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

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Index Placement for Spinors in Relativity

This may ultimately be a silly question, but a pedantic mind like mine gets tied into knots over differing notation. (Disclaimer: I'm a mathematician.) Let $\mathbb{W}$ be a complex two-dimensional ...
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3answers
136 views

can a spaceship decelerate relativistically? [closed]

Say I have a spaceship, and on board is a laboratory set to accomplish some sort of experiment, simulation, or computation which might take upwards of a few hundred years or more to complete. Instead ...
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53 views

Metric Tensor and Strain Rate Tensor- Comparison of Units

Is there any way the metric tensor can have a dimension in general relativity? I ask because there is an equation where the strain rate tensor of continuum mechanics is expressed as a difference of ...
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2answers
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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1answer
104 views

Acceleration of objects with speeds comparable to $c$. Can we find acceleration of the frame by treating $v$ in $1/\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}$ as variable?

We know that the $v-t$ graph for constant acceleration is a straight line. But when the speed becomes comparable to $c$, the speed of light, relativistic effects come into play. Suppose if a rocket on ...
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1answer
53 views

Why Space Element of Four Momentum Vector is 3 Momentum Vector?

For example, if we look at the relation between space element of 4-velocity and 3-velocity; and space element of 4-force and 3-force $V = v\cdot\gamma(v)$ $F = f\cdot\gamma(v)$ But ...
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3answers
119 views

At what rate would I travel back in time at $2c$? [closed]

I was thinking about Einstein's equations and the solutions using imaginary mass and imaginary time. How fast would I have to travel over $c$ to be traveling back in time at minus one meter per second?...
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1answer
109 views

Is This Educational Model of Relativity Right? [closed]

After watching and reading about Special Relativity I am still left with some questions unanswered. Can you please tell me if this educational model of relativity, simplified to level of a cartoon, ...
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2answers
90 views

How to literally slow time [closed]

Let's say there is this car in a bubble of some sort. I want to slow time for that car in the bubble, let's say, by half so if the car is going 40 mph, outside of the bubble, people see it as going 80 ...
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9answers
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“Reality” of length contraction in SR

I was in argument with someone who claims that length contraction is not "real" but only "apparent", that the measurement of a solid rod in its rest reference frame is the "real length" of the rod and ...
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75 views

Two synchronised clocks accelerated perpendicular to Earth's gravitational field [duplicate]

If I have two synchronized (at the station while waiting for me) clocks on a train, one at front and the other one at back, and I start to accelerate the train perpendicular to Earth's gravitational ...
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2answers
175 views

Acceleration to lightspeed using gravity

Suppose we have a very advanced spaceship that (aside from colliding with planets or entering a blackhole) is indestructable, and can go very fast, but is incapable of moving at lightspeed on it's own....
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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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81 views

Relativistic Effects of Radioactive Decay in Carbon Dating

Theoretically if in early years the earth was moving at an astronomically different pace (whether in orbit or rotation, whatever sounds better) wouldn't that alter the science of carbon dating? As I ...
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2answers
154 views

The Twin Paradox using reference frame following the ship

The Twin Paradox is undoubtedly one of the most discussed things in special relativity and have a tendency to confuse most of us. Classically, it's resolved by either stick to one of the three ...
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1answer
105 views

Black Holes and Einstein Field Equations

I recently watched a video where Michio Kaku argues that there must be something fundamentally wrong with the theory of General Relativity because it gives time t=0 as a solution at the centre of a ...
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1answer
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Do matter that falls in a black hole go to the future and the end of the universe?

Black holes are black because everything that enters don't exists anymore. When you pass the event horizon, the time stops for you, all the future of the universe has passed for you and the universe ...
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2answers
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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1answer
101 views

Einsteins thought experiment on travelling with a light wave

This might be better suited to the science.history.SE; but I thought I would try here first. Einstein reportedly considered a thought experiment where one considers travelling alongside a light wave; ...
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2answers
90 views

Help with relativity simultaneity paradox

To begin I will explain briefly a classic thought experiment used to demonstrate simultaneity; There is a 100m long train rushing towards a 100m tunnel at a fraction of the speed of light, from an ...
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2answers
136 views

If there is no definite speed in the universe, only relative speeds, how does energy increase when velocity approaches the speed of light?

Is the concept of energy increasing as it approaches the speed of light based on the fact that this is only true relative to the observer? Lets say, there's a scenario where a person in a rocket ...
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1answer
42 views

Ligth clock with spaceships side-by-side

In the reference frame of an observer, two spaceships travel in a straight direction (e.g. x axis) at a very high velocity and side-by-side; the distance between them is always d (km) = c (km/s) x 0.1 ...
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2answers
152 views

How do we know the speed of light is constant and spacetime dilates rather than vice versa?

