A Survey of Visualization Methods for Special Relativity

Author Daniel Weiskopf

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Daniel Weiskopf

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Daniel Weiskopf. A Survey of Visualization Methods for Special Relativity. In Scientific Visualization: Advanced Concepts. Dagstuhl Follow-Ups, Volume 1, pp. 289-302, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2010)


This paper provides a survey of approaches for special relativistic visualization. Visualization techniques are classified into three categories: Minkowski spacetime diagrams, depictions of spatial slices at a constant time, and virtual camera methods that simulate image generation in a relativistic scenario. The paper covers the historical outline from early hand-drawn visualizations to state-of-the-art computer-based visualization methods. This paper also provides a concise presentation of the mathematics of special relativity, making use of the geometric nature of spacetime and relating it to geometric concepts such vectors and linear transformations.
  • Special Relativity
  • Minkowski
  • Spacetime
  • Virtual Camera


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