Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy (Relié)

Max Jammer

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  • Paru le : 01/01/2000
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The concept of mass is one of the most fundamental notions in physics, comparable in importance only to those of space and time. But in contrast to the latter, which are the subject of innumerable physical and philosophical studies, the concept of mass has been but rarely investigated. Here Max Jammer, a leading philosopher and historian of physics, provides a concise but comprehensive, coherent, and self-contained study of the concept of mass as it is defined, interpreted, and applied in contemporary physics and as it is critically examined in the modern philosophy of science. With its focus on theories proposed after the mid-1950s, the book is the first of its kind, covering the most recent experimental and theoretical investigations into the nature of mass and its role in modern physics, from the realm of elementary particles to the cosmology of galaxies. The book begins with an analysis of the persistent difficulties of defining inertial mass in a noncircular manner and discusses the related question of whether mass is an observational or a theoretical concept. It then studies the notion of mass in special relativity and the delicate problem of whether the relativistic rest mass is the only legitimate notion of mass and whether it is identical with the classical (Newtonian) mass. This is followed by a critical analysis of the different derivations of the famous mass-energy relationship E = mc2 and its conflicting interpretations. Jammer then devotes a chapter to the distinction between inertial and gravitational mass and to the various versions of the so-called equivalence principle with which Newton initiated his Principia but which also became the starting point of Einstein's general relativity, which supersedes Newtonian physics. The book concludes with a presentation of recently proposed global and local dynamical theories of the origin and nature of mass. Destined to become a much-consulted reference for philosophers and physicists, this book is also written for the nonprofessional general reader interested in the foundations of physics.
    • Inertial Mass
    • Relativistic Mass
    • The Mass-Energy Relation
    • Gravitational Mass and the Principle of Equivalence
    • The Nature of Mass.
  • Date de parution : 01/01/2000
  • ISBN : 0-691-01017-X
  • EAN : 9780691010175
  • Présentation : Relié
  • Nb. de pages : 180 pages
  • Poids : 0.465 Kg
  • Dimensions : 16,3 cm × 24,1 cm × 2,0 cm

Biographie de Max Jammer

MAX JAMMER, born in Berlin, Germany, is Research Professor of Physics at Bar-Ilan University, where he was formerly President and Rector. He has also served as President of the Association for the Advancement of Science in Israel. He was Visiting Professor at numerous universities, including Columbia University and the universities of California, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He has also served as William Evans Professor at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand, and as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the City University of New York. His books, translated into many languages, include Concepts of Space (with a foreword by Albert Einstein), The Conceptual Development of Quantum Mechanics, The Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, and, most recently, Einstein and Religion (Princeton). Among the awards he has received are the Israel Prize and the Monograph Prize of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Max Jammer - .
Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy
32,20 €
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