A specific reference frame that describes its coordinates in a manner that does not depend on time and is isotropic.

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Analysing kinetic energy in different frames [duplicate]

Case A: Say we observe a body X moving with a velocity of 30 on the +x and we(the observer) are stationary. Case B: The observer moves with a velocity of 50 on the -x. The body X is moving in the ...
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1answer
57 views

Can we work out how fast we are traveling by looking at our mass?

If we (the galaxy) were traveling close to the speed of light; relativity says we would need proportionally more energy to go faster. Given that relative to the cosmic microwave background, the Local ...
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3answers
2k views

Why is the period of rotation the same for two stars orbiting the same centre?

In a binary star system, two stars $A$ and $B$ follow circular orbits, of radius $R$ and $r$ respectively, centred on their common centre of mass $O$. The mass of star $A$ is $M$, and that of star $B$ ...
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41 views

Frames of reference vs Coordinate systems and the meaning of “inertial” [closed]

Wikipedia provides the following definition for inertial frames:(the reference given is to Landau's Mechanics book) In physics, an inertial frame of reference (also inertial reference frame or ...
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1answer
53 views

Can anyone clarify this example of Relativity of Simultaneity [closed]

While doing this course: http://www.worldscienceu.com/ I couldn't understand this example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53oAxycVhhg. (full example here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiugtmt18W4) ...
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3answers
38 views

Momentum and relative motion

To calculate momentum, $p=mv$, you must know the value of $v$. However, since all motion is relative, there is no abslute value for $v$. So, what is it you are actually calculating? It seems like the ...
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5answers
806 views

With respect to what can't we travel at the speed of light? [closed]

According to theory of relativity the speed of light in vacuum is ultimate. But since objects move relative to each other, with respect to what can't we travel at the speed of light?
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2answers
93 views

Reciprocal Time Dialation in Special Relativity [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand theory of special relativity, but there is one thing that really makes me confused which is reciprocal time dilation in special relativity. In special relativity, the time ...
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3answers
64 views

Why is speed defined as coordinate derivative over proper time rather than observer's time in STR?

In special theory of relativity, why is 4-velocity defined as: $$ u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} $$ and not as $$ u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{dt} $$ where ${\tau}$ is proper-time and t is time in some ...
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1answer
72 views

What do things move relative to?

When someone says that a spacecraft in otherwise empty space is traveling at a constant velocity of 10 km/h (for the sake of convenience) then what is the reference point for which this measurement ...
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1answer
165 views

Why do we add gamma to derive the Lorentz transformation?

As set up and described by Professor Shankar, I was trying to derive the Lorentz transformation with his equations... $$\frac{t'}{t} = \frac{c-v}{c},\qquad \frac{t}{t'} = \frac{c+v}{c}$$ After adding ...
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46 views

What is the irreducible set of fundamental principles of Special Relativity? [duplicate]

This is something that I have been pondering for some time. The fundamental principles of special relativity are usually presented as forming a twofold: There is no absolute reference frame of ...
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1answer
45 views

Why speed of light is constant with respect to any inertial frame of reference? [duplicate]

Its getting too difficult to think.if we travel at the speed of light then will light will cross us at same speed or travel with us adjacent (special theory of relativity)
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1answer
50 views

Confirmation of a concept under General Relativity and Frames of Reference

I would like to preface this by saying that this isn't necessarily meant to be a full question, though it may become that, but it rather a confirmation of my understanding of a concept. Newton would ...
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22 views

Is mass relative? [duplicate]

This question has to do with the relativistic mass of an object. I have been reading that as energy increases, so does mass to a much lesser extent, and that this applies to kinetic energy as well. ...
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3answers
90 views

Length contraction in special relativity: can space be at rest in any frame?

