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06/17/2016

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Erik Curiel


I find the passages you cite suggestive, but there is still nothing in them to suggest that Huygens had a relativist notion of time, that time could not in principle be measured and compared between distant star-systems, and, if so, would turn out to "run at the same rate" for the same kinds of physical systems. One way to make this precise: if we had two different kinds of periodic systems (say, a pendulum of fixed size and bob-mass, and a roulette wheel of fixed size and homogeneous mass distribution). and we measured their periods with respect to each other, then those would turn out to be the same in distant star-systems for identically composed and situated pendula and wheels. (I chose these two because their harmonic periods depend on different dynamical forces, the pendulum on gravity and the roulette wheel on conservation of angular momentum independent of gravity). I strongly suspect that Huygens would say that the respectively measured periods would be the same in the two distant star-systems.

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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