Mass, Math and... Mess – Københavns Universitet

Mass, Math and... Mess

Abstract

In this talk we address the conceptual changes suffered by mass along four centuries in three different frameworks, namely mechanics, electromagnetism and relativity. These changes are illustrated by means of conceptual schemes, where the organization of knowledge is represented through space-kind structures. These schemes allow one to see the position changes of mass in each framework and, consequently, the corresponding changes in meaning. We also intend to discuss the relationships between concepts in these schemes and the importance of mathematical operations which support their connections. The Math is essential to understand the structure of Physics. In the case of the concept of Mass, the mathematical descrition depends on the framework and on both ontological and epistemological point of view on this concept.