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

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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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Can relativistic momentum (photons) be used as propulsion for 'free' after the initial generation?

In discussing this question about propelling a spacecraft with photons and their relativistic momentum, the author asked that I restate my comment as another question. If photons can really be used ...
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135 views

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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93 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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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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201 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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258 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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71 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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2k 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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61 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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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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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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183 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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261 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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38 views

can interaction between a massless fermion and external sourse exist?

For example, let's consider the electromagnetic interaction between a massless fermion and a electromagnetic externel sourse $A^\mu$, then the lagrangian is ...
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67 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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111 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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1answer
111 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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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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218 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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213 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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100 views

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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1answer
37 views

Relativity's effects on centripetal motion [duplicate]

I am wondering if, for a particle moving close to the speed of light (so that we must examine things relativistically rather than classically) does the centripetal force equation $F_c=m\frac{v^2}{r}$ ...
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69 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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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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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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126 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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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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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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1answer
183 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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1answer
149 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
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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Is it really “time” that is dilating?

Consider the following variation of the twin paradox: A clock or a biological system ultimately is an electromagnetic system. First, let’s devise a new time measuring device. Imagine a tank of ...
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When High-Speed Traveler is On Differently-Shaped Surface Compared to Observer, What Does Observer See When He/She Goes Around Corner?

As stated in my other question, the length of a traveler going at relativistic speeds compared to an observer only gets contracted in a single direction, i.e. the direction of motion. Well, what ...
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Relative effects of forces

Excuse me for my ignorance but I really couldn't find a solution. According to Einstein, every happening is possible to describe by both of interacted objects. Is there any other way to describe the ...
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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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66 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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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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118 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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27 views

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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42 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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25 views

A question about a relation between time-like world lines

Given any Lorentzian manifold containing three distinct time-like world lines $L$, $A$ and $B$ such that $L$ and $A$ have exactly one common coincidence event, $\mathcal{E}_{AL}$, $L$ and $B$ have ...
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71 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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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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78 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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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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1answer
361 views

Spacetime and Timelike Intervals

The difference between a “timelike” spacetime interval and a “spacelike” spacetime interval can be understood in the following way: If the spacetime interval between two events is timelike, there ...
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Relativity Problem Given Rest Length and Proper Time

A relativistic train with a rest length of 500.0 m takes 780 ns to pass a stationary observer standing on the train platform, as measured by the stationary observer. (a) What is the speed ...
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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 ...