Heuristics of the General Relativity

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The essential principle of coordination in GR is the principle of equivalence, including a negative heuristic. The argument “is not that all reference frames are equivalent, but that the classical coordination of uniform motion in a straight line with the … Read More

Epistemology of General Relativity

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Early philosophical interpretations of the general theory of relativity are very diverse, each trying to identify Einstein as a follower of that philosophy. Mach’s supporters highlighted Einstein’s attempt to implement a “relativization of inertia” in general relativity (GR), and his … Read More

Tests and Anomalies of Post-Newtonian Gravitational Theories

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Tests of post-Newtonian theories Newton’s proposed tests In the first edition of Principia, Newton considered that the experiments with the pendulum would allow him to decipher the different types of resistance force and their variation with speed. It recognizes the … Read More

Proliferation of Post-Newtonian, Non-Relativistic Theories

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Theoreticians have formulated a set of fundamental criteria that any theory of gravity should satisfy, two purely theoretical and two that are based on experimental evidence[1]. Thus, a theory must be: complete (capable of analyzing from the “first principles” the … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Morality and Science

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In the last half of the nineteenth century, we often dreamed of creating a scientific morality. It was not enough to boast the educative virtue of science, the advantages which the human soul derives for its own perfecting of the … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Reports on Matter and Ether

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(Conference at the French Society of Physics, April 11, 1912.) When Mr. Abraham came to ask me to close the series of lectures organized by the French Society of Physics, I was at first about to refuse; it seemed to … Read More

Heuristics of Newtonian Gravity

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The classic example of a successful research program is Newton’s gravitational theory, probably the most successful Lakatosian research program. Initially, Newton’s gravitational theory faced a lot of “anomalies” (“counterexamples”) and contradicted the observational theories that supported these anomalies. But supporters … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Quanta hypothesis: Conclusions

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We see what is the state of the question; the ancient theories, which hitherto seemed to account for all known phenomena, have encountered an unexpected obstacle. It seemed that a modification was necessary. A hypothesis was first presented in Mr. … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Quanta hypothesis: The ideas of Mr. Sommerfeld

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Mr. Sommerfeld has proposed a theory which he wants to relate to that of Mr. Planck, although the only connection between them is that the letter h appears in both formulas, and that the same name of quantum of action … Read More

Epistemology of Newtonian Gravity

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In certain research programs, such as the mechanistic theory of the universe according to which the universe is a huge clock (and a system of vortices) with the push as the sole cause of movement, the particular Cartesian metaphysics functioned … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Quanta hypothesis: The new theory of Planck

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Let us go back to less general and more precise problems, for example to the theory of radiation. Mr. Planck has devised an amendment to his first theory, and I would like to say a few words about it. According … Read More

Henri Poincaré, Quanta hypothesis: Quanta of action

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The new design is seductive by a certain side; for some time the tendency has been to atomism, matter appears to us as formed of indivisible atoms, and the electricity is no longer continuous, it is no longer divisible to … Read More

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