This chapter presents the main features of the Minkowski spacetime, which is the geometrical framework in which the laws of relativistic dynamics are formulated. It is a very simple mathematical extension of three-dimensional Euclidean space. In special relativity, ‘relative, apparent, and common’ (in the words of Newton) space and time are represented by a mathematical set of points called events, which constitute the Minkowski spacetime. This chapter also stresses the interpretation of the fourth dimension, which in special relativity is time. Here, time now loses the ‘universal’ and ‘absolute’ nature that it had in the Newtonian theory.
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