Fundamental Theories of Physics

Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later

Editors: Petkov, Vesselin (Ed.)

  • Marks the centenary of the introduction of the term spacetime into the scientific lexicon by bringing together the thoughts on Hermann Minkowski's work by a selection of the world's leading physicists and philosophers of science

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About this book

This volume is dedicated to the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Hermann Minkowski's paper "Space and Time" in 1909. His work on the spacetime representation of special relativity had a huge impact on the twentieth century physics to the extent that modern physics would be impossible without the notion of spacetime. While there is consensus on the mathematical significance of spacetime in theoretical physics, for a hundred years there has been no consensus on the nature of spacetime itself. We owe Minkowski a clear answer to the question of the nature of spacetime -- whether it is only a mathematical space or represents a real four-dimensional world. A century after its publication the original Minkowski paper still represents an enrichment to the physicists, especially the relativists, who read it with the intent to fully investigate the depth of Minkowski's ideas on space and time and the physical meaning of special relativity.

The volume begins with an excellent retranslation of Minkowski's paper by Dennis Lehmkuhl, accompanied by the original German version of the article. The fourteen contributions are divided into three parts entitled "The Impact of Minkowski Spacetime on the Twentieth Century Physics from a Historical Perspective", "Implications of Minkowski Spacetime for Theoretical Physics", and "Conceptual and Philosophical Issues of Minkowski Spacetime."

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This book celebrates the 100th anniversary of Minkowski’s work on four-dimensional spacetime … . In this work Minkowski introduces spacetime as a new fundamental concept from which space and time can be derived. … All in all this is a very impressive work, not only because of the groundbreaking new ideas and the great impact it has had. It is also nicely written and the language is a very pleasant contrast to the dry style most publications use nowadays.” (Michael Keyl, Zentralblatt MATH, Vol. 1220, 2011)

“Vesselin Petkov, the editor of the volume, has succeeded in assembling a number of interesting, enlightening, and thought-provoking papers, all of them authored by competent experts in their fields, which illuminate various aspects of the concept of Minkowski spacetime. The collection transcends the disciplinary boundaries of theoretical physics, history of science, and philosophical reflection in a most productive way.” (Tilman Sauer, Metascience, February, 2013)


Table of contents (14 chapters)

  • Hermann Minkowski, Relativity and the Axiomatic Approach to Physics

    Corry, Leo

    Pages 3-41

  • Minkowski’s Modern World

    Walter, Scott

    Pages 43-61

  • Hermann Minkowski and Special Relativity

    Hall, Graham

    Pages 65-82

  • The Rich Structure of Minkowski Space

    Giulini, Domenico

    Pages 83-132

  • Minkowski Space-Time and Quantum Mechanics

    Unruh, W. G.

    Pages 133-148

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3475-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $169.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-3474-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $169.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-94-007-3184-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later
Editors
  • Vesselin Petkov
Series Title
Fundamental Theories of Physics
Series Volume
165
Copyright
2010
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-90-481-3475-5
DOI
10.1007/978-90-481-3475-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-90-481-3474-8
Softcover ISBN
978-94-007-3184-4
Series ISSN
0168-1222
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XLII, 326
Topics