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

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On Group Theory: Symmetry Groups and Our Interest

Over the past few years, I've been doing a lot of self education in the Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, and of course, there are mathematical elements of both doctrines that are matrices. ...
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Theoretical Physics Notation (Hamilton-Jacobi in the Relativistic Domain)

I am having trouble understanding how to solve some theoretical physics problems I have come across. Specifically how to convert the Hamilton-Jacobi equation: $$(\partial_\mu S+e A_\mu)^2=m^2$$ From ...
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71 views

What happens if a body free-falls at a certain speed?

It is known that a body falling to the ground is affected by gravity, and its velocity increases by 9.8 m/s per second. But when this body is falling, and it reaches the speed of 340 m/s (the speed of ...
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74 views

Increase thinking capability through relativity

As Einsteins relativity suggests that everything slows down along with the speed of light. So, if we were to live in space would our thinking capability (essentially speed) increase or decrease (due ...
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Velocity in a pseudo-Riemannian manifold

Suppose we have a pseudo-Riemannian manifold (modeled by $\mathbb R^{p,q}$) with signature $$(\underbrace{+,+,\cdots,+}_p,\underbrace{-,-,\cdots,-}_q)$$ Meaning we have $q$ spacelike dimensions and ...
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Time inversion for Euler equation

Consider Euler equation for continuum body: $$\frac{\partial u^i}{\partial t}+\mathbf u\cdot \nabla u^i=- \frac{1}{\rho} \frac{\partial p}{\partial x^i} $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $p$ is ...
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Is there a universal rest frame of reference?

I am still struggling with C being a constant and what that implies. So can an experiment be done to find the resting state for the universe? Take a device with an observer and a light source and two ...
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96 views

Expected result of vertical Michelson-Morley Experiment

What would the result of a vertical variation of the Michelson-Morley experiment be? I.e., if one were to compare light traveling along a horizontal arm with light traveling along a vertical arm ...
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Light & Observer moving perpendicular to each other

Light is the yellow arrow. Observer is the black arrow. Observer is moving at a constant speed of v, w.r.t to a Galilean frame of reference. Now from the point of view of the observer (O), how ...
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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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151 views

Why doesnt gravity speed up light?

We know that gravity speeds up a body; for instance, a meteor which enters the earth gets constantly accelerated up by earth's gravity. And from relativity we know that light bends near a massive ...
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314 views

How to find zero-point oscillations for this system?

Consider the following Hamiltonian which is absolutely relativistic literally: only sensitive to absolute pairwise relative phase space variables of objects for a system of $N$ objects moving in one ...
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192 views

Question about gravity in 1 dimension

Consider 2 pointmasses in 1D space. More specific ; object $A$ with mass $m_a$ and object $B$ with mass $m_b$. $A$ and $B$ are a distance $d$ away from eachother. Let these pointmasses $A,B$ have no ...
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54 views

Transformation of Electromagnetic Four-Tensor

I apologize if I am missing something obvious, but I am in my first class with tensors and I am still learning the notation. I am running into a problem with the transformation of the transformation ...
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62 views

How to move from Special to General Relativity

I have understood special relativity nicely, and right now I am trying to learn general relativity from D'Inverno's book. I an finding it rather difficult to understand the pre-requisite math (i.e. ...
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109 views

Time dilation and relativity

We've just started with relativity and I got a question regarding an exercise we got. A spaceship passes by earth on its way to planet X, at the moment it passes by Anna is born on the spaceship. Can ...
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84 views

K-factor in special relativity

A sends out a series of flashes of light to B, where the interval between flashes is denoted by T according to A's clock. Then it is plausible to assume that the intervals of reception by B's clock ...
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Relativistic beaming - which power of the Doppler factor

The context is that I'm building a simulation of a starfield, as seen from a relativistic spaceship. (EDIT: the simulation can now be found here.) One reference that I'm using is this paper by John ...
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277 views

Doesn't Warp theory violate causality?

I have heard many physicists (ex:- Michio Kaku) saying "Warp speed" from Star Trek doesn't violate any known physical laws. But doesn't it violate causality? Say, we make warp drive possible and ...
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129 views

How does Spacetime Curvature increase the velocity of particles falling towards the earth?

Two particles fall side by side, towards the earth. The horizontal distance between them is 10m. As they advance nearer and nearer to the earth's surface, the horizontal distance decreases, from 10m ...
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Mass in terms of special relativity

According to special relativity mass doesnt add up like we think it does. That is, a system of 2 protons might not necessarily have a system mass of 2*(mass of one proton). If the protons are ...
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158 views

Two body particle problem with reduced mass

When we have two bodies and a central force acting towards the center of each other, we could treat the whole problem as a one body problem by introducing the relative coordinate. My question is, when ...
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162 views

Recovering 4-vector Lorentz transformation from spinor formalism

I'm trying to recover the 4-vector transformation laws using spinors. I have defined $$v^{\dot{a}b} = v^{\nu} \sigma_{\nu}^{\dot{a}b}$$ as usual, with $\sigma_0=1$. Now with the rules for dotted ...
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concept of density in gravitational lensing

I may just be being very dense (no pun intended) but i'm reading up on gravitational lensing and it seems to require a notion of density (e.g. see here) I'm working on a question involving light ...
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50 views

Circular motion and time dialation

Einsteins' time paradox was shown when two atomic clocks were synchronized and one was sent in a super sonic plane and the other kept at rest. When the two where then checked it was shown that yes ...
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44 views

Conservation laws vs Einsteinian space-time

The way I understand conservation laws - which I am asking you to correct - is that if I observe any slice of the universe perpendicular to the time axis and count up all the mass/energy, momentum, ...
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What is so special about speed of light?

