Einstein's Revolution: A Study Of Theory Unification

Einstein's Revolution: A Study Of Theory Unification

Einstein’s Revolution: A Study of Theory Unification gives students of physics and philosophy, and general readers, an epistemological insight into the genesis of Einstein’s special relativity ...
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Einstein’s 1905 ‘Annus Mirabilis’: Unification of Statistical Mechanics, Maxwellian Electrodynamics and Classical Thermodynamics

Pp. 48-144 (97)

Rinat Nugayev

Abstract

To figure out in what way Einstein’s 1905 ‘annus mirabilis’ (wonder year) writings hang together one has to take into account Einstein’s strive for unity evinced in his vigorous efforts to unify maxwellian electrodynamics, statistical mechanics and classical thermodynamics. It is exposed that Einstein’s ingenious approach to special theory of relativity creation, substantially distinguishing him from Lorentz’s and Poincaré’s impacts, turns out to be a mere milestone of implementation of maxwellian electrodynamics, statistical mechanics and thermodynamics unification programme. Since the ether conception was a substantial snag for Einstein’s statistical thermodynamics design, the leading part in the programme was played by Einstein’s 1905 audacious light quanta hypothesis. Though apparently influenced in his critical stand against the classical physics research tradition by David Hume and Ernst Mach, Einstein hold an overall eclectic philosophical position. Yet when it related to creative momenta, Einstein’s actual 1905 standpoint was closer to Kantian epistemology. It is contended that the most important Kantian concept apt to comprehend the special theory of relativity creation and all Einstein’s 1905 writings as a whole, as well as the order of their arrangement is Kant’s regulative idea of the systematic Unity of Nature. Maxwellian unification of electricity, magnetism and optics as a presentiment of the Einsteinian one is comprehended.

Keywords:

1905, Ampére, Annus mirabilis, Classical thermodynamics, Einstein, Faraday, Helmholtz, Hertz, Hume, Light quanta, Lorentz, Mach, Maxwell, Maxwellian electrodynamics, Neo-Kantian epistemology, Poincaré, Regulative principles, Research programmes, Special relativity, Statistical mechanics, Unity of Nature, Weber.

Affiliation:

Volga Region State Academy, Kazan, The Republic of Tatarstan, The Russian Federation.