Physical Foundations of Special Relativity
In this chapter the two milestones on which Einstein based the special theory of relativity (see ) are presented: the principle of optical isotropy and the principle of special relativity. Further, we describe how the contradictions emerging from the efforts carried out to unify the theories of electrodynamics and mechanics were solved in a new physical framework. In this framework, time plays a role completely different from the role it had in classical mechanics. The special and general Lorentz transformations are presented, and many of their important physical consequences are discussed.