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Keywords:

  • Relativity;
  • nonlocality;
  • accelerated observers.

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explain clearly why nonlocality must be an essential part of the theory of relativity. In the standard local version of this theory, Lorentz invariance is extended to accelerated observers by assuming that they are pointwise inertial. This locality postulate is exact when dealing with phenomena involving classical point particles and rays of radiation, but breaks down for electromagnetic fields, as field properties in general cannot be measured instantaneously. The problem is corrected in nonlocal relativity by supplementing the locality postulate with a certain average over the past world line of the observer.