Foundations of Physics

, Volume 8, Issue 11–12, pp 833–843 | Cite as

General flat four-dimensional world pictures and clock systems

  • J. P. Hsu
  • J. A. Underwood


We explore the mathematical structure and the physical implications of a general four-dimensional symmetry framework which is consistent with the Poincaré—Einstein principle of relativity for physical laws and with experiments. In particular, we discuss a four-dimensional framework in which all observers in different frames use one and the same grid of clocks. The general framework includes special relativity and a recently proposed new four-dimensional symmetry with a nonuniversal light speed as two special simple cases. The connection between the properties of light propagation and the convention concerning clock systems is also discussed, and is seen to be nonunique within the four-dimensional framework.


General Framework Special Relativity Mathematical Structure Light Propagation Clock System 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. P. Hsu
    • 1
  • J. A. Underwood
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Sciences LaboratoryMarshall Space Flight CenterHuntsville
  2. 2.Center for Particle TheoryThe University of Texas at AustinAustin

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