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

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Does a single electron moving at velocity $v$ have an associated magnetic field, ignoring intrinsic spin?

I have seen explanations of the magnetic field due to an electric current as being due to a Lorentz contraction of the moving electric charges. Would this explanation work for a single electron. There ...
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1answer
243 views

Finding wave-fuctions of a Dirac particle for given 4-momentum and spin 4-vector

I've been reading through various materials on relativistic quantum mechanics, but I find the lack of simple examples disturbing. I'm acquainted with the general form the solutions to the Dirac ...
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3answers
446 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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61 views

Are gravitational waves constrained by special relativity (speed of light)? [duplicate]

In Lawrence Krauss's excellent book "Universe from Nothing" and his related lectures, he cites findings of the BOOMERANG-instrument observations in Anarctica as used to measure the diameter of ...
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1answer
65 views

How far can a sub-light-speed particle travel? And how fast will it arrive? [duplicate]

If we send a photon away from earth, it would eventually reach a comoving distance of about 16.5 billion light years (the universe's event horizon). I'm interested in how far (in comoving distance) ...
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1answer
91 views

Does the magnetic force depend on the reference frame?

Force due to a moving charge = qvB Immagine a charge moving with some velocity on earth and I calculate the force due to its magnetic field with Earth as reference frame for me. An astronaut in space ...
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1answer
166 views

relation between speed and temperature in relativistic gas

What is the correct formulation of the relation between the speed and temperature in the relativistic kinetic gas? I have found one mentioned in problem 3.24 of the third edition of Pathria's ...
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0answers
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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1answer
68 views

Special relativity, electromagnetic fields, charge and Q

Is it true, were Coulomb's constant k to be several orders of magnitude smaller, that there would be no (or increasingly negligible) magnetic fields generated by moving charges? The reason being the ...
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5answers
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Light's oscillation in time

Electromagnetic waves have electric (and magnetic) fields that oscillate spatially and with time. But light, moving at the universal speed limit, is a "space-like" object according to relativity since ...
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0answers
161 views

What are the equations of motion that model near light speed orbits of a massive body about incredibly massive bodies?

In Kip Thorne's recently published book, The Science of Interstellar, he describes, by means of an illustration, the complex nature of a spacecraft orbiting a massive black hole with velocities ~ 0....
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0answers
66 views

Is there a theory that physically explains the origin equivalence principle / explains gravity via acceleration?

I've been thinking about how gravity could arise from a 4th dimensional spinning cylinder with space-time that has pliability like rubber (which I think is a generally accepted analogy). The ...
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1answer
65 views

Measuring time dilation

After watching a certain recent film, I started wondering whether it would be possible to create a watch (or, more likely due to the sizes of the components, a clock) capable of measuring one's time ...
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1answer
75 views

Relativistic Induced Magnetic Field in particle's frame

Suppose there is a constant magnetic field: $\vec{\mathbf{B}} = B \hat{z}$. A charged particle orbits that magnetic field perpendicular to the magnetic field, and induces a magnetic field in the ...
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0answers
69 views

How is force felt at relativistic speeds?

Hypothetically, should a force feel the same as its measured force at relativistic speeds? Obviously a human body would not survive the force of a rotation at say, 0.6 the speed of light, but it’s ...
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1answer
319 views

Relativity of simultaneity and the second law of thermodynamics? [closed]

Has the connection been noted between these two? I have been studying special relativity and in learning Minkowski diagrams I have noticed that as v approaches c, the relativity of simultaneity is so ...
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0answers
83 views

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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56 views

Accelerated charge in relativistic frame

An accelerated charge radiates energy as electromagnetic waves. Imagine a point charge at rest in an inertial frame We are standing on a frame accelerating with respect to the charge. Now with respect ...
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0answers
45 views

How do we generalize limitations on the propagation speed of sinusoidal waves to limitations for transmitting any kind of information?

Our calculations on EM waves basically deal with harmonic waves and through such calculations and relations, we derive some relations and limitations for wave like phenomena. Of these relations are ...
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0answers
129 views

How to name different approaches to relativistic quantum theory

In the introductory chapter of the QFT book by Mark Srednicki the author notes that [p. 26] So now we have two different approaches to relativistic quantum theory [...] Which [one of those two] we ...
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0answers
194 views

How do I extend the Lorentz transformation metric to dimensions>4?

How do I extend the general Lorentz transformation matrix (not just a boost along an axis, but in directions where the dx1/dt, dx2/dt, dx3/dt, components are all not zero. For eg. as on the Wikipedia ...
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1answer
50 views

The speed of light and sound in materials

Obviously, nothing moves faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. Light propagates through materials slower than in a vacuum, and that rate is often related to the specific frequency. Is there a ...
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1answer
127 views

Does Gravity Warp Coulomb's force?

Does gravity effect the "sphericalness" of the Coulomb force? For example, is the field 1 meter above a charge weaker than the field 1 meter below the charge? Could a 0.014% difference in the field ...
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6answers
205 views

Wouldn't backwards time travel break the law of conservation of mass? [closed]

We know from the law of conservation of mass that the amount of mass in the universe is constant. Suppose there were a way for a person to travel backwards in time. Let's call this mass $m_t$ for some ...
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4answers
124 views

How should observers determine whether they can be described as being “defined on a Lorentzian manifold”?

