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What is a reference frame in General Relativity?

Bamonti, Nicola (2024) What is a reference frame in General Relativity? [Preprint]

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Abstract

In General Relativity, reference frames must be distinguished from coordinates. The former represent physical systems interacting with the gravitational system, aside from possible approximations, while the latter are mathematical artefacts. We propose a novel three-fold distinction between Idealised Reference Frames, Dynamical Reference Frames and Real Reference Frames. In doing so, the paper not only clarifies the physical significance of reference frames, but also sheds light on the similarities between idealised reference frames and coordinates. It also analyses the salience of reference frames to define local Dirac observables and to propose a physical interpretation to diffeomorphism gauge symmetry.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bamonti, Nicola0000-0003-3841-6848
Keywords: General Relativity, Reference frame, Coordinate system, Observables, Gauge, Relationalism
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Depositing User: Mr Nicola Bamonti
Date Deposited: 03 Jan 2024 21:00
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2024 21:00
Item ID: 22909
Subjects: General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Specific Sciences > Physics > Symmetries/Invariances
Date: January 2024
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22909

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