The special theory of relativity describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

2
votes
1answer
13 views

Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity?

In From Paradox to Reality: Our Basic Concepts of the Physical World By Fritz Rohrlich page 55 It states that ... just doing away with the ether would not have resolved all problems. The problems ...
2
votes
1answer
20 views

Can I fix a point in Minkowski space to give it a vector space structure?

I looked up the term Minkowski space on Wikipedia. It said "There is an alternative definition of Minkowski space as an affine space which views Minkowski space as a homogenous space of the Poincaré ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Kleppner derivation of Lorentz transformation

I am reading Kleppner.(Lorentz transformations) He said,we take the most general transformation relating the coordinates of a given event in the two systems to be of the form $$x'=Ax +Bt, y'=y, z'=z, ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can two distinct events occur at precisely the same moment in time?

I am writing a simulation and am having difficulty resolving the order in which two distinct forces occur. The simulation will give different results if the forces are applied to the state in ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Compatibility of twin paradox with the time-dependent Hubble constant

The universe is currently expanding with a speed of about 70 km/sec/Mpc which is today's Hubble constant. As this expression includes two length units, it is also possible to use the unit: $sec^{-1}$, ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Is the speed of photon always $c_0$? [duplicate]

The propagation of light in medium is sometimes interpreted as the photons moving with $c_0$ (the speed of light in vacuum), occasionally absorbed by particles and released again by transition, ...
3
votes
5answers
205 views

How do we know that time dilation applies to objects other than light?

Here is a traditional derivation of time dilation: There's a train with a lamp in the ceiling, moving at velocity v with respect to an observer. In the frame of the observer, the path taken by the ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

How do you explain special relativity to a 3 year old child? [on hold]

I've been on multiple threads that attempt to explain this celebrated theory, but I have come across some rather complex threads that is very good if you are a physicist, but no one even attempts to ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Is time depending on the observer in string theory?

I heard that in the theory of relativity the time of an action is depending on the observer. But in string theory, is the time also depending on the observer? Are strings acting according to the ...
4
votes
3answers
281 views

A sees B's clock running slow and B sees A's clock running slow? [duplicate]

This paradox is very common it seems, in which A sees B's clock running slow and B sees A's clock running slow. Here is the question a little more concretely. Let's say B flies by A's spaceship. If ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Subluminal speed when going in a circle around someone

Some time ago I thought about such situation: There are two people in the room. Both have synchronized watches on their wirsts. Then the person A starts running around person B with the speed of ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

How do I transform onto a relativistic rotating frame of reference?

In classical mechanics, the usual formula to translate the evolution of a quantity as seen from an inertial frame of reference to a rotational frame is: $$\frac{d \textbf{A} }{dt} \vert_{Inertial} = ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

What is “special” and what is “general” in Relativity?

Initially I thought in special relativity the velocity was constant, whereas general relativity allowed treatment of accelerated frames as well. But now I have heard that SR is only valid locally?
5
votes
2answers
275 views

Entanglement and simultaneity

According to the special theory of relativity, distant simultaneity depends on the observer's reference frame. And, according to the quantum theory, in the case of two entangled particles, a measure ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

If I kept getting closer and closer to the speed of light, what would be the gravitational effects appearing like to an observer? [duplicate]

Now, with special relativity applied to the scenario of me getting closer and closer to light speed, my mass would increase with respect to the observer, and also my length would contract in the ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Mass of photon, is it possible? [duplicate]

$P=E/C$ In relativistic mechanics a Photon is defined as. $P=hf/C$ Replacing "P" $ mc=hf/C$ $M=h/CT$ What does it mean, did they have mass?
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Synchrotron radiation and special relativity

My questions below are for all those who assume the point-like electron of special relativity, that strange entity with no inner structure (!), but with intrinsic (?) rest energy, magnetic moment and ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Is imaginary time a fifth dimension? [duplicate]

I've read that by introducing the concept of imaginary time, the dimension of time can be treated like a spatial dimension mathematically. Assuming, without imaginary time, one considers the universe ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Turning off point for 1g acceleration

Let's say I am on a ship accelerating with 1g. I want to keep the engine running for half a year ( to an observer from my point of origin ) but due to time dilation it would have to be sooner than ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

Twin paradox, different starting locations

Let's say I have a twin who is at rest relative to myself and ten light years away from me, we are both in rocket ships. We have agreed that I will send a laser pulse and that when he receives it we ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Do paradoxes exist due to velocity addition?

Do paradoxes exist due to velocity addition ? .. In the above diagram, we have a very lengthy 259,627.885 km long space station. Rocket "A" is parked at the left end of the space station. Let us ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Lorentz transformation of scalar field [closed]

How can I show that $$\phi(x^{\mu}) - \frac{1}{2}\lambda^{\sigma \rho}L_{[\sigma \rho]}\phi(x^{\mu}) = \phi(x^{\mu} + \lambda^{\mu \nu}x_{\nu}) \,\,\, ? $$ Here, $\lambda^{\rho \sigma}$ are the ...
44
votes
11answers
3k views

Why isn't length contraction permanent even though time dilation is?

It's my understanding that when something is going near the speed of light in reference to an observer, time dilation occurs and time goes slower for that fast-moving object. However, when that ...
3
votes
0answers
111 views

What does Weinberg–Witten theorem want to express?

Weinberg-Witten theorem states that massless particles (either composite or elementary) with spin $j > 1/2$ cannot carry a Lorentz-covariant current, while massless particles with spin $j > 1$ ...
0
votes
3answers
69 views

In special relativity, do explanations involving clocks require that the clocks are ticking and that $c$ is fixed?

