SRT?s ?Rosetta Stone?

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Scientific Paper
Title SRT?s ?Rosetta Stone?
Author(s) Cynthia Kolb Whitney
Keywords Newton, Euclid, Galileo, Einstein, Rosetta Stone
Published 2005
Journal Proceedings of the NPA
Volume 2
Number 2
Pages 235-239


The history of mathematical physics has seen its Newtonian era, with its Euclidean concept of Space, its Universal Time, and its Galilean Velocity, and then its Einsteinian era, with its relativistic concepts of spacetime and velocity. The present-day understanding is that these two eras represent two different and incommensurable worldviews; that the Einsteinian worldview can completely replace the Newtonain worldview, because the Newtonian worldview is at best a limiting approximation to the ?correct? Einsteinian worldview. By contrast, the present author believes that the two worldviews are exactly that: two views of one reality, expressed in two different mathematical languages. But once a ?multilingual dictionary?, a ?Rosetta Stone?, is provided, the two different worldviews can produce the same mental understanding. The key ingredient for such a ?Rosetta Stone? is a third worldview. One possible basis for such a third worldview is a revised postulate about the way in which light propagates. This author presented one such postulate to this audience at our last conference, and the present paper gives the resulting ?Rosetta Stone?. Once the ?Rosetta Stone? is in hand, all the worldviews can produce the same, though new, mental understanding. This new mental understanding can be re-expressed in natural (verbal) language that is more nuanced and precise, less paradox-ridden and confusing, than was heretofore imagined.