Book History

In 2000, after three decades in Germany,  Brian Coleman rekindled a deep interest in relativity engendered earlier while completing an engineering degree at University College Dublin. Unexpectedly, four papers published in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 in IOP’s European Journal of Physics emerged from his first efforts to sort out the standard literature’s in parts often confusing ‘treatments’ of basic spacetime theory. The innovative contents of these papers are explained in SPACETIME FUNDAMENTALS’ first three parts in a considerably streamlined manner. A 2008/2015 paper on a much disputed ‘Sagnac effect’ (Hafele/Keating time dilation experiment) matter, which corrected a (ultimately acknowledged) flaw in a major academic book on the topic, will be discussed in a future book.

An unprecedented basis for a radically clearer geometric representation of relativity acceleration scenarios, was discovered by the author in 2004 and is here introduced in substance for the first time: Relativistic velocity composition (addition) can be directly geometricised by a special category of (real) spherical triangles. This surprising insight is used in the book’s final chapters which (controversially) not only invalidate still widely supported Minkowski spacetime as a generalised concept, but also establish a clearcut solution to the Bell’s string paradox enigma in dispute since 1959—how does a co-accelerating ‘massless’ string between twin rockets ‘expand’ ? This material has been already expounded (after much reticence encountered elsewhere) in two likewise peer-reviewed papers published in 2016 and 2017 in Elsevier’s Results in Physics research journal. The latter papers have so far attracted, in the US alone, thousands of downloads.

SPACETIME FUNDAMENTALS’ firmly focused treatment of relativity as a multifaceted ‘spatio-temporal process’, reflects the author’s experience in creating and commissioning artificial intelligence modules for Siemens process control systems in steel plants in Germany, Austria, Russia and Norway in the 1970s, as well as the logistics software for a Bosch automated machine tool complex in Moscow in 1986/7. The book’s structuring and didactic approach also owe much to the writer’s experience in the 1990s when authoring (in English) a whole series of computed tomography operator manuals for Siemens Medical Division in Erlangen.