Are the explanations involving clocks only valid if the clocks are ticking when light hits? Is it true that these thought experiments experiment could only be valid due to the invariance of $c$?
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Can asymmetrical Lorentz forces account for Relativistic affects near the speed of light?

The underlying thought here is that at low relativistic speeds all objects are subjected to emf radiation from all directions. This is basically the sum of all the radiation (light, infra-red, ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Prove the relation between relative velocity ,momentum and energy

In Chapter 8 of F.Mandl's book Quantum field theory, during the derivation of the differential cross section, the following relation is used: $$E_1E_2v_{rel}=\sqrt{(p_1p_2)^2-m_1^2m_2^2} \,\, ,$$ ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

Is it correct that there is time dilation and time contraction in the same reference frame?

I have played a bit with spacetime diagrams and Lorentz transformation and can see time dilation, length contraction and the relativity of "at the same time". Classical: ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Why does the group velocity of 2D plasmon diverge at small wave number?

Now plasma represents collective wave-like motions of charged particles. In 3D, their frequency is well known to be almost a constant, $\omega^{3D}_p \approx \sqrt{4\pi n e^2/m}$, with $n$=charge ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Lorentz transformations of spinors in $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$

I was wondering what the matrix representations of all the coordinate rotations and Lorentz boosts of the $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ were along with a general method of solving for them. I've been able to do ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Real representations of chiral fields

Why we can´t have real representations of chiral fields, i.e. why does a multiplet of chiral field (Weyl spinors) under a real representaiton of a Lie Group transforms as a "vector". It is easy to see ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Schroedinger Equation and Special Relativity

From what I understand, the Schroedinger equation describes how the wave function of a quantum system evolves in space over a given time (I am referring to a relativistic version of the Schroedinger ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Relativistic Kill Vehicle

What would happen if a significantly supra-molecular object (say ranking from grams to low kilotons) would be accelerated to relativistic speeds (>.10 c) such that its worldline would intersect with a ...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Why should we believe in clock hypothesis? [closed]

It is often assumed in special relativity that the rate of a clock in a non inertial frame does not depend on the proper acceleration of the observer. The point is, Rindler's observer shows us that ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

How are these types of time dilation related?

How are these two phenomena related (if at all): 1. Gravitation slowing down time 2. High speed slowing down time
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Relativity and light speed communication

Say Alice could instantly encode another human being, Bob, into photons. Say Alice then beams those photons to a receiver on another planet, Vogon, one light year away. Charlie is controlling the ...
5
votes
2answers
134 views

Length contraction in cyclic space

Consider a flat universe with at least one finite cyclic spatial dimension: travel x meters in one direction, and you will end up back where you started. For an object that is of small size relative ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Energy of resultant photons from meson decay

I am a little unsure how to answer the following question, Find the energies of two photons emitted in opposite directions along the pion's original line of motion if the pion has a r.m.e of 500MEV ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Occlusion of light with very fast objects

Take this graphic: On the left there is a light emitter, which can fire light on command, towards the right. There are also two receptors, A and B, both $1$ light second away from the emitter. ...
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Rotating Observers in Special Relativity: Coriolis-like effect?

Do any noninertial "forces" [terms in the metric] (like Coriolis in Newtonian mechanics) appear to a rotating observer (reference frame) in special relativity? Is the resulting spacetime after ...
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Will heating up an object increase its mass? [duplicate]

According to the $E=mc^2$ equation, will an object whose thermal energy (temperature) rises also weigh more? And by the same token, will the mass of an object decrease as its temperature approaches ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Collisions in special relativity

I am wanting to teach some basic trigonometry to school age kids using relativity and would like help to check my reasoning. First, is my problem formulation correct with respect to special ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Electromagnetic mass of a continuous charge distribution [closed]

I am trying to understand if it is possible to have a consistent solution to Maxwell's equations and Lorentz force equation simultaneously with no other forces present. The Lorentz force density is ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Why does the equivalence principle not violate special relativity?

If the equivalence principle asserts that there is no way to determine whether our reference frame is accelerating or is being acted upon by gravity (i.e. the laws of physics are the same in both ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Decompose a massive four vector in to two massless ones

I'm trying to decompose a massive four-vector, $p_1$ with $p_1^2=m^2\neq0$, in to two massless ones, $k_i$ with $k_i^2=0$. But I'm having trouble find basis vectors $k_i$ such that I can always ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Length contraction, front middle or back

I still don't have a solid understanding of Length contraction. Imagine we have a ruler of length $L$ that starts at rest upon a ground with markings on it, then accelerates until nearly the speed of ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

What is the definition of density in a relativistic context?

In this question, there seems to be a clear presence of ambiguity, which raises the question: what is density in relativity? First of all, the question asks for the relativistic mass, "the apparent ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Textbook for relativity: modern version of Bondi's Relativity and Common Sense?

I am looking for a textbook on relativity for school children. A background in simple vector based mechanics could be assumed. Primarily it needs to be readable at high school English reading level ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Magnetic force and frames of reference

I'm having a hard time trying to understand the next situation: Suppose that I have a magnet that creates a quite uniform magnetic filed $\vec B$. In the vicinity of this magnet there is a particle ...
4
votes
1answer
276 views

What happens in the twin paradox if the ship doesn't return?

What happens if the twin in the spaceship doesn't return? Would he still be younger than his other twin? Is the symmetry broken simply by accelerating out of earth? If it is still symmetrical when ...