Measurement Theory and General Relativity


The theory of measurement is employed to elucidate the physical basis of general relativity. For measurements involving phenomena with intrinsic length or time scales, such scales must in general be negligible compared to the (translational and rotational) scales characteristic of the motion of the observer. Thus general relativity is a consistent theory of coincidences so long as these involve classical point particles and electromagnetic rays (geometric optics). Wave optics is discussed and the limitations of the standard theory in this regime are pointed out. A nonlocal theory of accelerated observers is briefly described that is consistent with observation and excludes the possibility of existence of a fundamental scalar field in nature.Comment: LaTeX springer style lamu.cls, 2 figures, 16 pages, published in: Black Holes: Theory and Observation: Proceedings of the 179th W.E. Heraeus Seminar, held August 1997 in Bad Honnef, Germany. F.W. Hehl et al.(eds). (Springer, Berlin Heidelberg 1998

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