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Two Miracles of General Relativity

Read, James and Brown, Harvey R. and Lehmkuhl, Dennis (2018) Two Miracles of General Relativity. [Preprint]


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We approach the physics of \emph{minimal coupling} in general relativity, demonstrating that in certain circumstances this leads to (apparent) violations of the \emph{strong equivalence principle}, which states (roughly) that, in general relativity, the dynamical laws of special relativity can be recovered at a point. We then assess the consequences of this result for the \emph{dynamical perspective on relativity}, finding that potential difficulties presented by such apparent violations of the strong equivalence principle can be overcome. Next, we draw upon our discussion of the dynamical perspective in order to make explicit two `miracles' in the foundations of relativity theory. We close by arguing that the above results afford us insights into the nature of special relativity, and its relation to general relativity.

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Item Type: Preprint
Brown, Harvey
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics.
Keywords: General relativity; equivalence principle; minimal coupling; dynamical perspective.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Dr. James Read
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2018 04:20
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2018 04:20
Item ID: 14589
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: March 2018

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