Are Lorentz Transformations Empirical Laws?

In summary, the Lorentz transformations are empirical laws that are also empirically testable. They were originally formulated based on an erroneous assumption, but have withstood 100 years of verification. They are used to define the Ls that satisfy [L]*[n][L]=[n] and are necessary for group theory and symmetries. They existed before being applied in physics and are considered theoretical.
  • #1
bon
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Homework Statement



Are the Lorentz transformations empirical laws? If so, are they empirically testable?


Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution



I'm guessing they are. But how do you test the LT?
 
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  • #2
bon said:

Homework Statement



Are the Lorentz transformations empirical laws? If so, are they empirically testable?


Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution



I'm guessing they are. But how do you test the LT?

The LT was originally formulated by an erroneous assumption (by an Irish physicist named Fitzgerald) which postulated an actual shrinking of an object as it passes by an observer at high velocity. The LT exactly agreed with the observations. However, Einstein formulated them based on the uniform motion of two observers relative to each other. They, along with all of Einstein's relativity theories, have withstood 100 years of verification.
 
  • #3
Empirical law is a law that contains certain parameters that are unable to be determined by theory, but have to be measured from experiment and be used.
I don't see why LT should be such.

A lorentz transformation is being defined by the Ls that have:
[L]*[n][L]=[n] (n is the metric of minkowski and my notation is notation for matrices)

I guess that even group theory and symmetries bring the need of such transformations to exist.

So I guess it is very theoritical as it is, and of course they existed before relativity, or before finding application in physics in order to be "empirical" laws...
 

What are Lorentz Transformations?

Lorentz Transformations are a set of equations used in special relativity to describe how measurements of space and time vary between different inertial frames of reference.

Why are Lorentz Transformations important?

Lorentz Transformations are important because they allow us to understand how the laws of physics apply in different reference frames, and how measurements of space and time can be affected by relative motion.

How do Lorentz Transformations relate to Einstein's theory of special relativity?

Lorentz Transformations are a key component of Einstein's theory of special relativity. They are based on the principle that the laws of physics should be the same for all observers in uniform motion, regardless of their reference frame.

What is the difference between a Lorentz Transformation and a Galilean Transformation?

The main difference between a Lorentz Transformation and a Galilean Transformation is that a Lorentz Transformation takes into account the effects of time dilation and length contraction, which are predicted by special relativity, while a Galilean Transformation does not.

How are Lorentz Transformations used in practical applications?

Lorentz Transformations have many practical applications, such as in GPS technology, particle accelerators, and the design of space missions. They are also used in various fields of physics, including astrophysics and quantum mechanics, to understand the behavior of particles in different reference frames.

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