© 2009

Relativity and the Nature of Spacetime

  • A must for all theoretical physicists and philosophers of science

  • Second edition is significantly expanded with new and strengthened arguments


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Vesselin Petkov
    Pages 1-9
  3. From Galileo to Minkowski

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 10-11
    2. Vesselin Petkov
      Pages 55-116
  4. On the Nature of Spacetime:Conceptual and Philosophical Issues

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 118-120
  5. Implications of the Reality of Spacetime for Physics

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 1-16

About this book


The most important question that is addressed in this book is "what is the nature (the ontological status) of spacetime?" or, equivalently, "what is the dimensionality of the world at the macroscopic level?" The answer to this question is developed via a thorough analysis of relativistic effects and explicitly asking whether the objects involved in those effects are three-dimensional or four-dimensional. This analysis clearly shows that if the world and the physical objects were three-dimensional, none of the kinematic relativistic effects and the experimental evidence supporting them would be possible. The implications of this result for physics, philosophy, and our entire world view are discussed. This new edition has been significantly expanded with new sections, appendices, notes and references. The arguments of the previous edition are strengthened; new developments in the field are presented and integrated to yield a thoroughly convincing and clear treatment.


Existence Minkowski spacetime Relativity Time flow issue logic philosophy

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Liberal Arts CollegeConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

About the authors

Presently: Assistant Professor, Science College, Concordia University (in fact, I am associated with three departments - Liberal Arts College, Philosophy Department, and Science College)

1984 -1989: Adjunct Professor, Philosophy Department, Sofia University

1986 -1989: Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

Doctoral degrees in theoretical physics (1997, Concordia University) and philosophy of science (1988, Institute of Philosophy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences).

Bibliographic information


From the reviews of the second edition:

“The book under review is mainly devoted to the physical consequences of special relativity and to the unveiling of the very nature of spacetime. … The book is clear and well written and the bibliographic references are very good. It is recommended to physicists and to philosophers of science.” (Francesco Sorge, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2011 i)