Some conspiracy nut was telling me that Einstein was BS and there's a giant conspiracy that he's wrong but scientists would loose all their jobs if they admitted it. Of course this is all baloney, ...
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3answers
219 views

Why the nonexistence of a “one sentence layman phrase” for the de Broglie relation $p=\hbar k$? [closed]

(My question seems most likely will be considered a duplicate of OP (and possibly 1, 2, 3), but it turns out to be WAY TOO LONG as a comment in OP, and the system has deleted the corresponding chat ...
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2answers
558 views

Relativistic Energy

The question stated: By what percentage does your rest mass increase when you climb 30m to the top of a ten-story building? New to the concept of relativistic energy, I was a bit confused with ...
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4answers
290 views

Using Lorentz transformations

The question states that two particles in a high-energy accelerator experiment approach each other head-on with a relative speed of $0.890 \, c$. Both particles travel at the same speed on a straight ...
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37 views

Clarification of Type D space-time

I've asked this question on MathOverflow but received no feedback, so I thought I'd try better luck here. I've read the following formulation of the Goldberg-Sachs theorem in Chandrasekhar's ...
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553 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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3answers
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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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1answer
50 views

Model of spherical wave fronts in relativity

In relativity, the 3-surface formed by light rays emanating from an event as they evolve in time has the shape of a hypercone wich is flat. I have difficulties seeing how can a spherical wave front, ...
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4answers
196 views

Can you tell your absolute speed in space?

Normally in relativity your speed can only be known relative to another object, given that as one approaches light speed more energy is required to accelerate faster, based on the energy consumption ...
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1answer
61 views

Can everything be described without anything needing to actually “bend”? [closed]

Is space bending because gravity actually causes small particles to move differently? If large source of gravity is somewhere are particles extending towards it, creating a "bend" in space? So "bend" ...
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1answer
80 views

would a clock at Absolute zero have no mass

since Absolute zero corresponds to the theoretical state in which particles have no energy at all. and m = E/c^2 Then would an unwound clock have zero mass if it was cooled ,theoretically , to ...
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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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1answer
171 views

Are we all moving at $c$? [duplicate]

Is it true to say that all matter in the universe is travelling with velocity c through spacetime, but that for baryonic matter most of that velocity is through the time dimensions rather than the XYZ ...
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Question on applying the force transformation in a specific case

When I try to apply the force transformation (the 3 vector one) to the describe following situation, I find a result that I can't make sense of. Hopefully someone can tell me what I'm doing wrong. ...
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33 views

Can we see the photon sphere from outside? [duplicate]

This question came to my mind when i saw the movie interstellar. In the movie there is a scene with a black hole and a sphere of light around it, what i assume to be the photon sphere. You can see it ...
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349 views

Effects of relativity on New Horizons spacecraft

How much would an atomic clock on board the new horizons spacecraft drift in comparison to an atomic clock on the surface of the earth near the equator after the spacecraft's 10 year journey to Pluto?
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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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1answer
86 views

Dirichlet boundary conditions in space-time?

In the context of string theory, and world sheets the Dirichlet boundary conditions can be written as: $$\frac{\partial X^\mu(\tau,\sigma_1)}{\partial \tau}=0$$ where $\sigma_1$ is the value of the ...
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1answer
55 views

How fast does gravitational information travel? [duplicate]

Imagine two objects with equal mass in empty space attracting each other. One of these objects moves tangentially with a very high speed (lets say 0.9c). (p1 = (0, 0) p2 = (1, 0) v1 = (0, 0) v2 = (0, ...
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70 views

What's the fastest you can slingshot from one black hole to another? [closed]

Let's say you have your spaceship orbiting around a black hole. Its orbital velocity is arbitrarily close to the speed of light (or you can just set it to c*0.99 if it makes it easier.) There is ...
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3answers
1k views

Why was general relativity needed to explain gravity?

I was thinking about this recently and I think this is a reasonable question to ask. SR can handle forces just like Newtonian physics can; the difference is that the four-force is defined a bit ...
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3answers
354 views

Why does time slow down the closer you are to a mass?

When ever i look this up all I get is sites saying how its because general relativity says "-" why does it do it though? it is because there is more motion near gravity than further away? Or is it ...
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What are the dimensions of the stress energy tensor in relativity? [duplicate]

Can anyone tell me what the dimension of the stress energy tensor is? Also, if it represents energy density, will calling it kinetic or potential energy be appropriate?
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1answer
618 views

Doesn't dating the universe violate the concept of spacetime's inseparability?

It would seem that measuring an age of the universe from the big bang requires separating spacetime into a 3D coordinate system and a time track. I fail to understand why it is appropriate to take ...
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3answers
125 views

What is the pace of absolute time

How fast or slow compared to my alarm clock time does time passes in a place where there is no gravitational pull and where you are not moving. I don't know if my question is clear, but is there some ...
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2answers
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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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5answers
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Can we find actual rest mass of things on Earth

Earth moves around the Sun and the Sun moves around the galaxy and the galaxy moves with unknown speed and direction. We have speed so the mass of us all altered. Can we know the real rest mass? If ...