Suppose a rod is moving at speed $v$ relative to me along its length. $L_0 = {}$length of the rod in the frame in which the rod is at rest $L = {}$length of the rod in my frame Then $$L = L_0 \sqrt{1-...
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0answers
82 views

Imagine I'm on a spacecraft that was accelerated to 1.0$c$ could I only move backwards? [duplicate]

Imagine I'm in a sapcecraft1 that is moving with 1.0$c$ or at least is so close to that speed that a few miles per hour would just be left to reach $c$. So when I'm traveling now in the direction ...
3
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3answers
107 views

Why must $v$ be $< c$ in the Lorentz transformations? Do these equations not apply to light? [duplicate]

I was trying to understand how things look from the perspective of light. Looking at the Lorentz transformations, it seems that the universe would contract along the direction of movement into a plane,...
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1answer
90 views

If Speed is Relative can Absolute Acceleration be Real

This is , I suppose not a good question , but I think I am missing something which confuses me in this question. So my question is - Velocity is relative. So suppose a car is moving at a speed 200 ...
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2answers
119 views

All reference frame are inertial? Where is the flaw in reasoning?

This is my first post here. I have a line of thoughts which might be wrong but I couldn't find the error. Suppose we have a point mass subjected to an arbitrary force $F$. In the lab reference frame ...
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1answer
81 views

Why cannot Paul be the observer? (Questions about Twin Paradox)

Here is the explanation to the Twin Paradox in Feynman's Lecture on Physics 16–2. we consider a famous so-called “paradox” of Peter and Paul, who are supposed to be twins, born at the same time. ...
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1answer
78 views

What is physical meaning of Lorentz boost?

Physical meaning of spatial part of Lorentz transform is, obviously, rotations in R-space. Does anybody have a nice physical interpretation of boosts though? I can understand to some extent off-...
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4answers
95 views

Another Special Relativity Paradox inspired by Herbert Dingle's Paradox

Suppose spaceships A and B with clocks A and B move along the same straight line at uniform speeds differing by 161 miles per second. At the moment when B passes A, their clocks both read noon. ...
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1answer
131 views

Is conservation of momentum and energy valid for non-inertial frames?

Conservation laws of momentum and energy are said to be the most basic principles of physics. Are they also valid for non-inertial frames, and in what way?
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3answers
150 views

Interpretation of terms in the Lorentz Transformation

What is the physical significance of the term "${vx}/{c^2}$" in $$ t' = \gamma \left(t- \dfrac{vx}{c^2}\right) $$ It has got something to do with clock synchronization but cant derive the 'correction ...
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1answer
206 views

Herbert Dingle's paradox modified

Suppose two spaceships A and B have on them clocks A and B move along the same straight line at uniform speeds differing by 161 miles per second. And suppose they are at positions A and B in space ...
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1answer
67 views

If we traveled at almost the speed of light would objects appear the same?

We see objects with our eyes as object emits/reflects light. Say if we travel at almost the speed of light can we see the objects normally?
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2answers
130 views

Special Relativity: Verifying a general boost matrix is in the Lorentz group

I'm attempting the problem shown below. Using the hint, I have so far found: \begin{align}B^T \eta B &= \begin{pmatrix}\gamma & -\gamma\beta^j \\ -\gamma \beta_k & \delta_k^j+\frac{(\...
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1answer
20 views

Heliocentric to barycentric coordinates

I have a system with a central body and "particles" orbiting around it. The system is described in heliocentric coordinates. I am trying to obtain the velocity of the central body in barycentric ...
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0answers
39 views

A photon lives life as a flat-lander? [duplicate]

Think length contraction... I was thinking about going close to the speed of light the other day, and I was thinking about the idea that, if you went close to the speed of light, time would slow down ...
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2answers
96 views

Can't reach speed of light, but relative to who?

Imagine a stationary person (with respect to a spaceship) floating in space and looks at a clock on the spaceship going 0.5c and sees it's clock ticking slower than his own, and concludes that it is ...
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1answer
46 views

Why would two inertial frames be distinguishable, if the coordinate of an event perpendicular to the motion would be different? [closed]

This question arises from the classical example: imagine a laboratory frame, and a space shuttle frame, the space shuttle moving in the laboratory frame with a constant velocity, let's say in the $x$ ...
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2answers
106 views

Will accelerated observer see radiation from the charge that is at rest in observers's frame?

