This paper, which is meant to be a tribute to Minkowski's geometrical insight, rests on the idea that the basic observed symmetries of spacetime homogeneity and of isotropy of space, which are displayed by the spacetime manifold in the limiting situation in which the effects of gravity can be neglected, leads to a formulation of special relativity based on the appearance of two universal constants: a limiting speed and a cosmological constant which measures a residual curvature of the universe, which is not ascribable to the distribution of matter-energy. That these constants should exist is an outcome of the underlying symmetries and is confirmed by experiments and observations, which furnish their actual values. Specifically, it turns out on these foundations that the kinematical group of special relativity is the de Sitter group. On this basis, we develop at an elementary classical and, hopefully, sufficiently didactical level the main aspects of the theory of special relativity based on SO(1,4) (de Sitter relativity). As an application, we apply the formalism to an intrinsic formulation of point particle kinematics describing both inertial motion and particle collisions and decays.

Special Relativity in the 21st century

KAMENCHTCHIK, ALEXANDR
2008

Abstract

This paper, which is meant to be a tribute to Minkowski's geometrical insight, rests on the idea that the basic observed symmetries of spacetime homogeneity and of isotropy of space, which are displayed by the spacetime manifold in the limiting situation in which the effects of gravity can be neglected, leads to a formulation of special relativity based on the appearance of two universal constants: a limiting speed and a cosmological constant which measures a residual curvature of the universe, which is not ascribable to the distribution of matter-energy. That these constants should exist is an outcome of the underlying symmetries and is confirmed by experiments and observations, which furnish their actual values. Specifically, it turns out on these foundations that the kinematical group of special relativity is the de Sitter group. On this basis, we develop at an elementary classical and, hopefully, sufficiently didactical level the main aspects of the theory of special relativity based on SO(1,4) (de Sitter relativity). As an application, we apply the formalism to an intrinsic formulation of point particle kinematics describing both inertial motion and particle collisions and decays.
S. Cacciatoti; V. Gorini; A. Kamenshchik
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/62642
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