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On the Ontology of Particle Mass and Energy in Special Relativity

Coffey, Kevin (2020) On the Ontology of Particle Mass and Energy in Special Relativity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Einstein claimed that the fundamental dynamical insight of special relativity was the equivalence of mass and energy. I disagree. Not only are mass and energy not equivalent (whatever exactly that means) but talk of such equivalence obscures the real dynamical insight of special relativity, which concerns the nature of 4-forces and interactions more generally. In this paper I present and defend a new ontology of special relativistic particle dynamics that makes this insight perspicuous and I explain how alleged cases of mass--energy conversion can be accommodated within that ontology.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Coffey, Kevin
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Synthese.
Keywords: Special relativity, Mass, Energy, Ontology
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Kevin Coffey
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2020 03:11
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2020 03:11
Item ID: 17425
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17425

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