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A new approach to special relativity

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The success of special relativity (SR) comes from the requirement of Lorentz covariance to all physical equations. The explanation with regard to the Lorentz covariance is based on two hypotheses, namely the principle of special relativity and the constancy of the speed of light. However, the statements of the principle of special relativity are various and confusing. The covariance of physical equations and the equality of inertial frames of reference are mixed up. The equality of inertial frames of reference is obvious, but the covariance of the physical equations is a more advanced requirement. Additionally, the way that the propagation property of light is placed in a central position of SR has caused people misunderstandings towards space‐time, and also there is a logical circularity between the measurement of speed of light and the synchronization of clocks. These have obstructed to correctly extend the theory of space‐time from an inertial frame of reference to a noninertial frame of reference. These are the main reasons why many people criticize SR. In present paper, the two hypotheses have been discussed in detail and a new requirement to the equations of Physics has been proposed. The requirement is the Requirement of Special Completeness, namely, the physical equations used to describe the dynamics of matter and/or fields should include the descriptions that not only the matter and/or fields are at rest relative to an inertial frame of reference, but also they move relative to this frame. Basing on this requirement and the equality of the inertial frames of reference, we can approach to SR. Thereby the theory of Lorentz covariance has a clear and solid foundation. The constancy of the speed of light is just a deduction, not a premise. The Lorentz covariance is just a characteristic of the Special Complete equations. Maxwell equations automatically satisfy the Lorentz transformations without any modification, while Newton law of gravity does not, because Newton law of gravity is not Special Complete and Maxwell equations are. The new approach has paved a road leading towards the generalizing of the theory of space-time from the inertial frame of reference to noninertial frame of reference without considering gravitation.
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Keywords: Completeness; Constancy of the Speed of Light; Covariance; Lorentz Transformations; Minkowski Space‐Time; Principle of Relativity; Special Relativity

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 5, 2014

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  • Physics Essays has been established as an international journal dedicated to theoretical and experimental aspects of fundamental problems in Physics and, generally, to the advancement of basic knowledge of Physics. The Journal's mandate is to publish rigorous and methodological examinations of past, current, and advanced concepts, methods and results in physics research. Physics Essays dedicates itself to the publication of stimulating exploratory, and original papers in a variety of physics disciplines, such as spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, particle physics, electromagnetic theory, astrophysics, space physics, mathematical methods in physics, plasma physics, philosophical aspects of physics, chemical physics, and relativity.
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