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24
votes
12answers
3k views

How can anything ever fall into a black hole as seen from an outside observer?

The event horizon of a black hole is where gravity is such that not even light can escape. This is also the point I understand that according to Einstein time dilation will be infinite for a ...
21
votes
2answers
1k views

The age of the universe

Many times I have read statements like, "the age of the universe is 14 billion years" . For example this wikipedia page Big Bang. Now, my question is, which observers' are these time intervals? ...
14
votes
2answers
547 views

What does a sphere moving close to the speed of light look like?

What shape does the viewer in a reference frame with $v=0$ perceive? I suppose that since the sphere moves in one direction only (oX only, not oY) its section would change into an ellipse, where the ...
12
votes
13answers
2k views

What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
12
votes
5answers
956 views

Isn't the uncertainty principle just non-fundamental limitations in our current technology that could be removed in a more advanced civilization?

From what I understand, the uncertainty principle states that there is a fundamental natural limit to how accurately we can measure velocity and momentum at the same time. It's not a limit on ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the future already exist? If so, which one?

In the NOVA Fabric of the Cosmos program, Brian Greene explains a theory in which there is no "now", or more specifically, now is relative. He describes an alien riding a bicycle on a far off planet ...
11
votes
6answers
15k views

Would time freeze if you can travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the speed limit for anything with mass. So, if I were ...
11
votes
4answers
864 views

Can black holes form in a finite amount of time?

One thing I know about black holes is that an object gets closer to the event horizon, gravitation time dilation make it move more slower from an outside perspective, so that it looks like it take an ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What happens when relativistic effects stop?

I'm currently learning special relativity in high school and we only primarily deal with what happens when an object is moving at constant relativistic speeds. But what if the object slowed back down ...
9
votes
2answers
336 views

Is the uncertainty principle just saying something about what an observer can know or is it a fundamental property of nature?

I ask this question because I have read two different quotes on the uncertainty principle that don't seem to match very well. There are similar questions around here but I would like an explanation ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How can time be relative?

I don't understand how time can be relative to different observers, and I think my confusion is around how I understand what time is. I have always been told (and thought) that time is basically a ...
6
votes
2answers
388 views

Time dilation at a black hole [duplicate]

According to the Wikipedia article on black holes: Even though the collapse takes a finite amount of time from the reference frame of infalling matter, a distant observer sees the infalling ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Will the black hole evaporate in finite time from external observer's perspective?

There is the problem that is bothering me with the black hole evaporation because of Hawking radiation. According to Hawking theory the black hole will evaporate in finite time because of quantum ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Why can I never see any stars in the night sky?

I have always lived near a large city. There is a stark contrast between the picture linked below for example, and what I see with the naked eye. Sometimes I can see a few stars here and there, but ...
5
votes
5answers
651 views

Time Dilation - How does it know which Frame of Reference to age slower?

Okay, I'm asking a question similar to this one here: Time Dilation - what happens when you bring the observers back together?. Specifically, I am curious about a specific angle on the second part of ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Does non-mass-energy generate a gravitational field?

At a very basic level I know that gravity isn't generated by mass but rather the stress-energy tensor and when I wave my hands a lot it seems like that implies that energy in $E^2 = (pc)^2 + (mc^2)^2$ ...
5
votes
1answer
304 views

Falling into a black hole

I've heard it mentioned many times that "nothing special" happens for an infalling observer who crosses the event horizon of a black hole, but I've never been completely satisfied with that statement. ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Subjectivity of decoherence

I read that quantum decoherence is subjective, in the sense that two observers may not have the same "environment" and after each one has traced over those degrees of freedom they will end up with a ...
4
votes
4answers
148 views

When we talk about speeds in relativity theory, where are they measured?

I recently asked a question here about if the direction we travel matters in relativity theory: Does it matter in which direction I travel in relativity theory? After I got answers and making more ...
4
votes
2answers
270 views

Black hole formation as seen by a distant observer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can anything ever fall into a black hole as seen from an outside observer? Is black hole formation observable for a distant observer in finite amount of time? ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

Relativity of simultaneity - An example

I am trying to understand the relativity of simultaneity in different frames, and I am trying to work out an example. Suppose along the x-axis there are two points 2000m apart. Event A happens at t=0 ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

Effect of gravity at near-lightspeeds

Let's say I'm in a space station, hurtling towards our galaxy nearly close to the speed of light. From my reference frame, I see the galaxy coming towards my ship at the same speed. I pass the Sun, ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Twin Paradox in case of two twins that don't meet

If there are two twins. such that one of them goes on a space voyage maintaining a constant velocity, and that one never returns to earth, and the twins decide to never meet but send information about ...
3
votes
3answers
658 views

Does the observer or the camera collapse the wave function in the double slit experiment?

Ok so if we setup a camera before the slit we will find a single photon and will follow through accordingly, likewise by having a camera setup after the slit, we can retroactivly collapse the wave ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Time Slowing Down [duplicate]

I'd like to ask a question if I may about the relativity. When travelling at the speed of light(which is impossible for particles with masses) or very close to it, would it be me, myself, seeing my ...
3
votes
2answers
398 views

What do you feel when crossing the event horizon?

I have heard the claim over and over that you won't feel anything when crossing the event horizon as the curvature is not very large. But the fundamental fact remains that information cannot pass ...
3
votes
2answers
289 views

Decoherence when no one is looking?

