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Lorentz transformation, Einstein transformation,Lorentz-Einstein transformation

  1. Sep 3, 2008 #1
    When it is about the "Lorentz transformations" I have in mind: There is indeed a state of real rest, defined by the ether. Hearing about "Einstein transformations" I would think: The notions of "really resting" and "really moving" are meaningless. Only relative motion of two or more uniformly moving objects is real. Hearing abouit "Lorentz-Einstein transformations" I would have in mind the following statement [1]: "Once correctly stated the principle of SRT allow for a wide range of "theories" that differ from the standard SRT only for the in the chosen synchronization procedure, but are wholly equivalent to SRT in predicting empirical facts". even if the last namimg is not in use. I have found it in a single publication (AJP)
    I end with full respect for the two physicists and for all the answers in the spirit of "sine ira et studio.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2008 #2


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    I understand the point you are making.

    However, when we communicate physics (or anything else) we have to use the same language as everyone else, otherwise there is confusion. Like it or not, almost everyone uses the name "Lorentz transform", presumably reflecting the fact that Lorentz was amongst the first to use these equations. Einstein's later use of the same equations had a significantly different interpretation, but nevertheless Lorentz's name has stuck.

    There are other phrases in physics which ideally would not be used, but the name is too well established by now. For example the phrase "rest mass of a photon" is pretty confusing (given that photons are never at rest) but the name is too well established to abolish.

    And just look how much confusion there is over what the word "mass" alone means. If only there were a universally agreed convention on what it was. But there isn't. (There is a convention among most modern physicists but it's not agreed by all writers and practitioners of the subject.)
  4. Sep 5, 2008 #3
    Thanks Dr.Greg. I think that the moral is that when you go with the wolfs learn to howl like they do.
  5. Sep 5, 2008 #4


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    That's one way of putting it!:smile:
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