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

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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 (edit)

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′.