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

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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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42 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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277 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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241 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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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?
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67 views

Need help with relativistic dynamics

I understand the concept, but I'm having a hard time applying the consequences of conservation (energy/momentum). For example: A proton with kinetic energy 437 MeV hits a proton at rest elastically ...
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22 views

Period of Transmission of signals in different frames

A radar transmitter (T) is fixed to a system $S_{2}$ which is moving to the right with speed v relative to system $S_{1}$. A timer in $S_{2}$, having a period $\tau_{0}$ (measured in $S_{2}$) causes ...
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1answer
126 views

Could light travel more slowly than the “universal speed limit”? Could this imply quantization of spacetime?

One description of relativistic effects that I've heard/read goes something like this: Everything moves through spacetime at a constant speed. An object's direction of travel through spacetime can ...
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314 views

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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399 views

How do photons experience time? [duplicate]

I know that as velocity approaches the speed of light the time dilation shoots to infinity as shown below. 1)So I want to know how time is perceived from the point of view of the photon? 2)Since ...
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190 views

Deriving infinitesimal time dilation for arbitrary motion from Lorentz transformations

I'm trying to derive the infinitesimal time dilation relation $dt = \gamma d\tau$, where $\tau$ is the proper time, $t$ the coordinate time, and $\gamma = (1-v(t)^2/c^2)^{-1/2}$ the time dependent ...
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223 views

Black hole accretion of dark energy

Dark energy physically can be interpreted as either a fluid with positive mass but pressure the negative of its density (pressure has units of energy/volume, and energy is mass), or a property of ...
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Do the energy levels of electron orbitals change relativistically?

When an electron emits a photon from changing energy levels, the frequency of the photon depends on the difference between the energy levels. But if someone is moving with respect to the atom, the ...
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185 views

Cascade in relativistic turbulence

The Kolmogorov theory of turbulence indicates an energy cascade in turbulence. Is there a corresponding version of relativistic fluid?
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470 views

Why do clocks measure arc-length?

Apologies in advance for the long question. My understanding is that in GR, massive observers move along timelike curves $x^\mu(\lambda)$, and if an observer moves from point $x^\mu(\lambda_a)$ to ...
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1answer
298 views

Time travel to future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is time travel possible? Is time travel possible? According to my friend, it is possible to go to the future but not the past. In Physics, particles move faster than ...
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61 views

A Mathematician Who Wants to Learn Particle Physics [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Book recommendations I'm a grad student in pure math, wrapping up a thesis in Lie theory. After years of talking to mathematicians and physicists, I've decided that it's ...
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215 views

Photons in a gravitational field

I have been really staring for a while in a MP-Beiser book and I totally disagree with a statement he does there. On a page 85 he states that photons act as they have a mass $m$. He derives this by ...
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199 views

How to relate photon's higher frequency to time dilation?

The usual explanation for photon's higher frequency in lower altitudes (higher gravity), when the photon is going downward towards a massive body, is that gravitational potential energy is converted ...
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2answers
507 views

Am I faster than my shadow?

I guess that everything that happens to me (or I do), happens before my shadow "records" the information. Is that right? Is it the same for any observer?
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6answers
219 views

Why are distant galaxies not actually tiny bits of matter?

Distant galaxies are said to be moving away from the Milky Way (and us) at speeds approaching the speed of light. Since Special Relativity tells us that any object moving away from us at a velocity of ...
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Using Einstein's Relativity: Who is younger?

Suppose we have a person A and a person B. Person B travels very close to speed of light and never returns. He's constant in speed. Then, we can say two things: B is younger than A. A is younger ...
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1answer
67 views

Are branes in 4D-spacetime moving, or are they static?

Given that a worldline, worldsheet, worldvolume, are representation in a 4D-spacetime of a point particle, a string or a brane, respectively, I was wondering if those objects necessarily have to be ...
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212 views

What if a normal digital clock used to measure time in twin paradox?

Last night I was watching a youtube video about twin paradox. It still continues to baffle me :). In that video, the speaker conceptualizes a clock that measures time by reflections of light. If we ...
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231 views

Which kinds of Physics laws do and don't comply with the principle of relativity?

