Wolfgang Rindler Time from Newton to Einstein to Friedman ABSTRA CT This ar ticle traces in as untechnical a way as possible the meta- morphoses that Newton’s absolute time has undergone at the hands of Einstein, only to come round almost full-circle in pre- sent-day Friedmannian cosmology. The recurring theme is that of moments being slices through the spacetime of history, and how these slices are affected by gravity. I am keenly aware that scientists, philosophers, his- torians and artists understand the essence of time in profoundly different ways. I shall not presume to speak for the latter three categories, though hope- fully to them, of what I am most familiar with, namely the modern scientific point of view. Its origins no doubt go back into the dim past, but for practical purposes one might as well begin with Newton, who systematized and superseded all that went before. To Newton, time is absolute, which means: inde- pendent of the observer. Its “moments” are world- w ide. T hese m o ments unique ly connect s ets o f simultaneous events, such as, for example, the death of Socrates and some supernova explosion in outer space. If we picture
Kronoscope – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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