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

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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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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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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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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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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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Which is the corrispondent of the Lorentz's transformation in general relativity?

The Lorentz's transformations tell us how space and time change in a flat case? There are a more general and powerfull transformation for general relativity?
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what are the relativistic/cosmological implications on a long rigid body? [duplicate]

This is my first question. Hope it's in respect of quality standards. Let's suppose to have a "long" rigid almost unbreakable bar of fixed negligible diameter . (we can imagine it as a rigid wire) ...
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Does a fixed amount of gas have slighty more mass when at a higher temperature?

According to relativity, energy and mass are equivalent. Does this mean that the energy added to a fixed amount of gas when it is heated adds slightly to the mass of the gas? The difference would be ...
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Is there a name for the linear quantity corresponding to the (quadratic) “interval $\Delta s^2$”?

Recently it has been affirmed here (again) that the quantity called "interval (also 'spacetime interval' or 'invariant interval')" is referring to two (in general distinct) events as arguments, such ...
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Relativity - Diffraction Of Light

Following thought experiment. Inside a rocket, right in the middle, we place two lasers pointing in opposite directions. Both emitting the same wavelength. The Left wall of the rocket is L1 while ...
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General Relativity - Four Velocity Derivative Question

I am trying to get my head around a small point used in a book I am reading about General Relativity. The book states that because $u_au^a = c^2$ it follows that $u_a \nabla_b u^a = 0 $ The first ...
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Does relativity in any way “disprove” Newton? [duplicate]

I was reading a science magazine and it claimed that Einstein's theory of relativity disproves all of Newtonian physics. I was highly skeptical because all we have been learning at school is Newtonian ...
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Are there computerized ontologies for Relativity and (Experimental) Physics? How to contribute?

As machines and automation can generally assist humanity in physical activities, and even exceed mere human capabilities, so, increasingly, also in tasks of reasoning. A basic component of the latter ...
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What exactly is meant by “locating points in spacetime”, in the RT?

In this (presently quite popular) answer to another recent question of mine concerning foundations of the (Einstein's) theory of relativity, it is asserted that "Any observer can construct a ...
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Is there any evidence for the increase of mass due to time dilation also causing a strengthening in said mass' gravity? [duplicate]

Logically it make sense that gravity would strengthen with an increase of mass but I want to know if there is evidence for this.
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How can we represent the 3 space coordinates uniquely by one point that can be put on a single axis?

In the Space-Time diagram (in the rest frame) we often take the Space axis as the horizontal axis and the time axis as the axis perpendicular to it as in the given figure. While there are other ...
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Space: a vacuous void or an entity?

I am a chemist and, until recently, a senior Research Manager with a major chemical company. Please excuse the potentially naive ramblings of an idiot in what follows, but I do not have the ...
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Could gravitational waves and electromagnetic waves/light be the same thing? [duplicate]

They travel at the same speed, why? Maybe they are the same thing, but seen from different perspectives.
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Weizsäcker–Williams approximation

I'm having some trouble understanding the Weizsäcker-Williams approximation What I think it is is the following: I have a charged particle at high speed, close to the speed of light, at this speed ...
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Is the intuition of “absolute simultaneity” necessarily wrong?

I read about Einstein’s theories of relativity with all the interesting stuff like time dilation, mass increase and whatnot. And also about the relativity or conventionality of simultaneity. The ...
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Do photons exert gravity? [duplicate]

I read about GR today and came across the Bonnor beam. As I understand it, two parallel light beams (in a flat space) will in fact creep – slowly – towards each other. As Wikipedia puts it: On the ...
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Relativistic addition of velocities in the y-direction? [closed]

I've been having some difficulty with the problem described below, please have a look: Two particles with identical masses (m) undergo a collision. Before the collision they move with velocities ...
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How can I calculate time dilation as viewed from an accelerated frame?

Imagine I am speeding past you at near the speed of light, at a constant velocity. It is very simple for me to calculate what I will see looking at you. According to the Lorentz transformations from ...
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What would we see if a camera orbiting close to light speed beamed down images of us on earth?

If a camera was sent up in a satellite, put in orbit at close to light speed, and instructed to beam down images to earth, what would we see if we watched its video feed? (Ignoring the fact that ...
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What are the differences between special and general relativity? [duplicate]

What are the differences between special relativity and general relativity? I am looking for a naive, non-mathematical explanation.
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Laws of physics for a point in cyclical 2D motion

A follow up question to the question in What does the statement "the laws of physics are invariant" mean? and Formal definition of an observer? Which laws of physics are they talking about ...
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Will the center of mass of the whole system change when object swims on curved surface?

