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Scientiae Studia

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Abstract

CASSINI, Alejandro  and  LEVINAS, Marcelo Leonardo. La hipótesis del cuanto de luz y la relatividad especial ¿Por qué Einstein no las relacionó en 1905?. Sci. stud. [online]. 2007, vol.5, n.4, pp. 425-452. ISSN 1678-3166.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1678-31662007000400001.

We attempt to determine why Einstein did not mention his article on light-quanta hypothesis, written in March 1905, in his formulation of Special Relativity, devised just three months later. The main reasons we have found are the following: Einstein's different attitudes towards the existence of ether and absolute space; his permanent commitment to the ontological primacy of the electromagnetic field; the non-classical properties he ought to attribute to light-quanta; his hesitant stance about Maxwell electrodynamics as a complete and definitive representation of physical reality and at the same time, his suspection that a possible wave/particle duality would not lead to an unsolvable difficulty; his unstable and uncompromised attitude with respect to atomism; the more conservative, though less intuitive, character of Special Relativity; the different interpretation of the epistemological status of both theories and the marked differences in their formulation.

Keywords : Experimental context; Theoretical assumptions; Auxiliary hypotheses; Causal-mechanical explanation; Wave-particle duality; Luminiferous ether.

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