A system of coordinates used as the basis for describing the position and motion of objects

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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 ...
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Kinetic energy with respect to different reference frames

I'm having problems understanding the following situation. Suppose two 1-tonne cars are going with the same orientations but opposite senses, each 50 km/h with respect to the road. Then the total ...
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How is the speed of light constant in all directions for all observers?

Please imagine the following thought-experiment: Order of Events: Pulse - A single pulse of light is emitted from the light towards the mirror Reflect - The pulse hits the mirror and is ...
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Does photon possesses no time to cover any arbitrary distance?

Photon travel 8 minutes (with speed $c$) from the sun to reach the earth. Any particle (or space-ship) with velocity $0.99 c$ covers the same distance (93 millions km) within less than 2 minutes ...
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Scattering Amplitudes in Centre of Mass Frame

I'm reviewing page 59 of the QFT notes here and am a little confused by a reference frame argument. You can compute the second order probability amplitude term for nucleon-nucleon scattering to be ...
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910 views

Calculating the speed of an object moving relative to another moving Object (Frame of reference) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to deduce the theorem of addition of velocities? Let's say that you are in a rocket speeding at 90% the speed of light away from Earth. Now fire a bullet inside the ...
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262 views

Degrees of freedom in the infinite momentum frame

Lenny Susskind explains in this video at about 40min, as an extended object (for example a relativistic string) is boosted to the infinite momentum frame (sometimes called light cone frame), it has no ...
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0answers
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Does Bernoulli's principle hold in moving reference frames? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Bernoulli’s equation and reference frames Sometimes in train, when setting behind opening window, I can feel strong gale blowing in. The closer to the window the ...
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551 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 ...
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161 views

Proper times of two observers in a three-torus

Consider two observer in a tree-torus space of size $L$. Observer $A$ is at rest, while observer $B$ moves in the $x$-direction with constant velocity $v$. $A$ and $B$ began at the same event, and ...
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Terminology for opposite null lines

Is there a name for two null lines that lie on the opposite sides of the null cone? Each line can be obtained from the other by reflection in the axis of the null cone (the time-axis). In terms of ...
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4-momentum and an $y$ component of momentum

I have 2 coordinate systems which move along $x,x'$ axis. I have derived a Lorentz transformation for an $x$ component of momentum, which is one part of an 4-momentum vector $p_\mu$. This is my ...
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Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass? [duplicate]

Today, in my high school physics class, we had an introductory class on electromagnetism. My teacher explained at some point that an object with a very high speed (he said it started to get somewhat ...
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Is a preferred reference frame of the universe the old aether?

About two years ago I posted a question about a symmetrical twin paradox: Here. Recently a new answer was posted and an intense discussion ensued: Here. One of the points discussed concerns a ...
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880 views

When moving fast Time slows down Vs speeds up

I was watching an old cartoon movie where a scientist makes a gadget, which when bound on the wrist, freezes the movement of the whole world. So, that one may do 100s of things in a single second. ...
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199 views

Speed of Entropy change

If time in systems moving with different speed goes differently, does speed of entropy change differ in these systems? (is "speed of entropy change" a valid term? can we compare them?)
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126 views

Faster than light due to reference position [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Travelling faster than the speed of light Please try to follow and clarify me I've been curious about this for a long time as it seems a bit paradox due to the rule that ...
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When does not Newton's 3rd law apply?

Is Newton's 3rd law valid in non-inertial frames? If so, then are there other cases for which Newton's 3rd law is not applicable?
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174 views

Time slowing down problem

When someone moves, time slows down for him. Let, a man standing still and another moving very very very fast, this happens for an hour (as measured by the standing man). Time has moved slower for the ...
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1answer
739 views

Calculating velocities using Reference frames

Suppose an object A is traveling at a velocity of 100 m/s, and another object B is traveling at 105 m/s. With both the objects traveling through the same direction, taking A as a reference frame, the ...
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1answer
767 views

Two trains at the speed of light [closed]

Okay. Two trains travelling towards each other at the speed of light. So, from one train (let's call it train A), the other is moving towards it at the speed of light. The other train shines a torch. ...
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2answers
270 views

A relative time dilation paradox.

Let us assume that there are two astronauts A and B who are floating in space. A sees B passing by and vice versa. A sends signals to B every minute. According to A since B is moving his clock will be ...
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1answer
523 views

Conservation of angular momentum across different reference frames?

I saw the following problem from the USAPhO: A uniform pool ball of radius $r$ begins at rest on a pool table. The ball is given a horizontal impulse $J$ of fixed magnitude at a distance $\beta r$ ...
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Does the (relativistic) mass change? Why?

