The union of special (SR) and general (GR) relativity. Use this tag if both SR and GR apply.

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Apparent paradox in special relativity: transmitting a message and setting off after it

I have a question about special relativity, which is set in the context of the science fiction anime Voices of a Distant Star, though it is independent of that context. Mikako goes on a spaceship ...
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2answers
144 views

Relativistic Time Difference

I thought that it might be interesting to calculate the time difference between a clock placed on Earth when I was born and a hypothetical clock placed at the centre of the sun at the same time. I ...
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How to name different approaches to relativistic quantum theory

In the introductory chapter of the QFT book by Mark Srednicki the author notes that [p. 26] So now we have two different approaches to relativistic quantum theory [...] Which [one of those two] we ...
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144 views

Does anything apart from gravity and relative velocity affect time?

I have been learning about time and the different dilation effects of gravity and relative velocity. I was wondering, are there any other factors that can affect time?
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195 views

Is there an official name for “Lorentz Pairs” like energy and momentum?

In learning about relativity I've noticed that in the construction of Lorentz invariants (specifically four-vectors) two physical quantities that were previously considered distinct are instead ...
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2answers
392 views

Time dilation only on electromagnetic force?

We've seen by experiment that the speed of light c appears to be constant for each observer (leading to all well-known consequences of relativity). I'm wondering if this appearance of constancy of c ...
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1k views

Can a free particle absorb/emit photons?

As simple as in the title.. I would like to know also some mathematics about it!
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140 views

Lorentz transformation - need a little clarification

So the question states: A's and B's systems are related by the standard Lorentz transform. B simultaneously fires off two photons from transmitters distance D apart along the x' axis, and in the ...
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55 views

Accelerated charge in relativistic frame

An accelerated charge radiates energy as electromagnetic waves. Imagine a point charge at rest in an inertial frame We are standing on a frame accelerating with respect to the charge. Now with respect ...
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4answers
124 views

How should observers determine whether they can be described as being “defined on a Lorentzian manifold”?

Consider infinitely many distinguishable observers, no two of whom ever meet; and who generally "keep sight of each other", but not necessarily "each keeping sight of all others". How should they ...
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Why acceleration is not relative in General Relativity?

I was thinking of it, If I say: "I'm moving at a velocity $v_1$ relative to a reference frame $M$ then the acceleration will be the derivative of $v_1$ relative to the reference frame $M$." In other ...
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2answers
578 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
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42 views

How do we generalize limitations on the propagation speed of sinusoidal waves to limitations for transmitting any kind of information?

Our calculations on EM waves basically deal with harmonic waves and through such calculations and relations, we derive some relations and limitations for wave like phenomena. Of these relations are ...
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126 views

What would a person *unmoving* look like on a Minkowski diagram?

If you were to draw a person on a Minkowski diagram, that was unmoving (though time was still passing) what would that look like? (As a light cone and ignore the observer.) Also what would it look ...
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89 views

How are propositions concerning spacetime curvature constructed explicitly in terms of coincidences?

Is Einstein's insight [1] that All our well-substantiated space-time propositions amount to the determination of space-time coincidences [such as] encounters between two or more [...] material ...
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131 views

attaining the speed of light?? [duplicate]

WHY our time would run slow if we move with the speed close or equal to the speed of light, and is that time dilation restricted to only just '' time' ' or it affects our biological time also (does ...
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2answers
4k views

If I travel close to the speed of light and come back, why is everyone else dead, and not me? [duplicate]

Consider the following scenario: I get in a spaceship, and travel really close to the speed of light for a while, and then come back. A lot of time has passed on the Earth, but since I was traveling ...
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79 views

gamma-gamma collision seen from a relativistic rocket

This is a thought experiment. Consider two photons traveling at right angles and intersecting at some point. As seen from Earth these photons will not interact with each other because their energy is ...
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165 views

Which “space-time coincidences” are described by a “co-ordinate system in which the gravitational field does not appear”?

In Einstein's exposition of the foundations of General Relativity (cmp. http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Foundation_of_the_Generalised_Theory_of_Relativity , end of §3) there appears an emphasis on ...
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597 views

Is there an easy way to show that $x^2-t^2=1/g^2$ for a (relativistic) body undergoing acceleration g?

A professor asked me about the (c=1) equation: $$x^2 - t^2 = 1/g^2$$ which I used in a paper. Or with $c$: $$x^2 - (ct)^2 = c^4/g^2.$$ I told him that it was the exact equation of motion for a ...
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2answers
1k views

Does a single electron moving at velocity $v$ have an associated magnetic field, ignoring intrinsic spin?

I have seen explanations of the magnetic field due to an electric current as being due to a Lorentz contraction of the moving electric charges. Would this explanation work for a single electron. There ...
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1answer
1k views

Cross-section in relativistic limit: Fermi's golden rule still valid?

In order to calculate the cross-section of an interaction process the following formula is often used for first approximations: $$ \sigma = \frac {2\pi} {\hbar\,v_i} \left| ...
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313 views

What's a “noninertial frame”? [duplicate]

In some PSE questions or answers such as here (and comments below) there appears the notion of "accelerating frame" or (more or less equivalently) "noninertial frame". What's the definition of this ...
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103 views

Is it possible to accelerate a mass indefinitely using gravitational field?

As a particle's velocity increases, its mass increases(gamma times). Therefore, if a particle is in a gravitational field, the gravitational force it experiences must also increase(gamma times). The ...
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113 views

What is a geometrical object?

