Special Relativity: A Reexamination of the Second Postulate and of Space Contraction and Time Dilation
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Entities in physics involve either mass or energy or both. Projectiles combine both rest mass and kinetic energy (velocity). But an inertial rest mass is all mass and no kinetic energy (no velocity) whereas the photon is all kinetic energy and no (rest) mass. The inertial rest mass and the photon are therefore pure entities in that they feature, respectively, mass without kinetic energy, or kinetic energy without (rest) mass.. Pure entities may be compared at the ontological level (for form, progression in a dimension, extension in a dimension and storage). From this analysis it is shown that Einstein’s second postulate of special relativity (constant speed of light) is actually derivative from a more fundamental attribute of all pure entities. Part two of this essay focuses on the space contraction and time dilation of moving physical objects. Arguments against attributing these changes to space and time itself (Minkowski) are offered. Instead, the roles of kinetic energy and of de Broglie wave effects are presented as a better explanation. The famous twin’s paradox is discussed in an appendix.