physics, one seeks equations in which the most general lawful relations regarding processes can be applied to the respective fields.

But modern physics has not stopped here. It has discovered basic laws
that permit, on the one hand, the inclusion of parts of acoustics and theory of
heat in mechanics and, on the other, optics, magnetism, and the theory of radiant
heat in the theory of electricity. Today, the numerous special fields of
physics have been reduced to two: mechanics and electrodynamics or, as it also
is put, the physics of matter and the physics of ether. As hotly as the battle
between the mechanical and the electrodynamic “worldviews” (!) has raged, the
two fields will, as Planck says, “in the long term not at all be able to be sharply
demarcated.”^{2} “Mechanics requires for its foundation in principle only the concepts
of space, time, and that which moves, whether one considers this as substance
or state. And neither can electrodynamics do without these same concepts.
This is why a sufficiently generalized mechanics could also well include
electrodynamics, and there are in fact many favorable signs that these already
partially overlapping fields will eventually be unified into a single field—that
of a general dynamics.”^{3}

It is with this that the goal of physics as a science must be brought into
relief. Its goal is the unity of its picture of the physical world, tracing all appearances
back to the basic mathematically definable laws of a general dynamics, to
the laws of motion of a still undetermined mass. Now that we know what the
goal of physics is, we can formulate our second question:
*
What function is appropriate for the concept of time in this science?
*

Stated briefly, the object of physics is the lawfulness of motion. Motions
run their course in time. What exactly does this mean? “In” time has a spatial
meaning; however, time is obviously nothing spatial—indeed, we always contrast
space and time. But it is just as clear that motion and time are somehow
related. In a passage from his *Discorsi*, Galileo speaks precisely of an “affinity
between the concepts of time and motion.” “For just as the uniformity of
motion is determined and comprehended through the equality of the times and
spaces . . . , so through this same equality of the segments of time we can also
comprehend increase in velocity (acceleration) which has come about in a plain
and simple manner.”^{4} In the relation between motion and time, what is clearly
at issue is measurement of motion by means of time. As a quantitative determination,
measurement is the concern of mathematics. Theoretical, i.e., mathematical,
physics forms the foundation of experimental physics. Thus if we wish
to obtain precise concepts of motion and time, we must examine them in their
mathematical form.

The position of a material point in space is determined by the spatial point with which it coincides. Let us assume now that space is empty except for the material point whose position is to be determined. But space is infinite—each point in space is equal to every other and likewise each direction to every other. Thus it is impossible to determine the position of the material point in question