Summary and Info
The purposes of this book are (1) to explore and expound relativity physics and four-dimensional symmetry from the logically simplest viewpoint by making one single postulate instead of two; and (2) to indicate the simplest generalization of the Lorentz transformation in order to cope with frames with constant linear accelerations. The fundamentally new ideas of the first purpose are developed on the basis of the term paper of a Harvard physics undergraduate. They lead to an unexpected affirmative answer to the long-standing question of whether it is possible to construct a relativity theory without postulating the constancy of the speed of light and retaining only the first postulate of special relativity. This question was discussed in the early years following the discovery of special relativity by many physicists, including Ritz, Tolman, Kunz, Comstock and Pauli, all of whom obtained negative answers. Furthermore, the new theory of relativity indicates the truly universal and fundamental constants in physics, and provides a broad view of relativistic physics beyond special relativity. It substantiates the view and sheds light on the understanding that the four-dimensional symmetry framework can accommodate many different concepts of physical time, including common time and Reichenbach's general concept of time. This logically simplest viewpoint of relativity allows a natural extension of the physics of particles and fields from inertial frames to noninertial frames in which the speed of light is not constant. New predictions in physics resulting from this new viewpoint are discussed. The book is based on papers by the author and his collaborators in Physics Letters A, Nuovo Cimento B, and Physical Review A and D.
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