In Physics, the principle of relativity is the requirement that the equations describing the laws of physics have the same form in all admissible frames of reference. However, according to this and ...
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352 views

Blue-shifting as opposed to violet-shifting

A recent XKCD comic implies that the sky is blue as opposed to violet due to human physiology, and that animals more sensitive to shorter wavelengths will perceive the Earth's sky as the shortest ...
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1answer
163 views

Why is energy-momentum 4-vector so much easier to explore/observe than spacetime 4-vector

I have read that spacetime 4-vector is quite difficult to observe/explore and that energy-momentum 4-vector is much more appropriate for CERN etc. Why is that? Could anyone give me a brief ...
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309 views

Relativistic Hamiltonian Formulations [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hamiltonian mechanics and special relativity? The Hamiltonian formulation is beautifully symmetric. It's a shame that the explicit time derivatives in Hamilton's ...
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4answers
278 views

Is there a default notation for 4-vectors while handwriting?

In printed paper 3-vectors can be denoted bold italic while 4-vectors can be denote just bold. While handwriting 3-vectors are denoted by arrows above letters. Is there a similar way to denote ...
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637 views

Mechanism by which electric and magnetic fields interrelate

I read that force due to electric field on some particle in one reference frame can exhibit itself as force due to magnetic field in some other reference frame and that electric and magnetic fields ...
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2answers
3k views

If nothing in the universe can travel faster than light, how come light can't escape a black hole? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does gravity escape a black hole? If nothing in the universe can travel faster than light, how come light can't escape a black hole? I mean, Einstein's relativity ...
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1answer
170 views

Light orbiting a massive body [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can a photon be made to orbit a known (or undiscovered theoretical) body? How massive would a black hole have to be for light to orbit it at 1km away from the ...
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1answer
235 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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9answers
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understanding time: Is time simply the rate change?

Is time simply the rate of change? If this is the case and time was created during the big bang would it be the case that the closer you get to the start of the big bang the "slower" things change ...
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376 views

Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? [closed]

1) Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? Every question about gravity seems to evoke an answer involving "space curvature" which seems like an undefined placeholder ...
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Causal reconnection

Can causally disconnected regions join up again? For example the universe is expanding faster than light creating cosmological horizon, but what if something causes the expansion to slow down and ...
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159 views

Is space curvature relative?

If I have an object that is of some length $l$ moving at a relativistic velocity $v$ for some reference frame in a 1D universe, then length contraction states that $l=\gamma\times l'$. But at the ...
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53 views

Derivation of superluminality in astronomy

Can somebody provide derivation of the relativistic explanation of (apparent) superluminality in astronomy? The derivation on wikipedia seems to be a bit confusing.
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73 views

At what rate does radiation exposure occur at high-c speeds?

If a future astronaut travelled to Alpha Centauri at a significant percentage of light-speed? Apart from increased blue shifted radiation from their direction of travel - how would they experience ...
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7answers
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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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2answers
192 views

light travels a maximum speed… /? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light? we know that speed of light is an unconquerable term in physics..light takes about 1 year to travel ...
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2answers
349 views

How do I adjust the kinematic equations to avoid reaching speeds faster than light?

I like some 'science' in my 'science fiction', so I started crunching out the kinematic equations for some of the scenarios my characters are getting involved in, and ran smack dab into an issue. ...
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How do I extend the Lorentz transformation metric to dimensions>4?

How do I extend the general Lorentz transformation matrix (not just a boost along an axis, but in directions where the dx1/dt, dx2/dt, dx3/dt, components are all not zero. For eg. as on the Wikipedia ...
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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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80 views

Does relativity apply to something experiencing Centripetal forces?

If I tie a rope to a clock and spin it over my head, would it lose synchronization with a clock sitting at my feet?
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3answers
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How to calculate time dilation in approaching speed of light

If a spaceship travels close to the speed of light (say, at 0.9c), how do I calculate the time as the spaceship pilot experience it? I thought the formula was $$t = \frac{t_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ ...
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5answers
447 views

Does a interstellar spacecraft traveling at relativistic velocity require continous thrust to maintain velocity?

Assuming completely empty space, does a spacecraft traveling at 0.5 C require continuous thrust to avoid deceleration? If the spacecraft is traveling at 0.5 C, does it's relativistic mass act upon ...
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2answers
286 views

length contraction question

we know from eintein's theory of relativity that lets say, a ruler is travelling to a speed if light, then we can say that the ruler (from our view as observers) has shorten. but why, lets say we have ...
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1answer
125 views

reletivistic mass as seen by different observers

Imagine there are two observers $A$ and $B$ and a particle $P$. $A$ and $B$ are at about the same point, $P$ is some distance away. From $A$'s point of view, $P$ has velocity $V$ and $B$ has ...
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When a high speed neutrino just misses an old neutron star, why isn't it trapped?

Suppose a neutrino is seen travelling so fast that its Lorentz gamma factor is 100,000. It races past an old, no longer active neutron star, narrowly missing it. As far as the neutrino is concerned, ...