1. bookVolume 20 (2018): Issue 1 (June 2018)
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1647-659X
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01 Mar 2016
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3 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

The Conventionality of Simultaneity and Einstein’s Conventionality of Geometry

Published Online: 20 Aug 2018
Volume & Issue: Volume 20 (2018) - Issue 1 (June 2018)
Page range: 159 - 180
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1647-659X
First Published
01 Mar 2016
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The conventionality of simultaneity thesis as established by Reichenbach and Grünbaum is related to the partial freedom in the definition of simultaneity in an inertial reference frame. An apparently altogether different issue is that of the conventionality of spatial geometry, or more generally the conventionality of chronogeometry when taking also into account the conventionality of the uniformity of time. Here we will consider Einstein’s version of the conventionality of (chrono)geometry, according to which we might adopt a different spatial geometry and a particular definition of equality of successive time intervals. The choice of a particular chronogeometry would not imply any change in a theory, since its “physical part” can be changed in a way that, regarding experimental results, the theory is the same. Here, we will make the case that the conventionality of simultaneity is closely related to Einstein’s conventionality of chronogeometry, as another conventional element leading to it.

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