Tagged Questions

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

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Misuse of $\mathbf J^2$ in classifying Poincare reps

$SO(1,3)$ has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $p^2$. $SO(3)$ also has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $\mathbf ...
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0answers
28 views

If (relativistic) mass depends on velocity does that mean that (relativistic) mass depends on the observer's frame of reference? [on hold]

A long time ago I've read that the (relativistic) mass of an object increases if its velocity increases. If the velocity of the object becomes equal to the speed of light, then its (relativistic) mass ...
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2answers
49 views

When talking about atomic mass, how is $E=mc^2$ factored in? [duplicate]

When talking about atomic mass in the periodic table of elements, is this number the mass of the element at rest? If I understand correctly, the (relativistic) mass of an element will increase as the ...
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2answers
67 views

Mathematical Definition of Locality

What is the mathematically precise definition of principle of locality in physics for a continuous space-time in the sense that an object is only directly influenced by its immediate surroundings?
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2answers
95 views

Magnetic force as a relativistic effect?

There is something I am confused about when it comes to the force between two parallel wires carrying current, specifically why when they carry current in the same direction the wires are always ...
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0answers
23 views

Help with 4-velocity [on hold]

The 4-velocity $\overline{U}=(U^0,U^1,U^2,U^3)$ corresponds to the 3-velocity, $\underline{v}$, in the sense that $\overline{U}=\gamma(v)(1,\underline{v})$. Express (a) $U^0$ in terms of ...
2
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0answers
60 views

Does a mass gain inertia against movement in all directions as it approaches the speed of light?

If a mass moves along the x axis at near the speed of light, does it take as much energy to additionally accelerate the mass along the y axis as it does to accelerate it along the x axis by the same ...
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1answer
29 views

Plane curve transform to moving inertial system coordinates

As a non-phycisist I hope my question makes sense and is understandable. It deals with special relativity. I suppose there is a e.g. plane curve ( e.g. a circle ) given in the x-y plane of of an ...
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0answers
15 views

Light angles measured in moving reference fame (SR, homework)

I've managed to get through all of this question without trouble until part d). The full question is given here: I've calculated the "true" angles of Star A and Star B as 71.57 degrees and 45 ...
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4answers
226 views

Is $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ correct, or is $E=mc^2$ the correct one?

I have been having trouble distinguishing these two equations and figuring out which one is correct. I have watched a video that says that $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ is correct, but I do not know why. It ...
2
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0answers
74 views

What is the derivation of $E=mc^2$? [duplicate]

How did Einstein derive his most famous equation: $$E=mc^2$$ Is the above equation a special case of $$E^2=m^2c^4+p^2c^2$$ Its derivation? What is the difference between them?
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3answers
74 views

Why are we not able to move at the speed of light again? [duplicate]

In many many answers here and papers everywhere, it's often stated that no object can move faster than light. Why is that again?
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1answer
52 views

Time dilation: faster or slower?

I was wondering about Time-dilation in Special Relativity. I am still a middle school student who wonders so please excuse me if I missed any important aspects. Let us assume we have a system of ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Is it a postulate or a well proven fact that speed of light remains constant w.r.t any observer?

We usually heard that speed of light in vacuum $c$ remains same no matter how observer is moving? I am wondering whether is it taken as a postulate or a proven phenomenon that $c$ is constant ...
0
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0answers
43 views

Tensors and Minkowski space time [on hold]

I have a vector field $A^i$ in Minkowski space time whereby I need to determine the following: $$\nu_\mu \frac{\partial \nu^\mu}{\partial t}$$ $$\nu_\nu \nabla \nu^\mu$$ In terms of the gamma ...
7
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2answers
216 views

Is reflection instantaneous?

I was wondering while reading "On the Electrodynamics of moving bodies" by Albert Einstein (1905) (Translated to English). In the paper, he describes the time as being: by definition that the ...
1
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4answers
296 views

What's so special about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What's so special about the speed of light? Why do many equations in physics include the speed of light in vacuum $c$? Why do so many thing depend upon it? Why can't it be the speed of sound? ...
0
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2answers
79 views

When a body accelerates, it gains (relativistic) mass; after stopping, is the (relativistic) mass different from before it started accelerating?

When a body accelerates, it gains (relativistic) mass $m$ according to the relation $$m=\frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}},$$ where $m_0$ is the (rest) mass. But after it stops is the gained (relativistic) ...
7
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3answers
171 views

Recommended books for a “relativity for poets” class?

I teach physics at a community college and have developed a new course titled "Relativity for Poets," which I will be teaching for the first time in spring 2015. As implied by the title, it's a ...
2
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0answers
41 views

Precession of relativistic orbit in pure inverse-square force [closed]

PROBLEM: Show that Special Relativity predicts a precession of $\pi (GMm/cl)^2$ radians per orbit for any elliptic orbit under a pure inverse-square force. Where $G$ is gravitational ...
0
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0answers
36 views

Covariant Nonlinear Transformation in two inertial frames [closed]

I read about Lorentz transformation in my old lecture materials: and I started to think what would the matrix/tensor (or other structure, no matrix presentation exist, since matrices are linear) be ...
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3answers
93 views

What conditions should be met to notice a Doppler effect on light?

What relativistic conditions should an observer meet to notice the Doppler effect on a sample light wave, and is it even possible for one?
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3answers
855 views

Center-of-mass frame for massless particles

Given a scattering event where a photon and electron go in and a photon and electron come out, what is the center of mass frame? I'd say, since the photon has no mass, it's the rest frame of the ...
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0answers
46 views

No length contraction!

