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

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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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Is a particular force different in different frames

Can a particular real force have different magnitude in different frames?
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146 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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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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175 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 ...
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111 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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148 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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92 views

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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69 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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77 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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160 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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165 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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317 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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237 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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1answer
104 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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38 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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2k views

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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2answers
172 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
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173 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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4answers
542 views

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
159 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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33 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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99 views

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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28 views

Special relativity time expansion [duplicate]

Well I imagine that there is a very fast rocket moving alongside the Earth and I know that people in the Earth regard the events on the rocket as happening more slowly as it is moving and time ...
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2answers
73 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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1answer
63 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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69 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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333 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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61 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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1answer
97 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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1answer
351 views

Ephemeris calculations: Light time correction of the moon

I am currently trying to calculate apparent positions from raw JPL data. I've got it pretty much figured out, but there is one thing that's bugging me: Has the light time correction of the moon to be ...
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1answer
203 views

Can we live forever by taking advantage of the time dilation effect?

I have been reading about Time dilation and twin paradox in Relativity. So,I thought that if It can be the difference of 10 yrs between the Girl in space and on Earth, then why can't anyone not age ...
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1answer
182 views

If time stops for an object, does that object feel gravity?

As far as I understand The GTR, it is said that Mass bends space-time which causes gravity. So every Mass in this universe is flowing through space-time example earth is moving along with space-time ...
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280 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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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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4answers
113 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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209 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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1answer
74 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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2answers
80 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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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 ...
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272 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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120 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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3answers
155 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
210 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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481 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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2answers
171 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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120 views

Mercury's Orbital Precession in Special Relativity

I am researching Mercury's orbital precession. I have considered most perturbations and general relativity. I am still not satisfied. I need your help. I need a solution to Exercise 13, Chapter 6, in ...
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244 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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153 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 ...