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

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Usage of tensors in physics

As I understand it, tensors are multi-linear maps that map vectors (and dual vectors) to real (or complex) numbers, but I'm hoping to gain some intuition as to why they are useful in physics. Is it ...
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Why Use the Non-Relativistic Momentum Operator in Relativistic Quantum Mechanics?

In deriving the Klein Gordon equation one starts out with the relativistic energy relation E^2 = p^2 + m^2 and substitutes the quantum momentum operator that corresponds to non-relativistic QM, p = -i ...
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Michelson–Morley experiment's aether; Why is the time gained from travelling downwind less than that lost travelling upwind?

From the Wikipedia article on the Michelson–Morley experiment, explaining one of the concepts behind the landmark experiment: "If the Earth is traveling through an aether medium, a beam reflecting ...
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63 views

Does relativistic glider violate principle of equivalence?

The relativistic glider proposed can slow down the fall of an object in gravitational field. Will this violate the principle of equivalence which says that one cannot distinguish between free falling ...
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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 ~ ...
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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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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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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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43 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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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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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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Frame dragging VS Mach's principle: rotating body in an empty universe

What I understand about Mach's principle VS modern physics: According to classical physics, there are ways to distinguish weather a body is rotating or not. For example if it is rotating, the ...
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Are objects like $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu \nu} b^{\mu \nu}$ consistent with Einstein summation?

I'm familiar with Einstein' summation notation and I understand objects like $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu \nu}$ just fine. But I'm wondering why I've never come across objects like this: $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu ...
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41 views

What is a Geodetic?

What is a geodetic? First I thought it was a typo (hehehe..). To me, the term "geodetic" is used to describe a curve that belongs to a congruence of geodesics...but, I also think I'm wrong. ...
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What would happen, gravitationally, to ships passing by each other at high speeds vs high accelerations?

Consider this scenario: Two identical space ships, the SS Observer and the SS Accelerator. In scenario A, the SS Accelerator is accelerated up to near C, stops accelerating, then flies past the SS ...
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65 views

The Inertial theory of Sciama and an electromagnetic analogue

In 1952 D. W. Sciama introduced a paper On the origin of inertia. It presents a method in which inertia could arise from other mass in the universe. It goes along these lines: If you try to ...
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62 views

What is the force between two points in space due to expansion of space between them?

Is there any way(equations?) to calculate the force between two points due to the expansion of the space between them? (To clearify the question I should add that the reason we donot expand while the ...
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153 views

Magnetic force between two point charges

I tried to derive the magnetic force between two point-charges for iterative computation. Starting out with Lorentz force and Biot–Savart law for a point charge. $$ \vec F = q_2( - \Delta \vec{v} ...
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83 views

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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119 views

What is static mass increase effect predicted by General relativity?

According to wikipedia, static mass increase is predicted by Einstein's General Relativity. In the book 'The Meaning of Relativity' by Einstein, inertia will increase when the object is near a ...
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95 views

Will relativistic glider cause lower gravitational force in Newtonian gravitation?

In the articles The relativistic glider and The relativistic glider revisited, the relativistic glider is proposed where a quasi-rigid body can slow down its fall under gravity without any reaction ...
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84 views

What is the physical meaning of the norm of the electromagnetic four-potential?

In SI units this would be $\frac{1}{c^2}\phi^2 - A_x^2 - A_y^2 - A_z^2$. Is this just not a physically meaningful quantity at all because it's not gauge invariant?
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Are signals exchanged between a rotating frame and a central frame assymetric?

This question pertains to EM signals exchanged between an inertial central clock and an orbiting clock i.e. non-inertial frame. (I edited out the variables connected with gravity and separation ...
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300 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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130 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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Can deformations of time-space continuum violates law of momentum conservation?

Based on Einstein’s theory of relativity a mass as property of physical objects creates deformation of time-space continuum. Therefore the light path bends in gravitational fields of massive objects. ...
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Pair production in different reference frames

I understand that energy of photons is defined by their wavelength/frequency. This frequency (and so energy) will be different for different observers: observer moving towards the photon will see ...
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34 views

Electron in a Magnetic Field: Force parallel to velocity?

According to the four-force given in this question, Force is parallel to velocity. But the Lorentz Force is perpendicular to velocity in a constant magnetic field. Is this a contradiction? [a ...
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21 views

Is absorption probality modulated by interferance instanteneous or retarded effect?

Let say the absorption probability at some atom 1 location is modulated by photo ionized electron wave (ionized from 1) that scatters by neighboring atom 2 and returns to the 1. (Around the absorption ...
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How is specific output chosen in circular synchrotrons to radiate X-rays?

Accelerating charged particles are supposed to emit radiation. In sychrotrons does the particles emit always during the circular motion or only at specific location (undulator) ?
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42 views

Thought experiment on special relativity

If we were travelling in a spaceship, accelerating (arbitrary value) from a velocity 0, and we assumed that times and distances outside of the spaceship remained the same as that of ours, would we be ...
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46 views

What is wrong with this derivation of the lorentz factor

in attempting to derive the lorentz contraction, I assumed that light speed is measured the same from all inertial reference frames. The situation set up is object A is standing still, whilst object B ...
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Real and relative velocity formula

What i need is a thing more complicated than the usual relative velocity formula. Imagine a radar. You are at the center, moving at some angle, but lets make it clear, you are always at the center. ...
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Stress-Energy Tensor of Riemann's Curvature Field

Einstein, in "The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity," as well as most modern lecturers in the subject, use a pseudo-tensor for the stress-energy of the gravitational field. By ...
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Charged Universe and charge-dependent inertia/anti-inertia

I posted this same question as a follow up for the main question here. I expected to get a quick answer but since none have come up I raise it as a topic in its own right. So the question is: Suppose ...
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What would be seen if a firing laser is accelerated to relativistic speeds then back?

Consider this scenario: Two identical space ships, the SS Observer and the SS Accelerator. Each ship is spherical with a band of mirrored material around the outside and contains a green laser. They ...
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Age difference between hands and feet due to relativity?

According to relativity time passes faster the faster something moves, and gravity slows time. My head is moving faster than my feet (assuming I'm not at one of the poles). My head is further away ...
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Why is special relativity still in use, if general relativity is more broad?

I always thought special relativity is only there because it is the building block for "The General theory of Relativity", until recently I encountered a text from my course book given below. A ...
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Graduate level orbital mechanics book

I recently finished an undergraduate course in classical mechanics and really enjoyed the subject, particularly the sections regarding the mechanics of orbits. I am considering pursuing a graduate ...
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4-velocity in an accelerated frame

I am trying to check some calculations of the displacement tensor from a paper that has been given to me by my advisor. And it seems I am stuck on the form of the 4-velocity in an accelerated frame. ...
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Explicit calculation using metric tensor

I'm trying to calculate the following quantity: $$S_{\bar{\alpha} \bar{\beta}} \equiv \left( \Lambda^{-1} \right)^\alpha_{ \ \bar{\alpha}} \left( \Lambda^{-1} \right)^\beta_{ \ \bar{\beta}} ...
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Michelson-Morley expression for relative phase

I am trying to find the relative phase when ether is propagating vertically versus when ether is propagating horizontally. The question is written below When the light (of wavelength) is split at the ...
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26 views

Index Placement for Spinors in Relativity

This may ultimately be a silly question, but a pedantic mind like mine gets tied into knots over differing notation. (Disclaimer: I'm a mathematician.) Let $\mathbb{W}$ be a complex two-dimensional ...
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37 views

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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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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54 views

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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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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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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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 ...