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Title: Mach's Principle as action-at-a-distance in GR: the causality question
Author: Hoefer, Carl
Keywords: Filosofia de la ciència
Relativitat general (Física)
Philosophy of science
General relativity (Physics)
Mach, Ernst, 1838-1916
Issue Date: 1-Nov-2014
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Abstract: A part of the revival of interest in Mach's Principle since the early 1960s has involved work by physicists aimed at calculating various sorts of frame-dragging e ects by matter shells surrounding an interior region, and arguing that under certain conditions or in certain limits (ideally, ones that can be viewed as plausibly similar to conditions in our cosmos) the frame dragging becomes \complete' (E.g. Lynden-Bell, Katz & Bi c ak, [1]) . Such results can bolster the argument for the satisfaction of Mach's Principle by certain classes of models of GR. Interestingly, the frame-dragging \e ect' of (say) a rotational movement of cosmic matter around a central point is argued by these physicists to be instantaneous | not an e ect propagating at the speed of light. Not all physicists regard this as unproblematic. But rather than exploring whether there is something unphysical about such instantaneous \action at a distance', or a violation of the precepts of Special Relativity, I am interested in exploring whether these physicists' calculations should be thought of as showing local inertia (resistance to acceleration) to be an e ect, with distant matter distributions being the cause. I will try to apply some leading philosophical accounts of causation to the physical models of frame dragging, to see whether they imply that the frame dragging is superluminal causation. I will then o er re ections on the di culties of applying causal talk in physical theories.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 2014, vol. 48, num. Part B, p. 128-136
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ISSN: 1355-2198
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Filosofia)

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