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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Why is the relativistic Lorentz factor defined this way? [duplicate]

My question is: why has the Lorentz factor the form $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$ and not, for example one of those: $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v}{c}}}$$ or ...
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Observed speed of light [duplicate]

Suppose two very fast trains, train $A$ traveling a constant speed of $.5c$ and train $B$ traveling at a constant speed $.75c$, are on the same straight track heading straight towards one another. If ...
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What is the fastest speed that a massive object can travel at? [duplicate]

What is the fastest speed (in miles per hour) that a massive object can travel at? I have heard that an object can travel at the speed of light, but I've also heard that massive objects cannot travel ...
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Quantum relativistic effects

I was performing a thought experiment: let us assume an object is traveling so close to the speed of light that the length of the object is small enough for quantum effects to become noticeable to a ...
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42 views

Newtonian oscillator in a box

To help me understand relativistic momentum and gravity effects, I would like comments on this artificial example. Inside a box, two equal masses m are connected by an ideal spring and allowed to ...
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Confused about Lorentz contraction

My son asked me the following question which I can't answer in a simple way. A frame $O'$ has speed $v$ relative to $O$. A photon travelling along the $x'$-axis in frame $O'$ over a distance $L'$ ...
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Time dilation due to change in speed

I can't get something strait... Lets use the usual example: A man is flying away from earth on a very fast spaceship. So, His time is now not moving in the same "speed" like earth time but slower. But ...
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Has light been used to measure relative velocity?

Here we have 2 lasers. Both are in the same frame of reference as is top box. Laser #1 sends the light directly through the hole in the top box on one side and the light eventually exits the hole ...
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Mass-velocity-relation for tachyon

Suppose that $m = \gamma m_0$ with $$\gamma = \left(1-\frac{u^2}{c^2}\right)^{-\frac{1}{2}}$$ is valid for tachyons, where $m$ is the mass of the tachyon and $u$ its velocity. Since $u>c$, the rest ...
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Proof of Lorentz contraction?

The measurement of the flux of muons at the Earth's surface shows that many more muons are detected than would be expected, based on their mean half-lifetime of 2,2 microseconds. This is a good proof ...
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Time dilation as an inverse correlate of “spatial friction” [on hold]

am i wrong to think of space as either having a density and or a velocity? It seems that higher "spacial friction" is inversely correlated with rate of time. example: traveling through more space in ...
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Only one invariant speed in special relativity

This is taken from Rindler's Special Relativity: Any effect whose speed in vacuum is always the same could have used to derive the Lorentz Transformation, as light was used in our derivation. Only ...
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Homogeneity of the Lorentz Transformation

The standard Lorentz transformation is linear and homogeneous. This fact implies the following: $\Delta t'= \gamma\ (\Delta t - \frac{v \Delta x}{c^2}),\ \Delta x'= \gamma\ (\Delta x - v \Delta t),\ ...
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Action principle for a faster-than-light point particle in special relativity [on hold]

When we have principle of stationary action in the Newtonian physics, we can safely choose any smooth trajectory connecting the initial and the final points because any velocity $\textbf{v}$ is ...
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Special Relativity: observation of simultaneity [on hold]

I have a question about special relativity, simultaneity and observation. I can't work with Markdown, so I have take screenshots of my Word-doc. Hope it works.
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At what velocity would a body need to travel at to experience noticeable (couple minutes) time distortion?

When a person experiences higher speeds, the light must travel a greater distance to reach the person whom is moving compared to that whom is staying still. Right? So therefore, light takes slightly ...
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2answers
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Why does the thought experiment of a photon bouncing of a mirror imply anything for other objects?

Okay, so I am reading a book, "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, which talks about motion and its effect on time. Greene makes the point that time changes with motion by saying that if you have ...
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Problem in special relativity [closed]

Einstein discarded the notion of Newtonian relativistic mechanics and adapted the Minkowski to formulate the special theory of relativity. In his theory we can see that combined space and time to ...
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I'm having trouble interpreting the Lorentz transformations

There are two frames which I will call O and O'. Suppose I'm someone in O. Are the lorentz transformations a means by which to calculate coordinates on O' in a way that only frames like me would ...
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4answers
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What is Minkowski spacetime?

I was browsing through an article on spacetime when I caught the words Minkowski Spacetime. A Wikipedia search brought me an article too complex for me to totally understand. So what is Minkowski ...
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Special Relativity & QuickSilver from X-Men

In the movie X-Men: Days of Future Past, the mutant character Quicksilver possesses the ability to move very fast. A particularly memorable scene in the movie is one where he runs around very quickly ...
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Do tachyons move faster than light?

I am trying to understand whether or not tachyons travel faster than light. The linked Wikipedia page shows some seemingly contradictory statements, and they are confusing. For instance, the first ...
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Simple relativity question

I have a simple question in foundation SR that I hope someone can clarify. Given a mirror of length l travelling at a relativistic speed wrt a 'stationary' frame of reference containing two laser ...
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Origin of the Lorentz force from the point view of relativity?

I'm a physicist, when I'm working on the quantum spin hall effect, I recollected the high-school knowledge on Lorentz force and try to explain the origin of it, but didn't get it in the first glance. ...
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Does matter become energy at the speed of light?

