Foundations of Physics

, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 1215–1263 | Cite as

Coordinates and covariance: Einstein's view of space-time and the modern view

  • John Norton


Where modern formulations of relatively theory use differentiable manifolds to space-time, Einstein simply used open sets of R 4 , following the then current methods of differential geometry. This fact aids resolution of a number of outstanding puzzles concerning Einstein's use of coordinate systems and covariance principles, including the claimed physical significance of covariance principles, their connection to relativity principles, Einstein's apparent confusion of coordinate systems and frames of reference, and his failure to distinguish active and passive transformations, especially in the context of his hole and point-coincidence arguments


Manifold Covariance Coordinate System Differential Geometry Current Method 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Norton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh

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