I learned recently that when an object moves with a velocity comparable to the velocity of light the (relativistic) mass changes. How does this alteration take place?
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Questions from elevator ride

I like to play inside the lift (elevator). For instance, there are bars attached at the side of the lift, and I like to hold my body up using my two hands on the bar. I realised that I actually feel ...
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Does the speed of light vary in noninertial frames?

The speed of light is the same in all inertial frames. Does it change from a non-inertial frame to another? Can it be zero? If it is not constant in non-inertial frames, is it still bounded from ...
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325 views

Condition for circular orbit

I am a little confused about the condition for circular orbit. Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has the condition for circular orbit as $$f'=0\tag1$$ where $f'$ is the effective force. I understand ...
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First Postulate of Special Relativity: What does it mean?

Wikipedia has this quote: Special principle of relativity: If a system of coordinates K is chosen so that, in relation to it, physical laws hold good in their simplest form, the same laws hold ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
227 views

What is the speed for an object that travel close to the speed of light?

I have some questions regarding Einsteins theory of Relativity that should be fairly easy to answer. Lets say we make an experiment where we have a rocket (with an astronaut inside) that travels very ...
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7answers
434 views

Relation between coordinates and frames of reference

I always get a little uneasy that all the theories I can think of (at least since Newton) are constructed in a way such that they would be true in heaven and on earth ... but we can never go ...
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640 views

motion in the body-fixed frame?

This is really basic, I'm sure: For rigid body motion, Euler's equations refer to $L_i$ and $\omega_i$ as measured in the fixed-body frame. But that frame is just that: fixed in the body. So how ...
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225 views

Does the Lorentz transformation not apply to light?

Since you would know that light always travels at the constant velocity with respect to all frame of reference ....according to relativity whenever we are traveling at speed of light our time with ...
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Gravity on the International Space Station

We created a table in my physics class which contained the strength of gravity on different planet and objects in space. At altitude 0(earth), the gravitational strength is 100%. On the moon at ...
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What is the difference between observer, frame of reference, and gauge?

It seems to me that there is considerable relationship between the three concepts: frame of reference, observer, and gauge. How do they overlap? My current understanding is that an observer with a ...
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287 views

Time dilation at the speed of light

Does a massless particle travelling at the speed on light in a vacuum (c) experience an infinite time dilation effect? i.e. Would the time dilation extend from the perspective of the massless ...
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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 ...
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Curvature of spacetime in only required to explain tidal forces?

I'm a bit confused about the equivalence principle in GR. I'm quoting from Wikipedia: An observer in an accelerated reference frame must introduce what physicists call fictitious forces to ...
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Would the arms of a rotating ice skater still move outwards if there was no other object in the universe?

If there is no other object in the universe apart from a rotating ice skater, then nothing can be used as a reference frame. Would it make any sense to say that the skater is rotating? If so, rotating ...
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1answer
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Would we feel the rotation of a rotating habitat?

Assume that a space habitat is shaped like a can with the "top" open. lets say we attach the can's top to a string with an astronaut standing on the base. We then rotate the can in deep space using ...
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Is a photon “fixed in spacetime”?

From what I've read, according to relativity, a photon does not "experience" the passage of time. (Can we say there is no past/present/future for a photon?) Would it be better to say a photon is ...
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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, ...
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Why can we use just one angular velocity vector to describe the rotation of a whole non-inertial reference frame?

The other day in class the professor was explaining non-inertial reference frames. We were working out how to find the acceleration of a point as measured from the non-inertial reference frame, and ...
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224 views

Accelerating elevator?

If your in an elevator accelerating downwards faster than gravity, would you be pushed up to the ceiling? Since gravity cannot match the acceleration of the elevator, you're wouldn't be able to move ...
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How fictitious are fictitious forces?

How fictitious are fictitious forces? More specifically, in a rotating reference frame i.e. on the surface of the earth does an object that is 'stationary' and in contract with the ground feel ...
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What would happen to electronic circuits when traveling near the speed of light?

Imagine a space ship, loaded with all sorts of computer systems, traveling near the speed of light. Electricity itself is very fast, and can reach speeds close the speed of light. (up to 99% ...
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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 ...
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1answer
194 views

In What Frame of Reference does the Special Theory of Relativity Operate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Time Dilation - How does it know which Frame of Reference to age slower? This has bugged me for years. According to the theory of relativity, the faster an object ...
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Einstein's Gedanken Experiment that lead to the Special Theory of Relativity

Once, I read that Einstein founded the special relativity theory by imagining how an observer moves at the speed of light. How does this thought experiment work? How to reach from this imagination to ...
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Does the “Andromeda Paradox” (Rietdijk–Putnam-Penrose) imply a completely deterministic universe?

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk–Putnam_argument Abstract of 1966 Rietdijk paper: A proof is given that there does not exist an event, that is not already in the past for ...