I will try to be as explanatory as possible with my question. Please also note that I have done my share of googling and I am looking for simple language preferable with some example so that I can get ...
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How is light affected by gravity?

Light is clearly affected by gravity, just think about a black hole, but light supposedly has no mass and gravity only affects objects with mass. On the other hand, if light does have mass then ...
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107 views

Why does Relativity effect the melting point of mercury?

I know there is a related question, that references the Dirac Equation, that relies on relativity, but I've just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnsHtYYKf0 Which seems to say ...
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Gravity from energy [duplicate]

Both energy and mass gives has gravity. If an object receives energy, it will appear heavier and space will curve slightly more around that object. That energy could be potential energy, or static ...
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177 views

Space-like and time-like: where do the names come from?

Space-like separated events are events that, in a well-chosen reference frame, can take place at the same time but never happen at the same location. On the other hand for time-like events, one can ...
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186 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
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408 views

Mass in terms of energy

Given the relationships between mass and energy in relativity, and given that particles with mass can be created given energy over the threshold energy, and vice-versa, can we say that mass is simply ...
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108 views

How is Momenergy frame independent?

momenergy = mass * spacetime displacement/proper time for that displacement What I dont understand is how can the momenergy be frame independent? The unit-4 vector always points in the direction of ...
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What is Einstein regarding as the problem of physical relativity in his lecture of 1923?

The following is the extract from Albert Einstein's lecture to the Nordic Assembly of Naturalists (July 11, 1923). If we consider that part of the theory of relativity which may nowadays in a ...
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288 views

What happened to potential energy?

I was learning how charge can be virtue of a body's potential energy.Meanwhile,I was hung by this question. [gravitational and other forces except coulombic,are assumed to be not acting on the ...
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139 views

Symmetries of relativistic Lagrangian and Hamiltonian systems

In non-relativistic mechanics, the conserved quantities found using Noethers theorem in Lagrangian mechanics are the same as those quantities which are conserved under canonical commutation with the ...
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1answer
107 views

What does $\nu$ mean in relativity?

I decided to teach myself relativity over the Christmas holiday, and I've gotten a bit stuck. Coordinates in space time can be defined by a collection of coordinates, $$ x^0 = ct \\ x^1 = x \\ x^2 = ...
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Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
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Gravitational Time Dilation with big masses

From Wikipedia I read that the formula for calculating the time dilation caused by a mass is $t_0 = t_f{\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}}}$ where: $t_0$ is the proper time between events A and B for a ...
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262 views

Is my grandmother alive for some alien who is located on some place and is moving with some speed?

(I am science fiction writer. I had a goal in my novel to argue that time travel to past will not be available even in future. I asked here how to argue that. I collected answers and analyzed them and ...
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147 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
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106 views

Why do charge on an object remains unaffected by the motion of the object?

Unlike mass, the charge on an object is said to be unaffected by the motion of the object. This statement in my text book, is not yet understood by me. I don't know theory of relativity. On ...
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82 views

At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
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183 views

How to prove the raising/lowering indices operation?

I've read this related question, though it didn't satisfy me; I hope this complements it. I know that if I contract a covariant tensor ${A_{\alpha\beta}}$ with a vector ${B^\beta}$, I get some other ...
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Isn't Dark Matter just an Indication that Relativity breaks down when describing large masses? [duplicate]

It seems to me that Dark Matter is just an indication that our models of gravity do not scale to the level of galaxies, and thus like Newtonian physics, it is a powerful but incomplete model of the ...
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85 views

force on two particles moving with same velocity

When two charged particles having same charge $q$ are at rest, only electric force acts upon it: a repulsive force of magnitude $\frac{kq^2}{r^2}.$ Now let them move with a constant velocity ...
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1answer
208 views

Will a relativistic rocket be destroyed by incident photons?

I have read, that as a rocket approaches light speed, objects in front of it become blue shifted and also intensity of light increases. Does this mean that at some point any rocket will be destroyed, ...
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126 views

How is relativistic N-body simulation possible without knowing the entire histories of each particle?

In n-body simulation you need to know the positions of the particles in order to calculate the force between them. The new velocity of each particle can then be calculated given a simulation timestep ...
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202 views

Using gravity to send messages (at the speed of light) [duplicate]

I've been wondering what the current state of the art (both theoretically and practically) for sending messages using changes in a gravitational field is, and I have had a hard time finding ...