travel would introduce causal issues. These types of temporal paradoxes can be avoided by the Novikov self-consistency principle or by a variation in the interpretation of many worlds with interacting worlds. The world in which we live has, according to David Lewis, a Parmenidean ontology: "a manifold of events in four dimensions," and the occupants of the world are the 4-dimensional aggregates of the (...) stages - "temporal lines". The causal loops in backwards time travel involve events that appear to "come from nowhere," paradoxical "self-existent" objects or information, resulting in a bootstrap paradox. Many believe that causality loops are not impossible or unacceptable, but only inexplicable. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.28792.70407. (shrink)
Do theories of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity require spacetime to be a basic, ground level feature, or can spacetime be seen as an emergent element of these theories? While several commentators have raised serious doubts about the prospects of forgoing the standard spacetime backdrop, it will be argued that a defense of these emergent spacetime interpretations of quantum mechanics and quantum gravity hypotheses can be made, whether as an inference to the best explanation or using (...) another strategy. Furthermore, the idea that space and time can arise from a quite different, non-spatiotemporal level of reality will be shown to have various historical precedents, especially in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a realization that may help dispel some of the mystery associated with these types of hypotheses. (shrink)
Einstein structured the theoretical frame of his work on gravity under the Special Relativity and Minkowski´s spacetime using three guide principles: The strong principle of equivalence establishes that acceleration and gravity are equivalents. Mach´s principle explains the inertia of the bodies and particles as completely determined by the total mass existent in the universe. And, general covariance searches to extend the principle of relativity from inertial motion to accelerated motion. Mach´s principle was abandoned quickly, general covariance resulted mathematical property (...) of the tensors and principle of equivalence inconsistent and it can only apply to punctual gravity, no to extended gravity. Also, the basic principle of Special Relativity, i.e., the constancy of the speed of the electromagnetic wave in the vacuum was abandoned, static Minkowski´s spacetime was replaced to dynamic Lorentz´s manifold and the main conceptual fundament of the theory, i.e. spacetime is not known what is. Of other hand, gravity never was conceptually defined; neither answers what is the law of gravity in general. However, the predictions arise of Einstein equations are rigorously exacts. Thus, the conclusion is that on gravity, it has only the equations. In this work it shows that principle of equivalence applies really to punctual and extended gravity, gravity is defined as effect of change of coordinates although in the case of the extended gravity with change of geometry from Minkowski´s spacetime to Lorentz´s manifold; and the gravitational motion is the geodesic motion that well it can declare as the general law of gravity. (shrink)
This essay is a contribution to the historical phenomenology of science, taking as its point of departure Husserl’s later philosophy of science and Jacob Klein’s seminal work on the emergence of the symbolic conception of number in European mathematics during the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Sinceneither Husserl nor Klein applied their ideas to actual theories of modern mathematical physics, this essay attempts to do so through a case study of the conceptof “spacetime.” In §1, I sketch Klein’s account (...) of the emergence of the symbolic conception of number, beginning with Vieta in the late sixteenth century. In §2,through a series of historical illustrations, I show how the principal impediment to assimilating the new symbolic algebra to mathematical physics, namely, thedimensionless character of symbolic number, is overcome via the translation of the traditional language of ratio and proportion into the symbolic language of equations. In §§3–4, I critically examine the concept of “Minkowski spacetime,” specifically, the purported analogy between the Pythagorean distance formula and the Minkowski “spacetime interval.” Finally, in §5, I address the question of whether the concept of Minkowski spacetime is, as generally assumed, indispensable to Einstein’s general theory of relativity. (shrink)
We revise the extended uncertainty relations for the Rindler and Friedmann spacetimes recently discussed by Dabrowski and Wagner in [9]. We reveal these results to be coordinate dependent expressions of the invariant uncertainty relations recently derived for general 3-dimensional spaces of constant curvature in [10]. Moreover, we show that the non-zero minimum standard deviations of the momentum in [9] are just artifacts caused by an unfavorable choice of coordinate systems which can be removed by standard arguments of geodesic completion.
‘Space does not exist fundamentally: it emerges from a more fundamental non-spatial structure.’ This intriguing claim appears in various research programs in contemporary physics. Philosophers of physics tend to believe that this claim entails either that spacetime does not exist, or that it is derivatively real. In this article, I introduce and defend a third metaphysical interpretation of the claim: reductionism about space. I argue that, as a result, there is no need to subscribe to fundamentality, layers of reality (...) and emergence in order to analyse the constitution of space by non-spatial entities. It follows that space constitution, if borne out, does not provide empirical evidence in favour of a stratified, Aristotelian in spirit, metaphysics. The view will be described in relation to two particular research programs in contemporary physics: wave function realism and loop quantum gravity. (shrink)
Utilizing Einstein’s comparison of General Relativity and Descartes’ physics, this investigation explores the alleged conventionalism that pervades the ontology of substantival and relationist conceptions of spacetime. Although previously discussed, namely by Rynasiewicz and Hoefer, it will be argued that the close similarities between General Relativity and Cartesian physics have not been adequately treated in the literature—and that the disclosure of these similarities bolsters the case for a conventionalist interpretation of spacetime ontology.
Most of our best scientific descriptions of the world employ rates of change of some continuous quantity with respect to some other continuous quantity. For instance, in classical physics we arrive at a particle’s velocity by taking the time-derivative of its position, and we arrive at a particle’s acceleration by taking the time-derivative of its velocity. Because rates of change are defined in terms of other continuous quantities, most think that facts about some rate of change obtain in virtue of (...) facts about those other continuous quantities. For example, on this view facts about a particle’s velocity at a time obtain in virtue of facts about how that particle’s position is changing at that time. In this paper we raise a puzzle for this orthodox reductionist account of rate of change quantities and evaluate some possible replies. We don’t decisively come down in favour of one reply over the others, though we say some things to support taking our puzzle to cast doubt on the standard view that spacetime is continuous. (shrink)
The answer to some of the longstanding issues in the 20th century theoretical physics, such as those of the incompatibility between general relativity and quantum mechanics, the broken symmetries of the electroweak force acting at the subatomic scale and the missing mass of Higgs particle, and also those of the cosmic singularity and the black matter and energy, appear to be closely related to the problem of the quantum texture of space-time and the fluctuations of its underlying geometry. Each region (...) of space landscape seem to be filled with spacetime weaved and knotted networks, for example, spacetime has immaterial curvature and structures, such as topological singularities, and obeys the laws of quantum physics. Thus, it is filled with potentialparticles, pairs of virtual matter and anti-matter units, and potential properties at the quantum scale. For example, quantum entities (like fields and particles) have both wave (i.e., continuous) and particle (i.e., discrete) properties and behaviors. At the quantum level (precisely, the Planck scale) of space-time such properties and behaviors could emerge from some underlying (dynamic) phase space related to some field theory. Accordingly, these properties and behaviors leave their signature on objects and phenomena in the real Universe. In this paper we consider some conceptual issues of this question. (shrink)
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