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Validity of the Einstein Hole Argument

Johns, Oliver (2019) Validity of the Einstein Hole Argument. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Arguing from his "hole" thought experiment, Einstein became convinced that, in cases in which the energy-momentum-tensor source vanishes in a spacetime hole, a solution to his general relativistic field equation cannot be uniquely determined by that source. After reviewing the definition of active diffeomorphisms, this paper uses them to outline a mathematical proof of Einstein's result. The relativistic field equation is shown to have multiple solutions, just as Einstein thought. But these multiple solutions can be distinguished by the different physical meaning that each metric solution attaches to the local coordinates used to write it. Thus the hole argument, while formally correct, does not prohibit the subsequent rejection of spurious solutions and the selection of a physically unique metric. This conclusion is illustrated using the Schwarzschild metric. It is suggested that the Einstein hole argument therefore cannot be used to argue against substantivalism.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Johns, Oliverojohns@metacosmos.org0000-0003-4251-976X
Keywords: Hole Argument, Einstein, General Relativity, Active Diffeomorphisms, Differential Geometry
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Prof. Oliver D. Johns
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 11:19
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2019 11:19
Item ID: 15946
Subjects: General Issues > Determinism/Indeterminism
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 29 April 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15946

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