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An Introduction to Mechanics by Robert J. Kolenkow, Daniel Kleppner

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14  FOUR-VECTORS AND RELATIVISTIC INVARIANCE

14.1 Introduction

When a major advance in physics is made, old concepts inevitably lose importance and points of view which previously were of minor interest move to the center. Thus, with the advent of relativity the concept of the ether vanished, taking with it the problem of absolute motion. At the same time, the transformation properties of physical laws, previously of little interest, took on central importance. As we shall see in this chapter, transformation theory provides a powerful tool for generalizing nonrelativistic concepts and for testing the relativistic correctness of physical laws. Furthermore, it is a useful guide in the search for new laws. By using transformation theory we shall ...

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