In Flavia Santoianni (ed.), The Concept of Time in Early Twentieth-Century Philosophy. Springer Verlag (2016)

In 1905 Albert Einstein, in a paper entitled “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”, as a solution to the disagreement between classical mechanics and the results of the Michelson's experiment, who showed the invariance of the speed of light in vacuum measured in different inertial reference systems, developed the theory of special relativity. In this essay Einstein expounded a theory that, instead of introducing a privileged system, required the revision of the concepts of space and time of classical physics. Combining the principle of Galilean relativity, according to which the laws of physics are invariant in all inertial reference systems, with the physics of electromagnetism, according to which the speed of light in a vacuum is constant, Einstein concluded that time is no more than a relative measure, namely that whenever we have to do with speed equal to or close to that of light, time is no longer a variable absolute and independent of the reference system adopted, but depends on the variable position. This is what Einstein shows through the critical examination of the concept of simultaneity. The abandonment of the traditional conception of space and time based on the idea of a spatial continuum flowing through a temporal continuum coherently leads to the assumption of a space-time continuum in which distances and time intervals vary with the changing the reference system, and together vary, of course, all other sizes to those connected.
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DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-24895-0_26
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