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

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Is gravitation time dilation simply c/v?

Recently, I've been very interested in forms of time dilation. I'm relatively new to relativity, so I apologize for any stupid mistake I may make. I was messing with the equation for gravitational ...
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4answers
1k views

Why the speed of light in vacuum is same in all inertial reference frames? [duplicate]

If Cathy’s velocity toward Bill and away from Amy is v = 0.9c, Cathy finds, by making measurements in her reference frame, that the light from Bill approaches her at speed c, not at c + v = 1.9c. ...
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1answer
137 views

Derivation of length contraction from lorentz transforms

i have struggled to understand how length contraction is derived. My lecture book says: length in frame S is defined as $L=x(b)-x(a)$ and in S' as: $L'=x'(b)-x'(a)$ transforming $x'(b)$ and $x'(a)$ ...
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1answer
126 views

How fast do you have to be traveling in order to travel one light year in one year due to relativistic effects?

My apologies if my understanding is incorrect, but I believe that as you approach relativistic speeds you experience time dilation as compared to an outside observer. So taking into account this ...
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1answer
127 views

How to combine Lorentz factors when boosting twice?

The problem came up when I was trying to solve the classical problem of a wire with current due to which a charged particle experiences a force. This force should depend only on the lorentz factor ...
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1answer
78 views

Special relativity kinematics problem [closed]

I have this problem in SR kinematics. a spaceship travels near earth at c/2. it shoots off a light-ray at 45deg to its direction of travel (measured in its own ref frame). What is this angle in the ...
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2answers
130 views

Lorentz force Law

I want to ask a fundamental question about Lorentz force equation. Why is it important to incorporate both electric and magnetic forces into one single expression? I know magnetism is electricity's ...
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1answer
477 views

What would happen to the human body if we went almost at the speed of light? [duplicate]

If we were to travel almost at $299\,792\,458~m/s$, or the speed of light, what would happen to the human body? Would the human body stay the same or would there be consequences that would harm the ...
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1answer
76 views

Traveling near the speed of light

If I travel near the speed of light, form a stationary observer perspectives, I will take 1 year plus to travel 1 light year, but in my perspective, would I take less than 1 year to travel to that ...
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1answer
142 views

Is cause-effect always preserved in relativity?

I guess most of you are familiar with the "paradox" of the train passing through a tunnel smaller than itself on a speed close to the speed of light and 2 guillotines (1 in the exit and 1 in the ...
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1answer
80 views

Is Lorentz transformation applicable of light itself?

I've just studied Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and have followed most part of it. I was just wondering that whether the equations of Lorentz transformation are applicable on light? i.e. can ...
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2answers
98 views

Frames of reference and why are they different

Here is a quote from "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. Imagine two countries that have been at war are sitting down to sign a treaty ending hostilities while traveling aboard a train that is ...
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3answers
153 views

Our speed and direction by comparing the speed of light?

If the speed of light is constant no matter the speed of the source, shouldn't we be able to know the direction and exact speed we are going relative to the absolute 0 in speed? If a photon is sent in ...
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6answers
410 views

Is spacetime absolute?

As I understand it Newton's Laws imply that space is relative, as the laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames and as such there is no way, even in principle, to distinguish a frame that is ...
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5answers
927 views

How does one determine an inertial frame?

How does one determine whether one is in an inertial frame? An inertial frame is one on which a particle with no force on it travels in a straight line. But how does one determine that no forces are ...
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0answers
132 views

Absoluteness of Simultaneity?

Here is a very good proof that simultaneity is absolute, not relative. The question: Is this proof wrong, or is Einstein? Can you prove it? What is the mistake in the proof, if any? If there is none, ...
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5answers
3k views

Hole-and-nail paradox in special relativity

Yesterday we started relativity on our physics class, and my professor taught us a few concepts. We did some examples on how things changed by looking them from different reference systems, and a ...
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2answers
292 views

Understanding Mach's principle: What does it answer?

What is the question that Mach tried to address in his principle? I mean, we know how to detect the inertial and non-inertial frames (by Newton’s law). Once this is understood we also see that due to ...
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1answer
52 views

Force on a moving charge in relative frame

Consider a particle of charge $q$ moving at velocity, $v$, enters a magnetic field $B$ which is perpendicular to its motion. Now consider two observers, one stationary and the other moving at the ...
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0answers
40 views

How to add together non-parallel rapidities?

How to add together non-parallel rapidities? The Lorentz transformation is essentially a hyperbolic rotation, which rotation can be described by a hyperbolic angle, which is called the rapidity. I ...
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2answers
123 views

In special relativity, is it correct to say the speed of a body B relative to A is the same as measured by every observer?

Here, two objects A and B are moving relative to each other. I use the Einstein velocity addition formula $v = {v_1 + v_2\over 1 + {v_1 v_2\over c^2}}$ to calculate the relative speed between A and ...
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4answers
100 views

Sun and planets orbit each other

Do not the planets and the Sun revolve in orbits around each other and the shape of the orbit depends on where the center of gravity of the system is? The greater the mass of the Sun, the closer the ...
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1answer
62 views

Two Bodies Orbiting Around Each Other and Kepler’s Laws?

If two bodies are orbiting around a central center of gravity, how does Kepler’s first law (the one regarding the ellipse) apply?
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2answers
149 views

Comparing the orbit radius of two spherical objects [duplicate]

Assume the mass of star 2 is 4 times the mass of star 1. Compare the radius of the orbit of star 1 to that of star 2. Possible answers: R1:R2=1:4 R1:R2=1:2 R1:R2=2:1 R1:R2=4:1 R1:R2=16:1 ...
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0answers
69 views

Space and time variant? But together invariant?

