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Relativistic kinematics in flat and curved space-times

Patrick Moylan

SciPost Phys. Proc. 14, 037 (2023) · published 24 November 2023

Proceedings event

34th International Colloquium on Group Theoretical Methods in Physics


Almost immediately after the seminal papers of Poincaré (1905,1906) and Einstein (1905) on special relativity, wherein Poincaré established the full covariance of the Maxwell-Lorentz equations under the scale-extended Poincaré group and Einstein explained the Lorentz transformation using his assumption that the one-way speed of light in vacuo is constant and the same for all inertial observers (Einstein's second postulate), attempts were made to get at the Lorentz transformations from basic properties of space and time but avoiding Einstein's second postulate. Various such approaches usually involve general consequences of the relativity principle, such as a group structure to the set of all admissible inertial transformations and also assumptions about causality and/or homogeneity of space-time combined with isotropy of space. The first such attempt is usually attributed to von Ignatowsky in 1911. It was followed shortly thereafter by a paper of Frank and Rothe published in the same year. Since then, papers have continued to be written on the subject even up to the present. We elaborate on some of the results of such papers paying special attention to a 1968 paper of Bacri and Lévy-Leblond where possible kinematical groups include the de Sitter and anti-de Sitter groups and lead to special relativity in de Sitter and anti-de Sitter spaces.

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