Session B10: History of Physics

10:45 AM–12:09 PM, Saturday, April 5, 2014
Room: 204

Sponsoring Unit: FHP
Chair: Catherine Westfall, Michigan State University

Abstract ID: BAPS.2014.APR.B10.5

Abstract: B10.00005 : Rapidity: The Special Relativity Work of Dr. Vladimir Karapetoff

11:33 AM–11:45 AM

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  Hamilton Carter
    (Texas A\&M University)

Between 1924 and 1944 Dr. Vladimir Karapetoff, a professor in the electrical engineering department of Cornell University, authored 11 papers on the topic of special relativity. While his initial papers focused on the then popular oblique angle treatment of special relativity, he soon became a vocal proponent of performing special relativistic calculations using rapidity, a technique that emphasizes the hyperbolic geometric nature of Minkowski space-time. While rapidity has fallen out of usage with the exception of a specialized dialect within particle physics, it offers interesting technical and pedagogical perspectives on the geometrical nature of space-time not evident in the present day relativistic parlance.

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