Space Time And Gravitation by Arthur Eddington

By Arthur Eddington

The various earliest books, fairly these relationship again to the 1900s and prior to, at the moment are tremendous scarce and more and more pricey. we're republishing those vintage works in reasonable, top of the range, glossy variations, utilizing the unique textual content and paintings.

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She would have said that the room had unaccountably shrunk. Dean Swift took the truer view of the human mind when he made Gulliver attribute his own changes to the things around him; it never occurred to Gulliver that his own size had altered; and, if he had thought of the explanation, he could scarcely have accustomed himself to that way of thinking. But both points of view are legitimate. The size of a thing can only be imagined as relative to something else; and there is no means of assigning the change to one end of the relation rather than the other.

If once it is admitted that centrifugal force may not be completely distinguishable by experiment from another kind of force—gravitation— perceived even by Newton’s unaccelerated observer, the argument ceases to apply. We can never determine exactly how much of the observed field of force is centrifugal force and how much is gravitation; and we cannot find experimentally any definite standard that is to be considered absolutely non-rotating. The question then, whether there exists a distinction between “right” frames of reference and “wrong” frames, turns on whether the use of a “wrong” frame produces effects experimentally distinguishable from any natural effects which can be perceived when a “right” frame is used.

Sometimes by instinctive habit, sometimes by design, we attempt to eliminate our own share in the observation, and so form a general picture of the world outside us, which shall be common to all observers. A small speck on the horizon of the sea is interpreted as a giant steamer. From the window of our railway carriage we see a cow glide past at fifty miles an hour, and remark that the creature is enjoying a rest. We see the starry heavens revolve round the earth, but decide that it is really the earth that is revolving, and so picture the state of the universe in a way which would be acceptable to an astronomer on any other planet.

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