Suppose a person standing on a platform were to observe and measure the length of a train passing by. Instead of the usual approach involving a clock and knowing the speed of the train, the person ...
1
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1answer
72 views

What wilI I observe when travelling at almost the speed of light? [duplicate]

If I and a group of friends are travelling at or just below the speed of light - can I see myself, can I see them, or they me? Would we see anything at all?
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3answers
630 views

If something is not moving in space, is it moving on the time axis at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I heard this theory yesterday: If something is not moving in space, then it is moving on the time axis at the speed of light. I realize that in essence there is no object which can be considered as ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Length contraction

I am trying to work out the length contraction using the Lorentz transformations. Here is how I stated the problem: Suppose a bar (whose proper length is $L$) is moving at speed $u$ (to the right) ...
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0answers
27 views

Relativistic Doppler Effect and the Sagnac effect

What I think I know about the Sagnac effect can be found here. It occurs to me that the equations for calculating the time do not take the Doppler effect into account. I'm familiar with the very ...
0
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0answers
46 views

How can light have the same speed for all observers? [duplicate]

I'm a little confused on this. If you're travelling at, say, 10% of the speed of light then light is travelling at 3x10^8 ms^(-1) relative to you. If you're moving at 80% of the speed of light and ...
0
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0answers
41 views

Breaking the speed of light…? [duplicate]

I know the speed of light can't be broken, but I cannot figure out why the following scenario is not possible. I'm not a physicist myself but I know the basic stuff. Assume you're in a car ...
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0answers
22 views

Clock synchronazation in special relativity using signal other than light

I'm reading Taylor & Wheeler "Spacetime Physics" and have a question about possibility of correct clock synch using signal other then light. For example, we choose reference clock(A) and at ...
0
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1answer
71 views

Doesn't the second postulate of special relativity imply the existence of “luminiferous ether”? [closed]

Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies as: light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity $c$ which is independent of the state of ...
1
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1answer
70 views

How does EM radition depend on the reference frame?

In special relativity, magnetism is electrostatics in a different reference frame. This is how we explain the magnetic field being produced by moving charges (aka currents). Charges that move produce ...
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2answers
139 views

Why does “closing speed” $>c$ not violate relativity's second postulate? [closed]

Why does closing speed $>c$ of a particle and photon or photon and photon not violate relativity's second postulate? Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Lorentz transformations an EM fields

When deriving the Lorentz transformation equations in undergraduate physics classes, teachers typically analyze the behavior of an ideal clock and a rigid bar. Once the behavior of clocks and rods is ...
-1
votes
3answers
114 views

Does the Doppler effect disprove the constancy of $c$? [closed]

Why doesn't the Doppler effect disprove the relativity postulate that $c$ is constant relative to all sources or observers? It seems it does because of the following example: Suppose a ship of ...
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1answer
42 views

How can we assume that reaching the speed of light slows down time? [duplicate]

How can we assume that gaining the speed of light slows down time?
1
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1answer
73 views

Does a moving object really shrink due to length contraction? [duplicate]

Is length contraction an optical illusion? Does object really shrink? Though measurements say yes, does it really happen? Or I have to say object is really measured to shrink?
0
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1answer
98 views

Proving Relativity of Simultaneity by contradiction

I am trying to show that the 2 governing postulates of Special Relativity imply simultaneity by doing a proof by contradiction. I just want to make sure that this is valid and that the Lorentz ...
3
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0answers
64 views

New Supersymmetry Algebra

We know that SUSY generators commute with translation $$ [P_\mu,Q_\alpha]=0 $$ I have some questions: What is this equation physical meaning? Is it possible to make "SUSY-like" generators that do ...
0
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1answer
59 views

A simple coordinate transformation

I'm currently taking my first shot at reading Einstein's 'On The Electrodynamics' (with plenty of mathematical background). With a few pictures, everything has been crystal clear to my intuition, up ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Transformation to a uniformly rotating frame

I'm midway through a problem at the beginning of a GR course, my question is simply this: If $$ x=x'\cos\Omega t-y'\sin\Omega t $$ where $x'$ and $y'$ indicate the rotated frame of reference. What ...
3
votes
1answer
315 views

Do photons have relativistic mass?

I am conducting research on photons and was wondering if they have relativistic mass. I already know that they they have zero rest mass. Any answers are welcome!
2
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0answers
54 views

Can time pass for a photon if it's moving in a medium? [duplicate]

If time does not pass for a photon traveling at the speed of light, which can only occur when traveling in a vacuum, what happens when it is slowed down by traveling through non vacuum space like ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Special Relativity: Finding the Euler Lagrange of a massive particle

Knowing that $$\tag{1} L= -mc\sqrt{-\eta_{ab}\frac{d\xi^a}{d\lambda}\frac{d\xi^b}{d\lambda}}$$ we get $$\tag{2} p_a=\frac{\partial L}{\partial(d\xi^a/d\lambda)} = m\eta_{ab}u^b.$$ How come? If I ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

If rest mass does not change with $v$ then why is infinite energy required to accelerate an object to the speed of light?

I know that as the velocity increases, the mass of the object also increases so it becomes tougher and tougher to move the object which ultimately leads to a requirement of infinite energy to ...
0
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3answers
41 views

why does a change in velocity cause length contraction, mass gain and the slow down of time? [duplicate]

How did the universe 'know' to do that? Or is there an intuitive explanation for it?
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1answer
36 views

Why isn't time axis vertical? [closed]

Why isn't time axis vertical? I don't find any reason behind it. This graph is drawn in tree frame. Though the tree isn't moving the time axis isn't vertical. Please help me to understand it. This ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

What does traveling close to speed of light mean?

This has been bugging me for a while. We all know in relativity that if you travel close to speed of light, all sorts of crazy things happen. But what does it mean to travel close to speed of light? ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Relative time/space - Two clock thought experiment [duplicate]

Please pardon my english. Here is my simple thought experiment. ...