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

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Is a compact universe consistent with the results of (for example) the Michelson-Morley experiment?

If the universe is compact then there is a twin paradox that is resolvable only by selecting a preferred inertial reference frame (arXiv). I was under the impression that the lack of a preferred ...
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Inertial Frames of Reference - Inertial vs. Accelerated Frames

According to Robert Resnick's book "Introduction to Special Relativity", a line states the following as the definition of an inertial frame of reference: "We define an inertial system as a frame of ...
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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 ...
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Chasing a photon [duplicate]

According to this article, the Theory of Special Relativity holds that if you were chasing a stream of light at half the speed of light, $c/2$, the light's speed relative to you would still be $c$. ...
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Is the cross section of a relativistic water hose or string always a perfect circle?

Given is a very long tube, such as a water hose or a tubular string with finite thickness, that has a constant circular cross section of radius $r$ along the length and that is at rest in an inertial ...
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Relativity conclusions from Michelson-Morley Experiment

This is what my textbook says about the Michelson-Morley experiment: "This invariance of the speed of light between inertial reference frames means that there must be some relativity principle that ...
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82 views

Relativistic Time dilation and travel to exoplanets

NASA recently discovered the first habitable exoplanet with the Kepler space telescope. Recently I was on this site: http://www.cthreepo.com/lab/math1/ With the Long Relativistic Journeys ...
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208 views

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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99 views

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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39 views

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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99 views

Is a particular force different in different frames

Can a particular real force have different magnitude in different frames?
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78 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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Is the charge of a current carrying wire real or hypothetical?

Realist753 Theory Relativistic Electrodynamics assert that a current carrying wire being neutral in a laboratory frame of reference appears electrostatically charged to an observer in relative ...
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What prevents an orbiting object from getting a speed which is greater than $c$? [duplicate]

Consider an object orbiting around a point with radius $r$ and angular velocity $\omega$. Here its linear velocity is $v=\omega r$. If we choose a large enough $r$ and reasonable $\omega$, $v$ might ...
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1answer
41 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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244 views

Alice and Bob moving in a circular ring of radius $R$

Alice and Bob are moving in opposite direction around a circular ring of Radius $R$, which is at rest in an inertial frame. Both move with constant speed $V$ as measured in that frame. Each carries a ...
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Current state of the existence of absolute space debate [closed]

Samir Okasha writes about the controversy concerning the existence of absolute space in Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction (2002): One of the intriguing things about the ...
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218 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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1answer
77 views

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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1answer
128 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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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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586 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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183 views

Light & Observer moving perpendicular to each other

Light is the yellow arrow. Observer is the black arrow. Observer is moving at a constant speed of v, w.r.t to a Galilean frame of reference. Now from the point of view of the observer (O), how ...
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Does the future already exist? If so, which one?

In the NOVA Fabric of the Cosmos program, Brian Greene explains a theory in which there is no "now", or more specifically, now is relative. He describes an alien riding a bicycle on a far off planet ...
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Why doesnt gravity speed up light?

We know that gravity speeds up a body; for instance, a meteor which enters the earth gets constantly accelerated up by earth's gravity. And from relativity we know that light bends near a massive ...
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337 views

How to find zero-point oscillations for this system?

Consider the following Hamiltonian which is absolutely relativistic literally: only sensitive to absolute pairwise relative phase space variables of objects for a system of $N$ objects moving in one ...
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293 views

Question about gravity in 1 dimension

Consider 2 pointmasses in 1D space. More specific ; object $A$ with mass $m_a$ and object $B$ with mass $m_b$. $A$ and $B$ are a distance $d$ away from eachother. Let these pointmasses $A,B$ have no ...
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Transformation of Electromagnetic Four-Tensor

I apologize if I am missing something obvious, but I am in my first class with tensors and I am still learning the notation. I am running into a problem with the transformation of the transformation ...
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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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156 views

Time dilation and relativity

We've just started with relativity and I got a question regarding an exercise we got. A spaceship passes by earth on its way to planet X, at the moment it passes by Anna is born on the spaceship. Can ...
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1answer
122 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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191 views

Relativistic beaming - which power of the Doppler factor

The context is that I'm building a simulation of a starfield, as seen from a relativistic spaceship. (EDIT: the simulation can now be found here.) One reference that I'm using is this paper by John ...
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686 views

Doesn't Warp theory violate causality?

I have heard many physicists (ex:- Michio Kaku) saying "Warp speed" from Star Trek doesn't violate any known physical laws. But doesn't it violate causality? Say, we make warp drive possible and ...
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165 views

How does Spacetime Curvature increase the velocity of particles falling towards the earth?

Two particles fall side by side, towards the earth. The horizontal distance between them is 10m. As they advance nearer and nearer to the earth's surface, the horizontal distance decreases, from 10m ...
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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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333 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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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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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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55 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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How is light affected by gravity?

Light is clearly affected by gravity, just think about a black hole, but light supposedly has no mass and gravity only affects objects with mass. On the other hand, if light does have mass then ...
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1answer
146 views

Why does Relativity effect the melting point of mercury?

I know there is a related question, that references the Dirac Equation, that relies on relativity, but I've just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnsHtYYKf0 Which seems to say ...
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Gravity from energy [duplicate]

Both energy and mass gives has gravity. If an object receives energy, it will appear heavier and space will curve slightly more around that object. That energy could be potential energy, or static ...
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480 views

Space-like and time-like: where do the names come from?

Space-like separated events are events that, in a well-chosen reference frame, can take place at the same time but never happen at the same location. On the other hand for time-like events, one can ...
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Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
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423 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
182 views

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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What is Einstein regarding as the problem of physical relativity in his lecture of 1923?

The following is the extract from Albert Einstein's lecture to the Nordic Assembly of Naturalists (July 11, 1923). If we consider that part of the theory of relativity which may nowadays in a ...
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385 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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194 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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What does $\nu$ mean in relativity?

I decided to teach myself relativity over the Christmas holiday, and I've gotten a bit stuck. Coordinates in space time can be defined by a collection of coordinates, $$ x^0 = ct \\ x^1 = x \\ x^2 = ...