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International Workshop on Mach's Principle and the Origin of Inertia

Dates: 2002-02-06 - 2002-02-08 9.9 (1 decade 9 years ago)

Where: Kharagpur, India Venue: Indian Institute of Technology


This volume consists of a selection of refereed invited lectures presented at the International Workshop on Mach?s Principle and the Origin of Inertia which was held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, as a part of the golden Jubilee celebrations of the Institute, from February 6 to 8, 2002. The Workshop was organized by the Centre for Theoretical Physics of the Institute with Prof. A.R. Roy as the Organising Secretary. It also includes a few contributions from experts who could not attend the Workshop. Inertia is one of the main physical properties of all bodies. Its origin poses problems of a fundamental nature. Ernst Mach proposed that the inertia of any body is caused by its interaction with the rest of the Universe. The idea reflects a deep connection between the cosmos at large and its individual constituent bodies, thereby implying a holistic conception of nature. On the whole, Ernst Mach had a seminal influence on the evolution of Physics in the 20th Century, and will influence the future development of Physics in the 21st Century. It is interesting that many of his ideas play a role (directly and indirectly) in opposite positions within contemporary physics. His epistemological viewpoint of positivism clearly influenced the basis of quantum mechanics. On the other hand his non-atomistic model of matter and the accompanying interpretation of inertial mass (the ?Mach Principle?) influenced the holistic approach of the continuous field concept of the theory of general relativity, as a general theory of matter. The contributions to these proceedings demonstrate Mach?s influence on contemporary thinking. For we see here the views of an international group of scholars on the implications of Mach?s principle in physics and astrophysics. The ideas presented here could affect the path of study in physics for many generations to come.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Jayant Narlikar: A Tribute to Fred Hoyle
  • Mendel Sachs: The Mach Principle and the Origin of Inertia from General Relativity
  • Amitabha Ghosh: Extension of Mach?s Principle and Cosmological Consequences
  • James F. Woodward: The Technical End of Mach?s Principle
  • A.K.T. Assis: The Relationship between Mach?s Principle and the Principle of Physical Proportions
  • W. Farrell Edwards: Inertial Mass of the Electron
  • A.R. Prasanna: Mach?s Principle and Inertial Forces in General Relativity
  • Jorge Guala Valverde and Ra?l A. Rapacioli: Inertial Mass in a Machian Framework
  • Horst-Heino v. Borzeszkowski and Renate Wahsner: Mach?s Principle and the Dualism of Space-Time and Matter
  • C.S. Unnikrishnan: Experiments Motivated by Mach?s Principle: A Review with Comments
  • D.F. Roscoe: A Perspective on Mach?s Principle and the Consequent Discovery of Major New Phenomenology in Spiral Discs
  • T.P. Singh: Mach?s Principle and Quantum Mechanics Without Spacetime
  • H. Broberg: Mass and Gravitation in a Machian Universe
  • George Galeczki: Mach?s Principle and the True Continuum