According to modern physics, we can't push matter to the speed of light. It would slow down (relative to its environment). But theoretically, if matter were to travel the speed of light, would it ...
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States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
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Can relative speed be faster than c [duplicate]

If there are two spaceships moving away from each other(in opposite directions) at a speed 0.6c, then wouldnt that make the relative speed of one from the other's frame of reference 1.2c? Does this ...
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A theoretical speed of light question [duplicate]

This is a hard question to explain so bear with me. Let's say that Earth is moving at 1/3 the speed of light to the 'right' (obviously I realize there is no constant left or right). If I were to ...
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During relativistic effects what would a person feel experiencing length contraction?

It has been determined that when accelerating a mass towards light speed it gains mass, experiences length contraction, and time dilation. During such a period of special relativity what would a ...
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How fast does an object have to be going to turn into energy [closed]

Albert Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$, says that an object has to be going at the speed of light squared to turn into energy. How fast would this be in miles per hour?
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Is it possible that the geometry of spacetime isn't Minkowskian, if we only take special relativity into account? [duplicate]

If you don't consider general relativity, could you say that the geometry of spacetime might be different from how it's specified by the Minkowski metric? Or is Minkowski spacetime the only geometry ...
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38 views

Is there experimental evidence of time order inversion for spacelike events?

The title sums up the question. Given two events separated by a spacelike interval, say one takes place after the other in an inertial frame, then by a suitable boost we may invert the time order of ...
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Can surrounding masses influence the speed of time (excluding the time dilation due to gravity)?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev9zrt__lec @6:22-7:22 If you removed the middle and front spaceships, will the time of the last spaceship flow differently? As this is what it appears to suggest.
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What is the relation between $\eta^{ab}x^2$ and $x^ax^b$?

What is the relation between $\eta^{ab}x^2$ and $x^ax^b$? Here $\eta$ is the Minkowski metric in $d=4$ and $x$ is a 4-vector. In particular, a tensor like $$x^a x^b x^c (\eta_{ab}x^2 - x_ax_b) ...
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Is it correct that whenever energy change, mass also change?

Can I simply claim that, according to the mass-energy equation $E=mc^2$, whenever the energy of an physical object (not necessarily a microcosmic one) changes, its mass also change? Okay, I ...
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What is the factor that controls the speed of electrons accelerating in vacuum?Won't they accelerate infinitely? [duplicate]

We all know that speed of light can not be exceeded. So the question is if electric field accelerates electron in a vacuum tube with enormous length won't the electron accelerate till a point where it ...
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Special relativity thought experiement

Say you see a spaceship moving relative to you. On this ship you see a timer. When a beam of light is emitted from one end of the ship the timer starts. When the light reaches the other end of the ...
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Spin of vector boson in higher dimension

A vector boson $V^{\mu}, \mu = 0,...,3$ has spin 1. To my understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) this is because it transforms as a 4-vector under Lorentz transformation $SO(1,3)$. So the $\mu = ...
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Is special theory of relativity compatible with quantum mechanics? [duplicate]

Is special theory of relativity compatible with quantum mechanics? If yes, which is a good starting book which deals with this ? "Bird is bird. Knife is knife. Death is death." So special theory of ...
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How would an observer distinguish between space and time in a “Lineland” universe?

Note: "Lineland" here is borrowed from the Flatland novella. If you were placed as an observer inside a "Lineland" universe, i.e. a Minkowski spacetime that has one space dimension and one time ...
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What is the relation between a basis transformation and an induced transformation $\psi(\Lambda^{-1} p)$ on the wave function? [closed]

I'm having trouble understanding why is $\psi(\Lambda^{-1}p')$ the correct wave function in the Lorentz transformed frame $p' = \Lambda p$. Suppose the state in frame $O$ is given by $$ ...
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Faster than light travel at half speed [duplicate]

Peter and Susan are facing each other in outer space. Both of them ignite their their incredibly powerful jet pack thrusters and accelerated away from each other to just over half the speed of light. ...
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3answers
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Does light itself experience time dilation?

This seems weird for me. Every time I see light, I will think, "Hey, that light travels from the past far away from us!" Correct me if there is misconception.
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Is it possible to not move?

Whenever we consider velocity, it is always from a frame of reference. This means that if I am travelling .5c, I'm travelling at a speed between the speed of light and my current frame of references' ...
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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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Four-vectors and metric tensor

I think it's safe to say that if $x^\mu=(x^0,x^1,x^2,x^3)$, then $x_\mu=(x^0,-x^1,-x^2,-x^3)$. But I don't really understand why one follows from the other. Could someone explain? Also, I've been ...
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Relativity Paradox involving two charged particles

Suppose there are two charged particles separated by some distance $d$ both with an equal positive charge of $q$. The particles also have equal masses of $m$. $m$ and $q$ are chosen so the ...
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$? = mc^{1.9}$ makes me crazy [on hold]

If energy equals mass times the speed of light squared, what is mass times just under the speed of light? It's not energy,,,yet. Michio Kaku said in a physics video that the faster mass goes, the ...
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If tachyons existed, would we notice them?

In special relativity the space-time can be seen as a static four-dimensional picture that contains the entire past and the future of a flat universe. And the patterns in it are subject to several ...
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What is the role of the spacetime algebra?

For Minkowski space $M^4=\mathbb{R}^{1,3}$ the Clifford algebra $Cl_{1,3}$ (Dirac algebra) with $\{\gamma^\mu, \gamma^\nu \}=2 g^{\mu \nu}$ is sometimes called "spacetime algebra". What is its ...