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

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How to relate photon's higher frequency to time dilation?

The usual explanation for photon's higher frequency in lower altitudes (higher gravity), when the photon is going downward towards a massive body, is that gravitational potential energy is converted ...
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2answers
7k 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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1answer
505 views

Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? [closed]

1) Why are we talking about space curvature as if we know what space is? Every question about gravity seems to evoke an answer involving "space curvature" which seems like an undefined placeholder ...
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1answer
219 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
198 views

Is space curvature relative?

If I have an object that is of some length $l$ moving at a relativistic velocity $v$ for some reference frame in a 1D universe, then length contraction states that $l=\gamma\times l'$. But at the ...
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2answers
123 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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2answers
212 views

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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1answer
57 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
15k views

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
76 views

At what rate does radiation exposure occur at high-c speeds?

If a future astronaut travelled to Alpha Centauri at a significant percentage of light-speed? Apart from increased blue shifted radiation from their direction of travel - how would they experience ...
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1answer
301 views

What is the speed for an object that travel close to the speed of light?

I have some questions regarding Einsteins theory of Relativity that should be fairly easy to answer. Lets say we make an experiment where we have a rocket (with an astronaut inside) that travels very ...
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7answers
505 views

Relation between coordinates and frames of reference

I always get a little uneasy that all the theories I can think of (at least since Newton) are constructed in a way such that they would be true in heaven and on earth ... but we can never go ...
5
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1answer
277 views

Confused about indices of the Ricci tensor

In an intro to GR book the Ricci tensor is given as: $$R_{\mu\nu}=\partial_{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\lambda}-\Gamma_{\lambda \sigma}^{\lambda}\Gamma_{\mu \nu}^{\sigma}-[\partial_{\nu}\Gamma_{\mu ...
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3answers
251 views

Having trouble seeing the similarity between these two energy-momentum tensors

Leonard Suskind gives the following formulation of the energy-momentum tensor in his Stanford lectures on GR (#10, I believe): $$T_{\mu \nu}=\partial_{\mu}\phi \partial_{\nu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu ...
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0answers
183 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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2answers
637 views

How do I adjust the kinematic equations to avoid reaching speeds faster than light?

I like some 'science' in my 'science fiction', so I started crunching out the kinematic equations for some of the scenarios my characters are getting involved in, and ran smack dab into an issue. ...
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2answers
298 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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1answer
102 views

Does relativity apply to something experiencing Centripetal forces?

If I tie a rope to a clock and spin it over my head, would it lose synchronization with a clock sitting at my feet?
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3answers
4k views

How to calculate time dilation in approaching speed of light

If a spaceship travels close to the speed of light (say, at 0.9c), how do I calculate the time as the spaceship pilot experience it? I thought the formula was $$t = \frac{t_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ ...
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5answers
582 views

Does a interstellar spacecraft traveling at relativistic velocity require continous thrust to maintain velocity?

Assuming completely empty space, does a spacecraft traveling at 0.5 C require continuous thrust to avoid deceleration? If the spacecraft is traveling at 0.5 C, does it's relativistic mass act upon ...
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2answers
387 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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2answers
189 views

Using Einstein's Relativity: Who is younger?

Suppose we have a person A and a person B. Person B travels very close to speed of light and never returns. He's constant in speed. Then, we can say two things: B is younger than A. A is younger ...
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2answers
203 views

Relativistic mass as seen by different observers

Imagine there are two observers $A$ and $B$ and a particle $P$. $A$ and $B$ are at about the same point, $P$ is some distance away. From $A$'s point of view, $P$ has velocity $V$ and $B$ has ...
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3answers
176 views

When a high speed neutrino just misses an old neutron star, why isn't it trapped?

Suppose a neutrino is seen travelling so fast that its Lorentz gamma factor is 100,000. It races past an old, no longer active neutron star, narrowly missing it. As far as the neutrino is concerned, ...
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4answers
565 views

Is there an easy way to show that $x^2-t^2=1/g^2$ for a (relativistic) body undergoing acceleration g?

