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

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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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145 views

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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103 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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218 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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102 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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40 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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84 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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78 views

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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141 views

Speed cannot be greater than speed of light. How about acceleration? Does it have limit?

We know that $c$ is the largest speed in the universe. How about the acceleration, does it has limit?
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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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1answer
67 views

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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249 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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195 views

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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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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234 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
83 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
138 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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1answer
80 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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4answers
201 views

Expected result of vertical Michelson-Morley Experiment [duplicate]

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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68 views

twin paradox inferring cosmic speed limit

As I understand it, the twin paradox was integral to Einstein's conclusion that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Why wasn't there a similar conclusion for a hypothetical scenario ...
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219 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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415 views

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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Did relativity make Newtonian mechanics obsolete?

Did Einstein completely prove Newton wrong? If so, why we apply Newtonian mechanics even today? Because Newton said that time is absolute and Einstein suggested it relative? So, if fundamentals are ...
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1answer
65 views

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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2answers
298 views

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
168 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
128 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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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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1answer
180 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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4answers
153 views

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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1answer
346 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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2answers
200 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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342 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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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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211 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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2answers
164 views

Circular motion and time dilation

Einsteins' time paradox was shown when two atomic clocks were synchronized and one was sent in a super sonic plane and the other kept at rest. When the two where then checked it was shown that yes ...
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1answer
61 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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1answer
75 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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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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1answer
317 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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699 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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215 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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195 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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123 views

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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200 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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121 views

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 = ...
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Does velocity or acceleration cause time dilation?

What causes time dilation? Acceleration or velocity? I've seen multiple comments on this forum that assert velocity is the cause, but that doesn't seem right to me. You can't have velocity without ...
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2answers
818 views

Gravitational Time Dilation with big masses

From Wikipedia I read that the formula for calculating the time dilation caused by a mass is $t_0 = t_f{\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}}}$ where: $t_0$ is the proper time between events A and B for a ...
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Is my grandmother alive for some alien who is located on some place and is moving with some speed?

(I am science fiction writer. I had a goal in my novel to argue that time travel to past will not be available even in future. I asked here how to argue that. I collected answers and analyzed them and ...