Consider infinitely many distinguishable observers, no two of whom ever meet; and who generally "keep sight of each other", but not necessarily "each keeping sight of all others". How should they ...
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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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2answers
114 views

Particle accelerators reaching light speed [duplicate]

I just have a question in mind that's stuck in my head, and it's why particle accelerators cannot accelerate any particle to the speed of light. I'm assuming it involves Einstien's theory of ...
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2answers
559 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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2answers
541 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
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3answers
70 views

What is the $ds^2$ notation in relativistic physics?

Could someone please explain me intuitively how $ds^2$ represents distance in relativistic physics?
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4answers
128 views

Is there anything we are aware of that can't be slowed by time dilation?

While thinking about the ambitions of this post: Can radioactivity be slowed through time dilation? I was asking myself, is there even anything that is dependent on time and can't be slowed through ...
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112 views

Precedence and quantum entanglement: The Alain Aspect experiment in spacetime

Recall that the spin components of a spin-entangled pair do not exist until one of the pair undergoes quantum observation, at which time both of the pair immediately obtain quantum random opposing ...
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1answer
170 views

Does spin-0 or spin-2 describe massive or massless particles?

spin-0 is massive or massless? How does we separate the massive and massless degrees of freedom for spin-2? What is the partially massive?
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2answers
153 views

How can a photon have energy when its mass is zero? [duplicate]

How can a photon have energy when its mass is zero? According to Einstein's equation $E = mc^2$ energy depends on $mass*c^2$ Light has zero mass so the energy would be zero too but solar cells use ...
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1answer
77 views

How much real and how much relative is our universe?

Apologies in advance if my question appears more philosophical than practical. It is indeed philosophy, but a philosophy relating to our scientific understanding of the universe as a whole. Special ...
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1answer
59 views

Derivation of superluminality in astronomy

Can somebody provide derivation of the relativistic explanation of (apparent) superluminality in astronomy? The derivation on wikipedia seems to be a bit confusing.
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3answers
298 views

Are some events simultaneous in all reference frames? (Einstein goes drinkin')

If simultaneity is not a universal characteristic (eg. events are not simultaneous in all reference frames), then why do some events seem to be simultaneous in all reference frames as in the following ...
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3answers
724 views

How to prove the raising/lowering indices operation?

I've read this related question, though it didn't satisfy me; I hope this complements it. I know that if I contract a covariant tensor ${A_{\alpha\beta}}$ with a vector ${B^\beta}$, I get some other ...
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1answer
206 views

Time Dilation Question

I know physicists don't often like to hear about "photon's frame of reference", so I apologize in advance :) If the time dilation at the speed on light is infinite, it should mean that if Bob is ...
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1answer
52 views

Is light relative? [duplicate]

I was wondering, if two cars (A and B) are going at different velocities let's say A=90km/h, B=80km/h then if we add the two speeds we get 170km/h meaning they are relative to each other. But if one ...
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1answer
130 views

Proper acceleration of a stationary object

What is the proper acceleration measured for a stationary object? is it 9.8 or 0? Thank you.
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2answers
88 views

Lorentz Transformations and time of event

Consider two inertial frames, $F$ and $F'$, such that $F'$ moves at $\mathbf{v} = (v,0,0)$ with respect to $F$ (assume $v > 0$). Suppose tat $x = x\prime = 0$, when $t = t' = 0$, where $x,t$ refer ...
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2answers
166 views

Question about basic formalism of GR and the metric tensor

I really don't know much about GR, but I've come across a few rough sketches of its formalism in my DG books. I'm trying to piece it together to get a very basic intuition of what spacetime is in GR. ...
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4answers
294 views

Which one is inertial frame?

I'd like to ask a question which made me confused. I think that, e.g., a man falling to earth could think himself as stationary and the Earth as accelerating towards him. But I, as an observer, I ...
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4answers
644 views

Why are we still teaching Newtonian physics if it's “false”? [duplicate]

Why are we teaching an outdated theory when the math in general relativity isn't that hard? I really don't see a reason why we should teach a highly oversimplified theory in our schools. For me, it's ...
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1answer
128 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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1answer
148 views

Does anything apart from gravity and relative velocity affect time?

I have been learning about time and the different dilation effects of gravity and relative velocity. I was wondering, are there any other factors that can affect time?
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2answers
134 views

Points in Spacetime

Assume there are two points in spacetime $a=(t,x,y,z)$ and $a'=(t',x',y',z')$. Let's say that the first one is in the origin of spacetime i.e. $a=(0,0,0,0)$. The point $a'$ has two possibilities $a'=...
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1answer
681 views

What is the Lorentz tensor with a superscript and subscript index?

I have been reading about symmetries of systems' actions, e.g. the Polyakov action, and I have encountered Lorentz transformations of the form: $\Lambda^{\mu}_{\nu} X^{\nu}$. I am moderately familiar ...
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1answer
375 views

Time travel to future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is time travel possible? Is time travel possible? According to my friend, it is possible to go to the future but not the past. In Physics, particles move faster than the ...