Towards Formalising Schutz’ Axioms for Minkowski Spacetime in Isabelle/HOL

Richard Schmoetten, Jake Palmer, Jacques Fleuriot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Special relativity is a cornerstone of modern physical theory. While a standard coordinate model is well known and widely taught today, multiple axiomatic systems for SR have been constructed over the past century. This paper reports on the formalisation of one such system, which is closer in spirit to Hilbert’s axiomatic approach to Euclidean geometry than to the vector space approach employed by Minkowski. We present a mechanisation in Isabelle/HOL of the system of axioms as well as theorems relating to temporal order. Some proofs are discussed, particularly where the formal work required additional steps, alternative approaches or corrections to Schutz’ prose.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-988
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Automated Reasoning
Early online date1 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Isabelle
  • Relativity
  • Minkowski
  • Synthetic geometry


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