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Thread: Use of matrices in relativity?

  1. #1 Use of matrices in relativity? 
    Cool Dude ostkef's Avatar
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    I'm just curious, when were matrices first used in the maths of relativity? Who derived the various relativistic expressions?


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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostkef View Post
    I'm just curious, when were matrices first used in the maths of relativity? Who derived the various relativistic expressions?
    All these expressions are direct results of the symmetry group underlying Minkowski space-time on which SR is formulated. That overall symmetry group is called the Poincaré Group, and the sub-group that is used in SR is the Lorentz Group. Matrices are the natural language of linear transformations, which is quite simply what Lorentz transformations are.


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    Cool Dude ostkef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ostkef View Post
    I'm just curious, when were matrices first used in the maths of relativity? Who derived the various relativistic expressions?
    All these expressions are direct results of the symmetry group underlying Minkowski space-time on which SR is formulated. That overall symmetry group is called the Poincaré Group, and the sub-group that is used in SR is the Lorentz Group. Matrices are the natural language of linear transformations, which is quite simply what Lorentz transformations are.
    So from the early days Lorentz and Poincare were already using matrices.
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ostkef View Post
    So from the early days Lorentz and Poincare were already using matrices.
    Yes, transformation matrices are the language linear algebra is formulated in.
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    Cool Dude ostkef's Avatar
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    Strange, I don't see matrices in Lorentz's papers.
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