A professor asked me about the (c=1) equation: $$x^2 - t^2 = 1/g^2$$ which I used in a paper. Or with $c$: $$x^2 - (ct)^2 = c^4/g^2.$$ I told him that it was the exact equation of motion for a ...
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2answers
235 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
3k views

How to derive addition of velocities without the Lorentz transformation?

Lorentz contraction and time dilatation can be deduced without Lorentz transformation. Can you deduce also the theorem of addition of velocities $$w~=~\dfrac{u+v}{1+uv/c^2}$$ without Lorentz ...
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5answers
9k views

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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2answers
118 views

The relativistic mechanics of a battery that is being charged and accelerated at the same time

This might be an interesting question: Let's attach a battery into one end of an electric cable. Then we rotate the battery around, with accelerating speed, using 100 Watts of power, while the ...
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5answers
2k views

Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
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2answers
499 views

Finding the correct units for the energy-momentum tensor?

I'm trying to understand the energy-momentum tensor $T^{\mu\nu}$ but I'm confused about the units. My textbook says the components of $T^{\mu\nu}$ are $\mathrm{Jm^{-3}}$. Four-momentum is is given ...
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2answers
950 views

Mechanism by which electric and magnetic fields interrelate

I read that force due to electric field on some particle in one reference frame can exhibit itself as force due to magnetic field in some other reference frame and that electric and magnetic fields ...
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1answer
337 views

Thought experiment about acceleration

Case 1: two people wake up in spaceships accelerating at 1g. They can measure or observe anything inside the room but not outside. They couldn't determine if they were on a spaceship or on earth. ...
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1answer
332 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 ...
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1answer
271 views

Are objects in a gravitational well shortened?

Bob is in a gravitational potential well, he moves a long vertical stick up and down a distance of 1 meters. Alice observes the upper end of the stick, at upper location. There is the phenomenon of ...
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0answers
43 views

Why has the ether been disregarded as a valid medium through which light can propagate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Ether theory acceptance Although the Einstein's theory of relativity seemed to make the concept of an ether obsolete, did it necessarily invalidate it? Are there any ...
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1answer
255 views

What is the mass of individual components in a gravitationally bound system?

When material of rest mass M falls from infinity onto a black hole accretion disk, it gets heated and then emits so much light that the energy radiated away can measure up to about 30% or so of M c^2. ...
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5answers
647 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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1answer
166 views

frames of reference [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Help Me Gain an Intuitive Understanding of Lorentz Contraction Frames k and k' are inertial frames. Frame k' is moving at a velocity of magnitude v relative to frame k ...
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2answers
263 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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1answer
596 views

relativity and aberration of light

I am dealing with math and physics only at amateur level and I am writing regarding my question on relativistic aberration of light. Reading "Realtivity and Common Sense" by Hermann Bondi and some ...
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2answers
1k views

Careers in physics that are related to quantum mechanics or relativity? [closed]

Personally I learned Physics in high-school and found it very interesting, I read up a lot about physics in my free time. Personally I am also a programmer which I think is also good when it comes to ...
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4answers
699 views

Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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2answers
200 views

What will happen if we use a speed greater than light speed and find a body'motion and energy relative to it?

In Einstein's papers, he used light speed as a reference speed. What if we use a greater finite speed and do the same calculations. Won't this greater speed then be the limit.
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347 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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5answers
2k views

Why can't you escape a black hole?

I understand that the event horizon of a black hole forms at the radius from the singularity where the escape velocity is c. But it's also true that you don't have to go escape velocity to escape an ...
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2answers
241 views

Relativity and predictability

My old theoretical physics professor used to say that (already) (special?) relativity shows that "the future is not predictable". Any ideas how this should be interpreted?
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1answer
785 views

Time traveling and Time dilation within a multiplayer videogame [closed]

First thing first, I'm looking to implement this within a multiplayer videogame as a "special" skill or powerup, but, I'm willing to build it upon a physics based explanation/theory. The question may ...
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1answer
161 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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11answers
2k views

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 ...