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New book: Hermann Weyl, Space-Time-Matter

The latest book by Minkowski Institute Press – a new publication of Hermann Weyl’s book Space-Time-Matter, which was first published in German in 1919 and the English translation appeared in 1922.

What makes it invaluable is that, in addition to his masterfully presented lectures on special and general relativity (starting with a helpful introduction to tensor analysis), he was the first (and essentially the only one so far) who tried to reconcile two seemingly unreconcilable facts – Minkowski’s discovery (deduced from the failed experiments to detect absolute motion) of the spacetime structure of the world (that it is a static four-dimensional world containing en bloc the entire history of the perceived by us three-dimensional world) and the inter-subjective fact that we are aware of ourselves and the world only at one single moment of time – the present moment (the moment now) – which constantly changes.

Weyl reached the conclusion that it is our consciousness (somehow “traveling” in the four-dimensional world along our worldlines) which creates our feeling that time flows. Unfortunately, Weyl’s reconciliation of the above facts has not been rigorously examined so far; the apparent contradiction that the consciousness “travels” in the “frozen” four-dimensional world – spacetime – is not an excuse because Weyl had surely been aware of it and nevertheless “went public” with his proposed resolution.