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

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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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2answers
177 views

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
111 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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3answers
164 views

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 It races past an old, no longer active neutron star, narrowly missing it.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, ...
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4answers
480 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
187 views

Finding wave-fuctions of a Dirac particle for given 4-momentum and spin 4-vector

I've been reading through various materials on relativistic quantum mechanics, but I find the lack of simple examples disturbing. I'm acquainted with the general form the solutions to the Dirac ...
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2answers
2k views

How to deduce the theorem of addition of velocities?

Lorentz contraction and time dilatation can be deduced without Lorentz transformation. Can you deduce also the theorem of addition of velocities $$w~=~\dfrac{u+v}{1+uv/c^2}$$ without Lorentz ...
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2answers
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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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2answers
103 views

The relativistic mechanics of a battery that is being charged and accelerated at the same time

This might be an interesting question: Let's attach a battery into one end of an electric cable. Then we rotate the battery around, with accelerating speed, using 100 Watts of power, while the ...
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3answers
1k views

Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
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2answers
253 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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2answers
579 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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1answer
275 views

Thought experiment about acceleration

Case 1: two people wake up in spaceships accelerating at 1g. They can measure or observe anything inside the room but not outside. They couldn't determine if they were on a spaceship or on earth. ...
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1answer
277 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 ...
5
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1answer
228 views

Are objects in a gravitational well shortened?

Bob is in a gravitational potential well, he moves a long vertical stick up and down a distance of 1 meters. Alice observes the upper end of the stick, at upper location. There is the phenomenon of ...
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0answers
40 views

Why has the ether been disregarded as a valid medium through which light can propagate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Ether theory acceptance Although the Einstein's theory of relativity seemed to make the concept of an ether obsolete, did it necessarily invalidate it? Are there any ...
2
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1answer
183 views

What is the mass of individual components in a gravitationally bound system?

When material of rest mass M falls from infinity onto a black hole accretion disk, it gets heated and then emits so much light that the energy radiated away can measure up to about 30% or so of M c^2. ...
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5answers
404 views

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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2answers
140 views

frames of reference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Help Me Gain an Intuitive Understanding of Lorentz Contraction Frames k and k' are inertial frames. Frame k' is moving at a velocity of magnitude v relative to frame k ...
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2answers
182 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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1answer
437 views

relativity and aberration of light

I am dealing with math and physics only at amateur level and I am writing regarding my question on relativistic aberration of light. Reading "Realtivity and Common Sense" by Hermann Bondi and some ...
3
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2answers
823 views

Careers in physics that are related to quantum mechanics or relativity?

Personally I learned Physics in high-school and found it very interesting, I read up a lot about physics in my free time. Personally I am also a programmer which I think is also good when it comes to ...
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4answers
455 views

Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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2answers
177 views

What will happen if we use a speed greater than light speed and find a body'motion and energy relative to it?

In Einstein's papers, he used light speed as a reference speed. What if we use a greater finite speed and do the same calculations. Won't this greater speed then be the limit.
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2answers
260 views

The Lorentz Transformations in the Micro-World

Two particles[or micro-observers] A and B are in relative uniform motion wrt each other in the x-x’ direction. The “observer” A decides to deduce[or interpret] the Lorentz Transformations wrt to B. ...
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5answers
686 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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2answers
190 views

Relativity and predictability

My old theoretical physics professor used to say that (already) (special?) relativity shows that "the future is not predictable". Any ideas how this should be interpreted?
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1answer
488 views

Time traveling and Time dilation within a multiplayer videogame [closed]

First thing first, I'm looking to implement this within a multiplayer videogame as a "special" skill or powerup, but, I'm willing to build it upon a physics based explanation/theory. The question may ...
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1answer
142 views

Showing that a given matrix provides the desired Lorentz transformation

I am working on problem 5.12 in Halzen and Martin’s Quarks and Leptons. We are asked to show that the matrix $$ S = 1 - \frac{i}{4} \sigma_{\mu \nu} \varepsilon^{\mu \nu} $$ represents the ...
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9answers
994 views

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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3answers
273 views

How to take into account the reference frames with the revolution and rotation of the Earth in OPERA's superluminal neutrinos?

Since the Earth is moving around the Sun, which is moving around Milky Way, etc... What reference frame is used for the complete motion of the begin/end points (which are non-inertial right?)?
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1answer
173 views

Is time the property of an object?

I don't know if the title makes much sense, but hopefully it will become clear with the text. Temperature is not a property of a point in the three dimensions, but actually of the object occupying ...
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3answers
349 views

How are accelerated reference frames non-symmetrical?

As in, if I'm accelerating away from the Earth, then does the Earth also appear to be accelerating away from me at the same rate? Or is there something to "break" this type of symmetry? My question ...
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2answers
935 views

Galilean invariance proof

I'm studying for a physics test, but I think I don't really understand Galilean invariance. In my textbook there is an example in which they proof that if you consider 2 frames S and S' in standard ...
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1answer
754 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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2answers
368 views

Where does the minus sign appear from in the metric tensor?

Trying to understand Schutz's AFCIGR, where does the minus sign appear from in the metric tensor? I understand that this expresses the invariance of the spacetime interval. Schutz says (I think) ...
2
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2answers
525 views

Nature of spacetime 4-vector and tangent space?

An entry level confusion about spacetime. I understand that a 4-vector describes a point or event in spacetime. But I've also read (Bertschinger, 1999) that re spacetime "we are discussing tangent ...
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0answers
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heliocentricity and the theory of relativity [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun? I should preface by stating that I'm not a physicist and my knowledge of the theory of relativity is limited to what ...
2
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3answers
403 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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1answer
422 views

Length contraction in rotating frame?

If an observer were to rotate around a point at near light speeds, what sort of length contraction would he observe the universe undergo?
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3answers
2k views

Difference between timelike and spacelike vectors

Other than one having a positive invariant scalar product and the other a negative one, what are the actual physical differences between these vectors?
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1answer
166 views

Does a light cone look the same from all reference frames?

If there were a light cone centered at some point $P$, and you were to look at that light cone from different reference frames, would it change its shape? I know that points inside and outside the ...
0
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0answers
105 views

Can space-like fields not commute and still forbid faster-than-light signalling? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is microcausality necessary for no-signaling? If we try to measure two non-commuting observables, only the earlier measurement would be valid. The later measurement ...
2
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1answer
854 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 ...
2
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1answer
440 views

How will the Twin Paradox become, for Time Dilation, if no acceleration was ever involved?

I think one catch in Twin Paradox was about the big acceleration that can turn back the traveling twin from light speed outward bound, to become light speed inward bound. What if there is strictly no ...
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8answers
865 views

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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4answers
1k 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 ...
8
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6answers
1k views

Quaternions and 4-vectors

I recently realised that quaternions could be used to write intervals or norms of vectors in special relativity: $(t,ix,jy,kz)^2 = t^2 + (ix)^2 + (jy)^2 + (kz)^2 = t^2 - x^2 - y^2 - z^2$ Is it ...
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4answers
977 views

Why are four-vectors needed in the Dirac equation, when there are 4 linearly independent 2D matrices?

I was taught that for the Dirac-equation to "work", you need matrices of the following form: $Tr(\alpha^i) = 0$. Eigenvalues +1 or -1 2 previous points together: equal number of negative and ...
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5answers
651 views

Time Dilation - How does it know which Frame of Reference to age slower?

Okay, I'm asking a question similar to this one here: Time Dilation - what happens when you bring the observers back together?. Specifically, I am curious about a specific angle on the second part of ...