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Relativity, Theory of

(578 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John
[German Version] A. Einstein arrived at his special relativity theory in the year 1905, primarily on the basis of mathematical and conceptional inconsistencies emerging between the theory of electromagnetism as illustrated by Maxwell’s equations (J.C. Maxwell) and I. Newton’s principle of relative motion (Determinism and indeterminism). The manner in which he constructed his theory was largely determined by two factors: an empirical/operational definition of theoretical concepts and an aesthetical…

Big Bang Theory

(466 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John
[German Version] Disputes concerning the interpretation of the Big Bang singularity have endured for decades. In the early 1950s, Christian leaders such as Pope Pius XII enthusiastically accepted it. It gave atheists such as Fred Hoyle (1915–2001) the occasion to propose the alternative theory of a static, infinitely old and ever expanding …


(386 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John
[German Version] The principle of complementarity was first formulated in 1927 by Niels Bohr (1885–1962) in the context of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics. According to Bohr, our knowledge ¶ of atomic and subatomic phenomena is subject to fundamental restrictions. In contrast to the epistemology of traditional physics, Bohr maintains that it is no longer possible to describe atomic processes in their spatial and temporal progression while simultaneously assigning them a causal expl…


(2,299 words)

Author(s): Russell, Robert John | Mörth, Ingo | Schütt, Hans-Peter | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Natural Sciences – II. Religious Studies – III. Philosophy – IV. Systematic Theology I. Natural Sciences The concept of contingency/chance occurs in various contexts and meanings in the natural sciences. In the simplest case, contingency denotes an event, a process or a property, the finality of which exists without an immediately discernible or determinable cause. Although we inaccurately assert that something happened by chance, the latter really implies the lack …


(3,429 words)

Author(s): Schütt, Hans-Peter | Russell, Robert John | Steiger, Johann Anselm | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Science – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy Causality (from Lat. causa, “cause”), also causal nexus, causal relationship, is a term for the characteristic relationship between cause and effect. The things related are generally assumed to be pairs of events (event causality), though in some cases they may be an active thing and an event (agent causality); whether agent causality can be reduced to event causality is disputed. In either ca…