In the example given here, the object can move on the frictionless surface of the sphere by changing its shape periodically. So will the center of mass of the whole system change after the object ...
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Relative time difference and the gravitational potential of the geoid

I'm having trouble with something from a problem set on relativity and time. We are given the equation for time elapsed on a clock on the Earth's surface relative to time at the geocenter ...
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Possible Lack of Invariance in Two Inertial Reference Frame Scenarios

Two objects are connected together via a ideal spring which is compressed initially. Then the spring is released, the two balls are no longer connected and go their separate ways. Assume no other ...
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What does velocity relative to CMB mean? [duplicate]

I've see some velocities such as that of the Sun quoted as "relative to the cosmic microwave background"? How is this different to measuring velocities relative to that old, discredited idea, the ...
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What would an relativistically expanding sphere look like for an external observer?

Consider a reflecting sphere, whose radius is increasing at constant rate V close to light speed. What would the collision look like for a remote observer stationary relative to the centre of the ...
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Does a body curve spacetime at higher velocities? [duplicate]

Suppose we have two objects where the distance over time decreases. Now, as I understand it, general relativity says that we can observe the Universe from the perspective of both objects an get a ...
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Using Special Relativity in Uniform Circular Motion [duplicate]

Can one utilize the formulas of Special Relativity in uniform circular motion? The radial component of the object does accelerate, but sometimes we are just interested in its tangential speed. Here ...
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Two-Observer Spacetime Diagram

What is the significant in a two-observer spacetime diagram's primed axes? More specifically, the area enclosed by them. Obviously, if an event occurs within the axes, it is simple to find its ...
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Books on special and general relativity? [duplicate]

I have idea about all the theories related to space and time and stuff. But I wanna dig deep into it and understand all the theories like special and general relativity to begin with for now. Can ...
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Time dilation in outer space vs in a gravitational field? [duplicate]

I have been wondering how could aging process differ for a person moving close to velocity of light or for a person close to a very strong gravitational field compared to a person who is in a slow ...
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Can a characterization of “inertial motion” be expressed in terms of interval ratios?

Consider a "material point" $A$ having taken part in the two distinct events $\varepsilon_{A J}$, and $\varepsilon_{A Q}$, as well as in additional events "inbetween", such as any event ...
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Thomas Precession of an orbiting electron

So I am working through a problem on Thomas Precession. The set up is that we're given at lab time zero, the initial spin of an electron in circular orbit is: $$ ...
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Time Dilation, Multiple Earth's?

I was reading about time dilation and suddenly a question raised in my mind. (This might be a misconception but please do correct me if I am wrong) I read that if we travel near to the speed of ...
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Doppler effect for the electrons emitted from ions moving at a particular velocity

If I have ions moving in X axis (along both directions; positive X axis and negative X axis) and if I irradiate laser along the positive X axis, electron will be ejected from the ions (if I am using a ...
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Are photons travelling in future? Are they lifespan 0 (or close to 0)? [duplicate]

We know that if we are going closer to speed of light, we are travelling in future. Since the photons are travelling at the speed of light, that means that they are travelling into future? Also, if ...
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Conditions that the coordinate must satisfy in order to become local inertial

Consider the coordinate transformation $$ \tilde x^a=x^a+\frac{1}{2}\Gamma^a_{bc}x^bx^c $$ I have shown that at the origin $O=(0,0,0,0)$, $$ \frac{\partial\tilde g_{ab}}{\partial\tilde x^c}=0 $$ ...
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(Special Relativity) Points that can be seen by an observer

Let the metric be $$ ds^2=(1+gz)^2dt^2-dx^2-dy^2-dz^2 $$ where $g$ is a positive constant. Let an observer be stationary at $x=y=0$ on the surface $z=0$ and look upwards at an angle $\theta$, how ...
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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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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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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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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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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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At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
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Isn't Dark Matter just an Indication that Relativity breaks down when describing large masses? [duplicate]

It seems to me that Dark Matter is just an indication that our models of gravity do not scale to the level of galaxies, and thus like Newtonian physics, it is a powerful but incomplete model of the ...