I admit I'm having difficulty with spacetime. I don't understand how unifying space and time, seemingly variant quantities, results in an invariant spacetime. All texts and references talk about using ...
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1answer
68 views

Why doesn't an airplane simply go up in the air and stay there?

To get where a plane wants to go for example if I wanted to go from California to Japan, why can't an airplane simply stay up in the sky and let the earth rotate underneath it? Is it the ...
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2answers
67 views

Relativity asymmetry?

If you have two bodies that move towards each other at a constant velocity, each body will observe the other body experience time faster. This does not make sense to me because if you had a person ...
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1answer
296 views

Proving the conservation of 4-momentum for a particle collision $A+B\to C+D$

Let me say that particle A hits particle B and two particles come out - C and D; In system S I can write: $$p_A^μ+p_B^μ=p_C^μ+p_D^μ;\tag{1}$$ here $p_N^μ$ is the 4-momentum. Using the Lorentz ...
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2answers
259 views

Galilean Relativity is already included in Newton's Laws?

Usually I see an inertial reference frame being defined as a reference frame in which Newton's first and second laws holds. That means that if a particle is at rest, it stays at rest unless some ...
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3answers
99 views

How does an electromagnetic field oscillate if time does not pass for the speed of light?

As far as I'm aware, traveling at $c$ will prevent time passing due to time dilation. Electromagnetic waves rely upon oscillations to propagate. Since oscillations rely upon the passing of time, how ...
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2answers
107 views

Deriving the equations for a moving inertial reference frame [closed]

I assume $c=1$ in the following derivation: In order to derive the equations for a moving inertial reference frame, I immediately wrote down the following: $$ x'=Ax+Bt, \tag{1}$$ $$t'= Dx+Et. ...
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3answers
251 views

Does the Earth revolve around the Sun?

I am aware of this Phys.SE question: Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun? but I don't think this is a duplicate. In a binary star system, where the masses of the 2 stars are not so ...
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4answers
623 views

What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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2answers
150 views

Minkowski Diagram for Time-Like Separated Events

A while ago, I asked a question if two events are always simultaneous in some reference frame. I received excellent answers. The point is that if $E_1$ and $E_2$ are time-like separated with time ...
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1answer
26 views

Who is moving and with who's relation?

What if we are in a cube of 3×3 m  which is further enclosed in a sphere of radius 50 m? And the sphere start to rotate on its own axis would we experience force? If not then what happens if there is ...
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1answer
300 views

Inertial and Non-inertial frames of reference

I'm really beginner in physics and I recently started to study the concept of frames of reference, inertial and non-inertial ones. In the end, I thought I had understood it: frames of reference ...
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1answer
93 views

Confusion about Weinberg's discussion of equivalence principle. Help understanding formula

I am reading Steven Weinberg's book Gravitation and Cosmology. On pages 67-68, he begins his discussion of the Principle of Equivalence of Gravitation and Indertia by saying the following: The ...
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1answer
781 views

Elastic Collisions and Relative Velocities

In a 1D elastic collision, it is well-known that the relative velocities of the two objects (before and after the collision) are reversed. What is the extension of this result to 2D or higher? Is ...
8
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7answers
922 views

What does the statement “the laws of physics are invariant” mean?

In the first paragraph of Wikipedia's article on special relativity, it states one of the assumptions of special relativity is the laws of physics are invariant (i.e., identical) in all inertial ...
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45 views

Forward and Behind Frames of Reference

It's my understanding that light travels at the same speed in all inertial frames of reference. Suppose there's a small train car 5 feet long (at our rest point of view) traveling at a constant speed ...
4
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1answer
102 views

Uniqueness of the equivalence class of inertial frames

Let us define an inertial frame as a frame of reference where the laws of physics take their usual form, as opposed to non intertial frames where one has to introduce pseudo-forces. We can further ...
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7answers
229 views

Absolute (as opposed to relative) concept of inertial frame

In mechanics there is a relative concept of "inertial frame": frame A is inertial with respect to frame B if A moves uniformly with respect B. That concept is easy to understand. There also seems to ...
12
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6answers
2k views

If the solar system is a non-inertial frame, why can Newton's Laws predict motion?

Since there is no object in the universe that doesn't move, and the solar system likely accelerates through space, how did Newton's Laws work so well? Didn't he assume that the sun is the ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Einstein's first postulate implies the second?

Einstein's two postulates of special relativity are as follows, 1. The principle of relativity: The laws of physics are the same in all inertial systems. There is no way to detect absolute ...
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5answers
753 views

Is the polar coordinate system non-inertial or inertial?

Consider a car driving around in a circle lying in the plane and suppose we were interested in determining its acceleration as measured by an observer stationary on the "ground" or whatever. ...
3
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0answers
63 views

Does relativistic glider violate principle of equivalence?

The relativistic glider proposed can slow down the fall of an object in gravitational field. Will this violate the principle of equivalence which says that one cannot distinguish between free falling ...
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1answer
126 views

Time difference between two moving inertial frames of reference [closed]

This is a question I am trying to solve: Let S and S' be two inertial frames of reference and S' is moving relative to S at a velocity of 0.6c. When x = x' = 0, t = t' = 0. At t = 2 x 10-7 s, an ...
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3answers
293 views

Why does the Michelson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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4answers
272 views

Which one is inertial frame?

I'd like to ask a question which made me confused. I think that, e.g., a man falling to earth could think himself as stationary and the Earth as accelerating towards him. But I, as an observer, I ...
2
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1answer
207 views

Time dilation simple derivation

In a special theory of relativity we have a phenomenon known as time dilation. There is a simple explanation of this, with a thought experiment with a train and a flash light: We flash a light in a ...