So I had a huge debate about this with my friends. Imagine that you are in a non-inertial frame of reference. For simplicity, assume that frame is accelerated along x-axis. You have held a charge in ...
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1answer
51 views

Relativistic transformation of electrical current [closed]

If, in frame $S$, we have an electrically neutral wire with some current $I$, modelled as positive charges moving in $x$ direction and negative charges moving in $-x$ direction, then how would one ...
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0answers
28 views

How to prove that the Einstein velocity addition is a one-parameter composition formula of a one parameter group? [duplicate]

How to prove that the Einstein velocity addition is a one-parameter composition formula of a one parameter group?
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5answers
3k views

Is it possible to stay up while riding a bike on a moving sidewalk without actually moving?

If I ride a bicycle on a moving sidewalk so that I am not in effect moving at all relative to the ground, will I fall over?
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85 views

The path that a light beam takes in empty space

First excuse me if this question is very simple for you but for me and for my friend is not. Recently we were discussing what path a light beam will follow in a box moving at a constant velocity in ...
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1answer
42 views

Time variable in Lorentz transformations

When an object goes with a speed near from the light celerity, it inflates in the direction of its speed. The inflation rate is given by Lorentz transformations as follows: $x'= γ(x-vt)$ where $v$ ...
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1answer
91 views

Derivation of Lorentz Transformations

How can I derive the Lorentz transformations? I don't want to use hyperbolic functions and the fact that the light waves travel by forming spherical wavefronts. Is there a way to derive the Lorentz ...
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2answers
91 views

How can we know that the speed of light is constant?

Science say that within a constant time frame the light travels a constant distance. But if time is relative how can it be possible to use it as a reference to say that something is constant?
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29 views

Is it true that the free body cannot remain at rest in inhomogeneous and anisotropic space?

In the page 5 of which Mechanics by written L.D.Landau, this book said "If we were to choose an arbitrary frame of reference, space would be in-homogeneous and an-isotropic. This means that, even if a ...
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2answers
232 views

How is 4-current a 4-vector?

I am looking at Jackson sec 11.9, where he states that the $\rho,\bf{J}$ form the 4-current $$J^\alpha=(c\rho,\bf{J})$$ Jackson says this is from the invariant of the 4-divergence $\partial^\alpha ...
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2answers
121 views

How to interpret Hermann Minkowski's comments on the construction of spacetime

What did Minkowski mean by his statement: "The views of space and time which I wish to lay before you have sprung from the soil of experimental physics, and therein lies their strength. They are ...
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2answers
95 views

Why does Special Relativity apply to more than just light?

It is my understanding that time dilation is derived from the constancy of the speed of light in vacuum. I would assume this implies that the quirky consequences would therefore apply only to light. ...
3
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2answers
60 views

Pole and Barn Paradox w/ Spacetime Interval

I'm having trouble with a pole and barn paradox problem. The problem is as follows: A pole vaulter is running with a pole at $ v=\frac{\sqrt3}{2}c $. Her pole has a proper length of $L$. She runs ...
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1answer
54 views

Does curved spacetime arise from inhomogeneity of gravitational field?

In general relativity textbooks such as Sean Carroll's Spacetime and Geometry, there is often a line of reasoning that goes like this: Strong equivalence principle states that free falling frames ...
3
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1answer
88 views

Homogeneity and isotropy and derivation of the Lorentz transformations

In deriving the Lorentz transformations I have found (from reading a few different sets lecture notes) that it is argued that they must be linear and thus there general form must be $$x'=Ax+Bt,\quad t'...
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31 views

Inertial coordinate systems [duplicate]

In Newtonian mechanics, by the following two assumptions: (i) The time is absolute. (ii) The length is absolute. it is easy find the relations betweem two coordinate systems with uniform motion ...
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2answers
77 views

Definition of the Lorentz transformations [closed]

Until very recently I believed that the Lorentz transformations were defined as "the transformations that carry one inertial reference frame into another". In Wikipedia's page we find something along ...
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1answer
48 views

An example of a theory that respects the Weak Equivalence Principle but violates the Einstein Equivalence Principle

The Weak Equivalence Principle has any one of the following forms: the inertial mass is equal to the gravitational mass there exists a preferred class of trajectories through spacetime, known as ...