By L L Whyte

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Such laws will be called descriptive laws. c CRITIQUE so § IJ. OF PHYSICS COURSE CALCULUS For physics natu1'e is a mesh of lines linking coincidences, here called closed and open courses, and a mathematical method of describing the mesh without an extended time coordinate is called a Course Calculus. Since the reduction of space-time phenomena to a random collection of isolated coincidences involves the neglect of essential characteristics of the ordering of events, it is necessary to discover the primary element to which pheno­ mena may be reduced without the loss of features which are essential to physical theory.

The treatment given here is only provisional, since it is subj ect to the analysis to be undertaken later of certain aspects of the space�time ordering of events. Direct comparison of two rods is only possible when the rods lie together, parallel and in relative rest. g. the determinations of the ratio of the lattice constants of two crystals) can be carried out in several ways, and quantum theory sets no limit in principle to the accuracy with which such a detennination can be made. The Heisenberg inexactitude sets no limit to the possible accuracy of a single measurement such as the comparison of static lengths, and hence in a unitary theory the ratios of the lattice constants must be given exactly.

These questions will now be considered in turn. (i} In using the conception of a space-time coincidence Einstein* deliberately neglected the inexactitude involved in the simultaneity and position of two neighbouring but distinguishable events. At that stage the important recog­ nition was that it was not neighbourhood (or coincidence) in space alone or in time alone that could be definitely determined, but the fact of neighbourhood in space-time. Since absolute coincidences of different events are not observed, we shall later substitute the term convergence where it is necessary to emphasise the fact that what is actually given is the close proximity or neighbourhood of two events.

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