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Roczniki Filozoficzne

Volume 19, Issue 3, 1971

Stanisław Mazierski
Pages 35-52

Relatevisation of Space and Time in Special Theory of Relativity

The present paper aims at stressing these aspects in special theory of relativity which are concerned with a relative character of space and time, that is, it attempts to examine the sense of the theorem which speaks that time and space are relative. In Einstein’s theory there are relative and absolute quantities. Stability of velocity of light belongs to absolute quantities (laws of nature), and space, time, motion, mass belong to relative ones. The notion of simultaneity is not of absolute character, either. While stating that space and time are . relative we suggest that (a) measurements of these quantities are relative because they depend on reference frame in which they are done, (b) measurements of time imply measurements of space. Space and time cannot be treated separately. Space-time event has a physical meaning and we assign to it four numbers: three space coordinates and one time coordinate. Though the results of time and space measurements are relative, laws of nature remain absolute being constant relations between physical quantities. Special theory of relativity, through relativity of measurements comes to formulate absolute regularities and thereby to describe physical real world independently from cognitive subject.