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Mathematical Sciences

Honors Thesis Presentation

Date: April 24 2013 3:30pm Location: 135


A logical treatment of special relativity, with and without faster-than-light observers

 Benjamin Hoffman ‘13
Honors in Mathematics Thesis

Since Einstein proposed the theory of special relativity in 1905, there have been a number of attempts to formally state its assumptions in a logical axiom system. Each of the attempts to axiomatize relativity has different goals, and each comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. In my thesis, I develop an axiomatization of special relativity using only two undefined, physically motivated predicates, and I provide a complete characterization of its models. I also weaken this axiomatization in a way that allows for the existence of faster-than-light observers. In my talk, I will give a short introduction to model theory and special relativity before presenting some highlights of this work.

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