APPENDIX

71

at rest, may not finally be in uniform motion. So these two groups lead quite separate existences besides each other. Their totally heterogeneous character may scare us away from the attempt to compound them. Yet it is the whole compounded group which as a whole gives us occasion for thought.

We wish to picture to ourselves the whole relation graphically. Let (*x, y, z*) be the rectangular coordinates of space, and *t* denote the time. Subjects of our perception are always connected with place and time. *No one has observed a place except at a particular time, or has observed a time except at a particular place*. Yet I respect the dogma that time and space have independent existences. I will call a space-point plus a time-point,* i.e.*, a system of values *x, y, z, t*, as a *world-point*. The manifoldness of all possible values of *x, y, z, t*, will be the *world*. I can draw four world-axes with the chalk. Now any axis drawn consists of quickly vibrating molecules, and besides, takes part in all the journeys of the earth; and therefore gives us occasion for reflection. The greater abstraction required for the four-axes does not cause the mathematician any trouble. In order not to allow any yawning gap to exist, we shall suppose that at every place and time, something perceptible exists. In order not to specify either matter or electricity, we shall simply style these as substances. We direct our attention to the *world-point x, y, z, t*, and suppose that we are in a position to recognise this substantial point at any subsequent time. Let *dt* be the time element corresponding to the changes of space coordinates of this point [*dx, dy, dz*]. Then we obtain (as a picture, so to speak, of the perennial life-career of the substantial point), — a curve in the *world* — the *world-line*, the points on which unambiguously correspond to the parameter *t* from +∞ to -∞. The whole world appears to be