Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy

By Max Jammer | Go to book overview

Preface

THIS BOOK INTENDS to provide a comprehensive and self-contained study of the concept of mass as defined, employed, and interpreted in contemporary theoretical and experimental physics and as critically examined in the modern philosophy of science. It studies in particular how far, if at all, present-day physics contributes to a more profound understanding of the nature of mass.

In order to make this book accessible not only to the professional physicist but also to the nonspecialist interested in the foundations of physics, unnecessary technicalities and complicated mathematical calculations have been avoided without, however, impairing the accuracy and logical rigor of the presentation.

Next to space and time, mass is the most fundamental notion in physics, especially once its so-called equivalence with energy had been established by Albert Einstein. Moreover, it has even been argued repeatedly that “space-time does not exist without mass-energy,” as a prominent astrophysicist has phrased it.1

Although for the sake of completeness and comprehension the text includes some historical and explanatory comments, it deals mainly with developments that occurred after 1960. In fact, the year 1960 marks the beginning of a new era of experimental and theoretical research on gravitation and general relativity, the two main bases of our modern conception of mass. In 1960 the first laboratory measurement of the gravitational redshift was performed by P. V. Pound and G. A. Rebka, and the first recording of a radar echo from a planet (Venus) was made. In 1960 the spinor approach to general relativity was developed by R. Penrose. In the same year V. W. Hughes and independently R.W.P. Drever confirmed the isotropy of inertial mass by what has been called the most precise null experiment ever performed; and R. H. Dicke, together with P. G. Roll and R. Krokov, planned the construction of their famous “Princeton experiment,” which was soon to confirm the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass with an unprecedented degree of accuracy. All these events rekindled interest in studying the properties of mass and endowed the study with a vigor that has not abated since.

____________________
1
D. Lynden-Bell, “Inertia,” in O. Lahav, E. Terlevich, and D. J. Terlevich, eds., Gravitational Dynamics (Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. 235.

-vii-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Concepts of Mass in Contemporary Physics and Philosophy *
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - Inertial Mass 5
  • Chapter Two - Relativistic Mass 41
  • Chapter Three - The Mass-Energy Relation 62
  • Chapter Four - Gravitational Mass and the Principle of Equivalence 90
  • Chapter Five - The Nature of Mass 143
  • Index 169
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 180

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.