Relativity and Cosmology


A Fundamental Principle of Relativity

Authors: Douglas L. Weller

The laws of physics hold equally in reference frames that are in motion with respect to each other. This premise of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity is a fairly easy concept to understand in the abstract, however the mathematics-particularly the tensor calculus used by Einstein to describe general relativity-used to flesh out this premise can be very complex, making the subject matter difficult for the non-specialist to intuitively grasp. Here is set out a fundamental principle of relativity that can be used as a tool to understand and explain special and general relativity. The fundamental principle of relativity is used to independently derive the Lorentz factor, the Minkowski metric and the Schwarzschild metric. The fundamental principle is also used to derive metric tensors for systems with multiple point masses and to explain Newtonian kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy and mass-energy equivalence in the context of special and general relativity.

Comments: 32 pages

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Submission history

[v1] 5 Sep 2011

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