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

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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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224 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 ...
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Is simultaneity testable?

I was reading about Andromeda paradox, and I started wondering. How can we know that the situation in the Andromeda paradox is real ? How can you know that simultaneity is real ? How can you say that ...
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Does Contraction at High Speeds Happen in Any Dimension Besides Length?

I'm not sure if this is a duplicate. Whenever physics buffs talk about Einstein's relativity (I forget which kind) at high speeds, they always talk about "length contraction", or shortening of the ...
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686 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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Would a particle the size of a neutron, if it had enough mass, collapse into a blackhole?

For example, a neutron is a particle that occupies a certain volume. If you pack enough mass into that volume, it would collapse into a black hole (I assume there is not enough mass now). At least if ...
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225 views

Can all of physics be described by simple math? [closed]

Recently I was browsing through A Dynamical Theory of electromagnetic field by Maxwell and wondered because the paper did not seem to include any vector calculus or any vectors. I thought of the ...
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125 views

Consider relativity. If a stick accelerates from a stationary state, how will it look like during the acceleration?

I mean how it will be shortened in the sight of an observer in a stationary coordinate system. It seems I was not clear enough. If the stick becomes shorter, then while this is happening, the ...
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404 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 4-...
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67 views

A rope between Earth and Moon - Length and Speed of Light [duplicate]

An earlier question was asked on what would happen if a rope was attached between Moon and Earth, but the question was more about the impacts in terms of geology. We keep the same experiment setup : ...
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620 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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782 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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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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Why can an object not reach the speed of light by falling in a gravitational field with constant acceleration?

I recently learned in school that the gravitational potential energy of an object is equal to $mgh$. I also learned that the kinetic energy of an object is $\frac12 mv^2$. If an object falls in a ...
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208 views

Does deceleration (or negative acceleration) feel like acceleration?

This may seem like a dumb question, but I'm having a hard time trying to intuit the answer. The question is in relation to Einstein's famous thought experiment which says that it is impossible for a ...
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123 views

Which is more fundamental,''constancy of speed of light'' or ''space-time''? [closed]

My friend asked me,''which is more basic or fundamental? constancy of speed of light which makes space-time behave dynamically OR dynamical behavior of space-time that makes light to travel with ...
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1answer
202 views

Has anyone yet been able to prove relativity wrong? [closed]

I was in a physics group, then a student (or a professor, I don't know) posted this- Mohammad Shafiq Khan > Physics > The space-time concept including the formula $E=mc^2$ are proved baseless in ...
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1answer
854 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
6k views

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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Relativistic 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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349 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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595 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) ...
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Is gravity Lorentz-invariant?

If I go whizzing past the Sun in my spaceship at 0.8c, I will see that the Sun looks like it has been squished. That is, it will be Lorentz-contracted along the direction of my motion (by a factor of ...
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Would Magnetic field be Zero if measured while moving along with charges?

According to Einstein's relativistic interpretation magnetic field caused by charges moving inside a wire is caused only by the relative speed between charges and the observer. So, if electrons are ...
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What would a nuclear explosion look like at relativistic speeds where time dilation and length contraction become significant?

Suppose a rocket carrying a nuclear weapon is moving past our planet at very near the speed of light while a stationary observer watches from here on Earth. As the rocket passes directly overhead, an ...
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198 views

If all energy is removed from an object, what will it stop moving relative to?

If you somehow removed all energy from an object, what would it stop moving relative to? According to relativity, an object's position is not relative to the universe, just reference points, and, as ...
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263 views

Do photons feel gravity of approaching objects only?

I have read that photons while travelling near massive objects such as the sun experience gravitational pull which is why we see some stars at different positions than they are when seen towards the ...
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1answer
143 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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176 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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178 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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Merging black holes makes them less dense, so

According to What is exactly the density of a black hole and how can it be calculated? (more specifically, John's answer here made me think: if you merge a whole load of chunks of an element heavier ...
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141 views

Newton's gravity vs Einstein's gravity

Hello so if i were to simplify the difference between gravity as seen from Newton and gravity as seen from Einstein, could i say that Einstein's gravity is just adding the fact that gravity does not ...
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1answer
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Is there a gravitational radiation reaction force?

As you may know, the linearized relativity theory (or gravitoelectromagnetism), obeys equations analogous to Maxwell's equations in electrodynamics. These equations in ED result in the troubling ...
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Does the accelerated rate of expansion of the Universe have any effect on the speed of light in vacuum?

So I was just wondering about this as I finished reading about Michelson-Morley's experiment which disproved the ether theory. My question is since the Universe is constantly expanding and that too ...
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160 views

Since the Earth is moving through space, do we experience time dilation?

What I mean is, the Earth orbits around the sun at around 30km/s, while I understand that this isn't a very high velocity does time dilation still occur to say a person who is completely stationary in ...
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1answer
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Special relativity and Lorentz transformation

I recently learned about special relativity and different reference frames. The conversion from two inertial reference frames is given by Lorentz transformations: $$x' = \frac{x-ut}{\sqrt{1-\frac{u^2}...
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106 views

The Great Atomic Clock of Kansas

It is said that astronauts on the ISS experience time slightly slower than the rest of us. (I believe that the lesser gravitational field would increase their rate of time, so that affect must be ...
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what if the time is zero in one reference frame

Consider measuring the length of an object in another frame of reference. Of course this should happen at the same instance in the frame of reference the measurement takes place in. but using Lorentz ...
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Dimensional aspects of the imaginary unit $i$ in physics [duplicate]

From a real world perspective each dimension in the 3-D Cartesian System can be represented by an axis that is perpendicular to 2 other axes. I read somewhere else that the effect of ${i}$ is to ...
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2answers
248 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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450 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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285 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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Is it possible to travel near light speed and not notice relativity?

Suppose I have no idea about relativity and find an ancient spaceship that takes me to Proxima Centauri in just 1 year more than it takes light to make the trip (so some observer might say it took ...
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72 views

Do objects' velocities slow down going into black holes? Would they appear to?

I always hear that time slows down as you enter a black hole, and when I hear this, I always mentally imagine all of a person's motions, including their net velocity relative to the black hole, ...
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301 views

Perfect fluid and Cauchy momentum equation

The stress-energy tensor of a perfect fluid is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\left(\rho+pc^{-2}\right)u^\mu u^\nu+pg^{\mu\nu}$$ The divergence of the stress-energy tensor is zero: $\nabla_\mu T^{\mu\nu}=0$. ...
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Are the words “coincident” and “simultaneous” considered synonymous? Else, please explain the difference

In discussions, experimental and thought-experimental descriptions (especially concerning the Theory of Relativity) the words "coincident" and "simultaneous" appear, notably for instance in the ...
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What exactly is meant by saying that two events had been “simultaneous in an inertial frame”?

In order to address my question based on a concrete example setup let the following two separate events be given: participants $A$ and $J$ encountering each other in passing (additional participants ...
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Distance from redshift

I am looking for a exact derivation of a relation between redshift $z$ and distance $d$. What I know is the definition $$z=\frac{\lambda_{\text{observed}}}{\lambda_{\text{unshifted}}}-1=\sqrt{\frac{1+...
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1answer
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Relativistic Effects Observed with Time Travel

Disclaimer: My domain knowledge on these topics is pretty minimal. I'm a "physics fan". From what I understand about relativity. If there are two identical objects, A and B, and A is stationary and B ...
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Pair Creation and Reference Frames

Ok, so I have a question about an example problem in my textbook (its long but not difficult to follow. My question is at the bottom after I outline the problem). Consider the situation below in frame ...