Shape Dynamics: Relativity and Relationalism

ISBN : 9780198789475

Flavio Mercati
288 Pages
171 x 246 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
Send mail

This book is about the nature of space and time. It is the first textbook on Shape Dynamics, a new theory which describes the dynamics of gravity as the evolution of conformal 3-dimensional geometry. Shape Dynamics is equivalent to Einstein's General Relativity in those situations in which the latter has been tested experimentally, but the theory is based on different first principles. It differs from General Relativity in certain extreme conditions. Shape Dynamics allows us to describe situations in which the spacetime picture is no longer adequate, such as in the presence of singularities, when the idealization of infinitesimal rods measuring scales and infinitesimal clocks measuring proper time fails. This tutorial book contains both a quick introduction for readers curious about Shape Dynamics, and a detailed walk-through of the historical and conceptual motivations for the theory, its logical development from first principles and a description of its present status. It includes


1 Introduction; I. Historical Motivation; 2 Newton's bucket; 3 Origins of the Mach-Poincare Principle; II. Relational Particle Dynamics; 4 Barbour-Bertotti best matching; 5 Best matching: Technical details; 6 Hamiltonian formulation; III. Relational Field Theory; 7 Relativity without Relativity; 8 York's solution to the initial-value problem; 9 A derivation of Shape Dynamics; 10 Cotton-squared theory; IV. Shape Dynamics; 11 Historical interlude; 12 Shape Dynamics and the Linking Theory; 13 Solutions of Shape Dynamics; V. Appendices; A Arnowitt-Deser-Misner Gravity; B Other appendices

About the author: 

Flavio Mercati completed his Ph.D. at the University of Rome `La Sapienza' in 2011 with a thesis on experimental tests of quantum gravity and on effective models of quantum gravity based on noncommutative field theory. He spent one year at the University of Zaragoza in Spain as a postdoctoral fellow, and another 7 months visiting the University of Nottingham in the UK. Since 2012 he has been a postdoctoral fellow at the Perimeter Institute in Ontario, Canada. Mercati has published around 30 scientific articles and three essays. In 2015 he won the Buchalter Prize for Cosmology for his research on the arrow of time. This work has received considerable attention by the media, leading to interviews by popular science journals like Wired, Scientific American, Le Scienze and Discovery News.

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.