P. 1
Relativity 2

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09/21/2013

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# coordinates are samply Cartesian ones.

It is clear that Gauss co-ordinates are n othing more than an association of two sets of numbers with the points of the surface consid ered, of such a nature that numerical values differing very slightly from each other are assoc iated with neighbouring points " in space." So far, these considerations hold for a continuum of two dimensions. But the Gau ssian method can be applied also to a continuum of three, four or more dimensions. If, for instance, a continuum of four dimensions be supposed available, we may represent it in the following way. With every point of the continuum, we associate arbitrarily four numbers, x1, x2, x3, x4, which are known as " co-ordinates." Adjacent points correspond t o adjacent values of the coordinates. If a distance ds is associated with the adjacent poin ts P and P1, this distance being measurable and well defined from a physical point of view, t hen the following formula holds:

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