Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/75836
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Type: Journal article
Title: Revisiting special relativity: a natural algebraic alternative to Minkowski spacetime
Author: Chappell, J.
Iqbal, A.
Iannella, N.
Abbott, D.
Citation: PLoS One, 2012; 7(12):1-10
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 1932-6203
1932-6203
Statement of
Responsibility: 
James M. Chappell, Azhar Iqbal, Nicolangelo Iannella and Derek Abbott
Abstract: Minkowski famously introduced the concept of a space-time continuum in 1908, merging the three dimensions of space with an imaginary time dimension, with the unit imaginary producing the correct spacetime distance, and the results of Einstein’s then recently developed theory of special relativity, thus providing an explanation for Einstein’s theory in terms of the structure of space and time. As an alternative to a planar Minkowski space-time of two space dimensions and one time dimension, we replace the unit imaginary, with the Clifford bivector for the plane that also squares to minus one, but which can be included without the addition of an extra dimension, as it is an integral part of the real Cartesian plane with the orthonormal basis and . We find that with this model of planar spacetime, using a two-dimensional Clifford multivector, the spacetime metric and the Lorentz transformations follow immediately as properties of the algebra. This also leads to momentum and energy being represented as components of a multivector and we give a new efficient derivation of Compton’s scattering formula, and a simple formulation of Dirac’s and Maxwell’s equations. Based on the mathematical structure of the multivector, we produce a semi-classical model of massive particles, which can then be viewed as the origin of the Minkowski spacetime structure and thus a deeper explanation for relativistic effects. We also find a new perspective on the nature of time, which is now given a precise mathematical definition as the bivector of the plane.
Keywords: Extraterrestrial Environment; Models, Theoretical; Physical Phenomena; Particle Size; Time Factors
Rights: Copyright: © 2012 Chappell et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
RMID: 0020123719
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051756
Appears in Collections:Electrical and Electronic Engineering publications

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