I understand that in the single-electron-at-a-time double slit experiment, if a detector is placed before the slit, the interference pattern vanishes. Suppose I left the detector on, but put a bag ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Can a simulated Universe simulate Special Relativity

I know there are theories (or postulates) that hold that our Universe could be a simulation. I was wondering, if Special Relativity states that two events which are not causally linked can be judged ...
3
votes
1answer
162 views

Formation of a black hole and Hawking radiation

From the perspective of an outside observer it takes infinitely long for the black hole to form. But if the black hole is no extremal black hole, it emits Hawking radiation. So the outside observer ...
2
votes
3answers
270 views

If time slows down when you move faster, does this give you an “effective speed” different from your proper speed?

Suppose you're travelling at 0.9c toward the sun, and you tag past the Earth and start a clock. Would Lorentz contraction/time dilation cause you to get to the sun faster than (about) 9 minutes ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Uncertainty principle and multiple observers

My understanding is that an observer can measure the precise location of a particle so long as the corresponding uncertainty in momentum measurement is not an issue and vice-versa. Say there is ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Is speed of light ( Sun-to-Earth ) related to the movement speed of solar system?

The speed of light has been measured to be 299 792 458 m/s. Now, the Solar System is traveling at an average speed of 828,000 km/h (230 000 m/s). Summing up the numbers we get close to 300 000 000 m/s ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

Increase in Mass with Velocity [duplicate]

I just had a confusion. Does the mass of the body actually increase when it is moving with a certain velocity? Or does it only look like the mass has increase to another observer. How can the actual ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

How long does it take for a black hole to form?

The well-known fable of an astronaut sending signals out to an external observer while falling toward an event horizon states that the time lapse between such signals becomes greater even if in the ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Einstein's Postulates: Simultaneity

Okay, I still don't get the solution (which I will lay out) to the following problem: Suppose that A', B', and C' are at rest in frame S', which moves with respect to S at speed v in the positive ...
2
votes
1answer
315 views

What happens to speed and frequency of a light beam moving in transparent medium when observed from different inertial frame of reference?

Suppose a transparent medium where speed of light is $c/n$, an inertial frame of reference $K$ which is stationary relatively to the medium and an inertial frame of reference $K'$ which is moving ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Would dense matter around a black hole event horizon eventually form a secondary black hole? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Black hole formation as seen by a distant observer Given that matter can never cross the event horizon of a black hole (from an external observer point of view), if a ...
2
votes
1answer
603 views

Time dilation - why the observers see each other the slow one but then one of them is older or younger?

I'm in trouble with time dilation: Suppose that there's two people on the Earth (A,B), they are twins and each other has a clock. (So they are at the same reference frame). B travels in a spaceship ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Why is the camera not the culprit? [duplicate]

Perhaps I am completely wrong, but as I understand it our observation of a system can affect the outcome. The example I remember is the double slit experiment where electrons behave as a wave at ...
2
votes
4answers
179 views

What counts as an observer and memory states in quantum interpretations?

The Everett interpretation has memory robots. Copenhagen requires observer memory states. Consistent histories has its IGUSes. Decoherence has its existential interpretation. All of them refer to ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

Does a complete theory of quantum gravity require anthropic post-selection?

Does a complete theory of quantum gravity require anthropic post-selection? Certainly the black hole complimentarity and causal patch conjectures highlights the essential role of observers, at least ...
1
vote
4answers
265 views

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates?

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates for a fast moving object? Can the time dilation be explained by any theory other than relativity?
1
vote
1answer
887 views

In general relativity (GR), does time stop at the event horizon or in the central singularity of a black hole?

I was reading through this question on time and big bang, and @John Rennie's answer surprised me. In the immediate environment of a black hole, where does time stop ticking if one were to follow a ...
1
vote
3answers
188 views

Why Sun light can reach us if Time is dilating?

I understand that if something is moving with constant speed in respect to an observer, the time of the moving one runs slower, so the more your speed is, the more your time ticks slower. Which ...
1
vote
2answers
62 views

Shape Created by a Pile of Granular Objects Dropped Uniformly

I've observed many times that if you drop a lot of a 'granular' substance in one place and keep the nozzle out of which the substance flows, that the shape of the pile created very much resembles a ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

Will Earth clock be slower than aeroplane clock when viewed from another planet?

I know that a clock placed on an aeroplane will have slowed with respect to a clock placed on earth because the more our velocities are, compared to the speed of light, the more the time slows down. ...
1
vote
2answers
227 views

Watching something fall into a black hole from far away

I am observing (theoretically) an object falling into a black hole from a safe distance away. My understanding is that from far away it appears as if the body will asymptotically approach the event ...
1
vote
3answers
240 views

Special Relativity - speed of light question

Just a basic question: I know that if you are traveling at $x$ speed the time will pass for you slower than to an observer that is relatively stopped. That's all just because a photon released at the ...
1
vote
1answer
756 views

Does the increase of (relativistic) mass, while flying near speed of light, has any impact on astronauts? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology? I am asking myself this question for a few day. What is the answer on: Does the increase of ...
1
vote
4answers
697 views

Questions on wave-particle duality

Wave-particle duality states that a particle has both wave properties and particle properties when one is not observing it. 1) What is an observer? Need it be anything living or can other particles ...