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Inertia and Gravitation: From Aristotle's Natural Motion to Geodesic Worldlines in Curved Spacetime Paperback – 18 Dec 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 150 pages
  • Publisher: Minkowski Institute Press; 1 edition (18 Dec. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0987987151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0987987150
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 0.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 676,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Picture: Vesselin Petkov with his wife Svetla in Havana, Cuba in January 2011.

He received a graduate degree in physics from Sofia University, a doctorate in philosophy from the Institute for Philosophical Research of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and a doctorate in physics from Concordia University in Montreal. He taught at Sofia University and Concordia University, and also had a stint at the Physics Department of the Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria, before coming to Montreal in 1990.

Vesselin Petkov is one of the founding members of the Institute for Foundational Studies "Hermann Minkowski" ( whose most distinct feature is the employment of a research strategy based on the successful methods behind the greatest discoveries in physics. In this sense the Minkowski Institute is without a counterpart in the world.


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Woodman on 17 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The laws of motion and of gravitation are described according to evolving perspectives, from Aristotle, through Galileo and Newton, to Einstein and Minkowski. Written by a devoted Minkowski enthusiast, the survey is always informative, though at times biased and ultimately unorthodox.

It is shown how Newton's theories worked superbly in accounting for motion in both inertial and gravitational frames, even though Newton himself was sceptical about the action-at-a-distance implied by forces of gravity. Mach's misconceived attempt to invoke an absolute basis for acceleration is also analysed.

Einstein's special relativity theory addressed the inability of Newton's laws to incorporate electromagnetic radiation. Relativity is further analysed in terms of Minkowski's spacetime geometry. The ability of this representation to distinguish definitively between inertial and accelerated motion is explained, as are the phenomena of length contraction and time dilation for observers in relative motion.

Einstein's extension of spacetime into curved coordinates to cope with gravitational phenomena is clearly illustrated, but it is concluded that gravitational attraction does not exist, whatever Einstein believed.

In an appendix, the author proceeds to use the geodesic hypothesis not only to explain the source of gravitational forces and energy, but also to explain them away.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Extremely helpful and insightful 20 Jan. 2013
By Claude-Yves - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have an engineering background and for me inertial forces are real. All my attempts in the past to understand why these forces are often called fictitious ended in confusion. This book (I read the ebook from the publisher's site) explains in plain English when those forces are fictitious and when real. Another plus of the book is the careful and insightful discussion of Einstein's theory that gravity is curvature of space-time. Highly recommended.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Excellent introduction and overview 5 April 2013
By Elcee - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The author introduces a complex and potentially confusing subject through the use of an historical perspective. Potential readers should not be intimidated by the title. The author writes clearly and explains the concepts well even for beginners. Those among us who already have a background in physics will not be disappointed as more advanced topics are also covered. The author clearly has a background in both physics and philosophy which helps him in presenting the conceps in a wider context.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Inertia and Gravitation 21 Jan. 2013
By Fritz Lewertoff - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A book, by Vesselin Petkov about seemingly complicated physics explained in such a way that a lot of people can read and understand things.
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