Education:

PhD in Physics (1997, Concordia, Montreal)
PhD in Philosophy (1988, Bulg. Acad. Sci.)
MSc in Physics (1980, University of Sofia)


Research interests:

Foundations of Physics
(i) nature of inertia and gravitational phenomena; how mass-energy changes the geometry of spacetime
(ii) foundations of special and general relativity
(iii) propagation of light in non-inertial reference frames and physics in non-inertial reference frames
(iv) foundations of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory

Philosophy of Science
(i) nature and ontology of spacetime
(ii) nature of time and specifically the flow of time
(iii) conceptual and philosophical issues of relativity and quantum mechanics
(iv) growth and reliability of scientific knowledge and confirmation of scientific theories


Professional activities:

Member of the Governing Board of the International Society for the Advanced Study of Spacetime and spokesperson for the Society

Primary organizer of the International Conferences on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime

Series Editor - Springer book series Fundamental Theories of Physics and Springer Briefs in Physics

Vesselin Petkov
Institute for Foundational Studies
"Hermann Minkowski"
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
http://minkowskiinstitute.org/
vpetkov@minkowskiinstitute.org

A possible reason for the unsuccessful attempts to create a theory of quantum gravity - that gravity is not a physical interaction - does not appear to have been examined so far. This possibility does not look so shocking when gravity is consistently and rigorously regarded as a manifestation of the non-Euclidean geometry of spacetime. Then it becomes evident that general relativity does imply that gravitational phenomena are not caused by gravitational interaction since they are fully explained in the theory without the need to assume the existence of gravitational interaction: what has the appearance of gravitational attraction involves only inertial (interaction-free) motion and is indeed nothing more than a mere result of the curvature of spacetime. The actual open question in gravitational physics seems to be how matter curves spacetime, not how to quantize the apparent gravitational interaction (Chapter 6 and Appendix C of the book Inertia and Gravitation below).

News and More

Springer Handbook of Spacetime published (7 July 2014, see Amazon)

From Illusions to Reality: Time, Spacetime and the Nature of Reality (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2013)

Inertia and Gravitation: From Aristotle's Natural Motion to Geodesic Worldlines in Curved Spacetime (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2012)

Hermann Minkowski, Space and Time: Minkowski's Papers on Relativity (Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2012); free version: PDF and at Apple's iBookstore

Hermann Minkowski's paper "Raum und Zeit" (Space and Time) in German and English

Winter school (workshop) on the foundations of science in Club Karey, Varadero, Cuba

What I like to do most - to share what I know

Philosophy of Science T-shirts

Personal (Svetla's and my) verification of the old recipe for (i) a healthy spirit in a healthy body and (ii) living, studying and working better and more

2010 Meeting of the Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science - Montreal

How some students see me...

Zeit ist nur eine Illusion


Books and five favourite papers (All books at: Springer; Amazon; Google Play):



2014 - editor

2014 - author

2014 - editor

2014 - editor

2014 - editor

2013 - author
  

2012 - editor
  

2012 - author
  

2010 - editor
  

2010 - editor
  

2009, 2ed - author
2005, 1ed - info

2007 - editor
  

Physics as Spacetime Geometry - published as Chapter 8 in Springer Handbook of Spacetime (Springer, Heidelberg 2014), pp. 141-163

Can Gravity be Quantized? - published as Appendix C in V. Petkov, Inertia and Gravitation:
From Aristotle's Natural Motion to Geodesic Worldlines in Curved Spacetime
(Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2012).

On Inertial Forces, Inertial Energy and the Origin of Inertia - published as Appendix B in V. Petkov, Inertia and Gravitation:
From Aristotle's Natural Motion to Geodesic Worldlines in Curved Spacetime
(Minkowski Institute Press, Montreal 2012).

On the Reality of Minkowski Space. Foundations of Physics, 37 (2007) pp. 1499-1502

Simultaneity, Conventionality and Existence. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 40 (1989) pp. 69-76. Local file.


Links:

Teaching: | Courses | Science, Philosophy, and History and Philosophy of Science Links |
International Conferences on the Nature and Ontology of Spacetime: | 2004 | 2006 | 2008 |
| International Society for the Advanced Study of Spacetime | Author's Page at Amazon |
| Curriculum Vitae | List of Publications | Students - Photographs | Personal Info |