From the Wikipedia link for Geometry: Geometry (Ancient Greek: γεωμετρία; geo- "earth", -metron "measurement") is a branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape, size, relative position ...
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2answers
673 views

Finding the correct units for the energy-momentum tensor?

I'm trying to understand the energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$ but I'm confused about the units. My textbook says the components of $T^{\mu\nu}$ are $\mathrm{Jm^{-3}}$. Four-momentum is is given ...
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290 views

Confused about indices of the Ricci tensor

In an intro to GR book the Ricci tensor is given as: $$R_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\lambda}-\Gamma_{\lambda \sigma}^{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\sigma}-[\partial_{\nu}\Gamma_{\mu ...
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3answers
270 views

Having trouble seeing the similarity between these two energy-momentum tensors

Leonard Suskind gives the following formulation of the energy-momentum tensor in his Stanford lectures on GR (#10, I believe): $$T_{\mu \nu}=\partial_{\mu}\phi \partial_{\nu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu ...
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6answers
1k views

In coordinate-free relativity, how do we define a vector?

Relativity can be developed without coordinates: Laurent 1994 (SR), Winitzski 2007 (GR). I would normally define a vector by its transformation properties: it's something whose components change ...
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277 views

Mirror image at relativistic speeds

Imagine moving parallel to the surface of a very large flat mirror at relativistic speeds. What would be the effect of viewing yourself in the mirror? At non-relativistic speeds your image would be ...
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4answers
204 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 ...
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1answer
870 views

Does an accelerating proton also lose mass?

A proton accelerated with electric field gives off E.M. radiation and therefore should lose mass. Larmor's formula gives us a value for the power emitted (varies as acceleration squared). However, as ...
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2answers
134 views

Points in Spacetime

Assume there are two points in spacetime $a=(t,x,y,z)$ and $a'=(t',x',y',z')$. Let's say that the first one is in the origin of spacetime i.e. $a=(0,0,0,0)$. The point $a'$ has two possibilities ...
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231 views

Violation of Newton's 3rd law

I'm just expressing my guess. Let two particles A and B experiences forces $F_1$ and -$F_2$ between them and let guess also there are two observer, one is stationary and other is moving with ...
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3answers
315 views

How does relativity explain gravity, without assuming gravity [duplicate]

I have seen the "objects pull down on space-time" explanations, but they assume a "pull down" force themselves. Could anyone explain the space-time explanation without assuming gravity in the first ...
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1answer
1k views

Question about Time Dilation

I just have a quick question about time dilation/proper time because my physics book makes it a little confusing. Let's say we have an observer on Earth, and then an observer on a space ship. The ...
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2answers
308 views

Superluminal particles with causality

What kind of CLASSICAL theories would allow to true (non-apparent) superluminal particles (beyond speed of light, BSOL) agreeing with causality to exist? I mean, are causal superluminal classical ...
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8answers
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Reactionless Drives

According to the third law of motion, you van't have an mass move in a particular direction unless there is a proportional opposite mass/acceleration ratio in the opposite direction. No-one has been ...
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1answer
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Why can't we accelerate objects past the speed of light? [duplicate]

Is there any intuitive reasoning behind why there would be this universal speed limit? It just seems so arbitrary. I know that there must be things that are unknown, but what reasoning is there behind ...
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5answers
2k views

Why can't you escape a black hole?

I understand that the event horizon of a black hole forms at the radius from the singularity where the escape velocity is c. But it's also true that you don't have to go escape velocity to escape an ...
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1answer
663 views

What is the Lorentz tensor with a superscript and subscript index?

I have been reading about symmetries of systems' actions, e.g. the Polyakov action, and I have encountered Lorentz transformations of the form: $\Lambda^{\mu}_{\nu} X^{\nu}$. I am moderately familiar ...
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4answers
2k views

Is time travel possible? [duplicate]

Time travel -- often featured in movies, books, or facetiously in conversation. There are also theories treating time as simply another dimension, which to the layperson might imply forward and ...
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1answer
12k views

Could the shadow move with faster-than-light speed? [duplicate]

If I make a huge laser with a figure for shadow in front of the laser, and I shine it on to the moon, will I see the light from the laser AND the shadow moving the same speed? (I read somewhere the ...
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1answer
1k views

Spacetime and Timelike Intervals

The difference between a “timelike” spacetime interval and a “spacelike” spacetime interval can be understood in the following way: If the spacetime interval between two events is timelike, there ...
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2answers
207 views

Relativity Problem Given Rest Length and Proper Time

A relativistic train with a rest length of 500.0 m takes 780 ns to pass a stationary observer standing on the train platform, as measured by the stationary observer. (a) What is the speed ...
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2answers
4k views

What is the mass of a photon moving at the speed of light? [duplicate]

What is the mass of a photon moving at the speed of light? And if it does not have mass, how is it affected by gravity? Also why does Einstein's general relativity support that a gravitational wave ...
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0answers
46 views

What is an example of a situation where Quantum Mechanics and Relativity do not work together? [duplicate]

I've learned special relativity in school last semester, and this semester we began learning about Quantum Mechanics, and my teacher told us that there was a Relativistic Schrodinger equation. I was ...
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1answer
440 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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2answers
648 views

“as measured in a local Lorentz frame”?

I've seen the phrase "as measured in a local Lorentz frame" tagged on the end of so many sentences. What does it mean precisely? To give an explanation with an example, consider the context of ...
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877 views

How much time has passed for Voyager I since it left the Earth, 34 years ago?

34 years have passed since Voyager I took off and it's just crossing the solar system, being approximately at 16.4 light-hours away. How much time have passed for itself, though?