S E M I N A R IDepartament d'Astronomia i Astrofísica
Universitat de València
The Principle of General Covariance and the Hole Argument
Department of Theoretical Physics, University of the Basque Country
Seminari del departament d'Astronomia i AstrofÃsica
Dimecres 06 març 2013
This is part of a paper of the speaker recently published on the meaning of the Principle of General Covariance (GCP) where a precise formulation of that principle as a General Relativity Principle is put forward. We start by explaining that formulation with the help of a natural extension of the Minkowskian coordinates used in flat space-time to general curved space-times that we call quasi-Minkowskian coordinates. Then we review the history and debate around the Hole Argument (HA) describing its rationale and the difficulties to accept a general covariant theory to which it supposedly leads. By resorting to the quasi-Minkowskian coordinates above mentioned we show how the whole issue posed by the HA is greatly clarified and how it is the metric that supplies the physical meaning of coordinates and individuates point-events in regions of space-time where no other fields exist. The talk ends arguing in favour of interpreting the GCP not only as a predictive physical principle, but also as a guiding principle supporting Einstein's appreciation of its heuristic worth in his reply to Kretschmann in 1918.