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Lecture Notes in Physics

Inertia and Gravitation

The Fundamental Nature and Structure of Space-Time

Authors: Pfister, Herbert, King, Markus

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  • Explores the conceptual and mathematical foundations of classical gravity and spacetime
  • Connects new insights in the concept of Inertia with ongoing observational work
  • Approachable and self-contained introduction for non-specialist researchers
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-15036-9
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About this book

This book focuses on the phenomena of inertia and gravitation, one objective being to shed some new light on the basic laws of gravitational interaction and the fundamental nature and structures of spacetime. Chapter 1 is devoted to an extensive, partly new analysis of the law of inertia. The underlying mathematical and geometrical structure of Newtonian spacetime is presented from a four-dimensional point of view, and some historical difficulties and controversies - in particular the concepts of free particles and straight lines - are critically analyzed, while connections to projective geometry are also explored. The relativistic extensions of the law of gravitation and its intriguing consequences are studied in Chapter 2. This is achieved, following the works of Weyl, Ehlers, Pirani and Schild, by adopting a point of view of the combined conformal and projective structure of spacetime. Specifically, Mach’s fundamental critique of Newton’s concepts of ‘absolute space’ and ‘absolute time’ was a decisive motivation for Einstein’s development of general relativity, and his equivalence principle provided a new perspective on inertia. In Chapter 3 the very special mathematical structure of Einstein’s field equations is analyzed, and some of their remarkable physical predictions are presented. By analyzing different types of dragging phenomena, Chapter 4 reviews to what extent the equivalence principle is realized in general relativity - a question intimately connected to the ‘new force’ of gravitomagnetism, which was theoretically predicted by Einstein and Thirring but which was only recently experimentally confirmed and is thus of current interest.

Table of contents (4 chapters)

Table of contents (4 chapters)
  • The Laws of Inertia and Gravitation in Newtonian Physics

    Pages 1-47

    Pfister, Herbert (et al.)

  • Free Particles and Light Rays as Basic Elements of General Relativity

    Pages 49-77

    Pfister, Herbert (et al.)

  • Einstein’s Field Equations, Their Special Mathematical Structure, and Some of Their Remarkable Physical Predictions

    Pages 79-117

    Pfister, Herbert (et al.)

  • Mach’s Principle, Dragging Phenomena, and Gravitomagnetism

    Pages 119-152

    Pfister, Herbert (et al.)

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-15036-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $49.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-15035-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Inertia and Gravitation
Book Subtitle
The Fundamental Nature and Structure of Space-Time
Authors
Series Title
Lecture Notes in Physics
Series Volume
897
Copyright
2015
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-15036-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-15036-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-15035-2
Series ISSN
0075-8450
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 180
Number of Illustrations
14 b/w illustrations
Topics

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