# History of Topics in Special Relativity/Lorentz transformation (introduction)

**Note**: This and the following pages are based on the Wikipedia article w:History of Lorentz transformations. This extended Wikiversity version presents a long list of historical authors and their formulas in original notation.

History of Topics in Special Relativity: History of Lorentz transformation ( ) | |
---|---|

The **history of Lorentz transformations** comprises the development of w:linear transformations forming the w:Lorentz group or w:Poincaré group preserving the w:Lorentz interval and the w:Minkowski inner product .

In w:mathematics, transformations equivalent to what was later known as Lorentz transformations in various dimensions were discussed in the 19th century in relation to the theory of w:quadratic forms, w:hyperbolic geometry, w:Möbius geometry, and w:sphere geometry, which is connected to the fact that the group of motions in hyperbolic space, the w:Möbius group or w:projective special linear group, and the w:Laguerre group are w:isomorphic to the w:Lorentz group.

In w:physics, Lorentz transformations became known at the beginning of the 20th century, when it was discovered that they exhibit the symmetry of w:Maxwell's equations. Subsequently, they became fundamental to all of physics, because they formed the basis of w:special relativity in which they exhibit the symmetry of w:Minkowski spacetime, making the w:speed of light invariant between different inertial frames. They relate the spacetime coordinates of two arbitrary w:inertial frames of reference with constant relative speed *v*. In one frame, the position of an event is given by *x,y,z* and time *t*, while in the other frame the same event has coordinates *x′,y′,z′* and *t′*.