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Relativity theory in 2d

  1. Jan 26, 2010 #1
    i am now reading the book by landau

    'the classical theory of fields'

    it seems that to develop the relativity theory of einstein, only two postulates are needed

    the first one is relativity

    the second is no instantaneous interaction

    therefore, einstein's theory can be developed in an arbitrary dimension
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2010 #2


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    There are lots of axiomatic systems that you can use to derive relativity. The one I prefer is the one given here http://www.lightandmatter.com/html_books/genrel/ch02/ch02.html#Section2.2 [Broken] (statements L1-L5). I'd be interested in hearing more about Landau's system. Can you state the two postulates he uses in more detail?

    If I'm understanding you correctly, I think you're saying that you'd been assuming, before seeing Landau's treatment, that relativity only works in 3+1 dimensions. I guess that's true if you start from Einstein's 1905 postulates, since Maxwell's equations are explicitly 3+1-dimensional. But light isn't really fundamental to relativity. The postulates L1-L5 in the system I linked to above work in any number of spatial dimensions.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jan 26, 2010 #3
    yes, light isn't really fundamental to relativity

    That is the biggest lesson i learn from landau's book

    landau states that there is no instantaneous interaction and there is a maximum velocity for any signal. This velocity happens to be the light velocity in 3+1 dims
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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