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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2answers
62 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
34 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 ...
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1answer
43 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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0answers
27 views

A flight attendant on a plane - special relativity problem [on hold]

the question goes like this: on a plane, flying at 0.8c which is 100m long (in plane system), at the back of the plane there is a flight attendant moving at 0.55c (relativitly to the plane system). ...
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3answers
588 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 ...
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0answers
22 views

What is the mass of the unstable particle? [on hold]

Consider a massive particle at rest. This particle is unstable and decays into three massless particles: the first and the second are moving at right angles to each other and have 100 GeV energy ...
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1answer
49 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
22 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 ...
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0answers
37 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 ...
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0answers
39 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
60 views

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

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 ...
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1answer
66 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
132 views

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

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
45 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
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3answers
112 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
40 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
61 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 ...
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1answer
56 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
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1answer
35 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
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1answer
312 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
52 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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
38 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? [on hold]

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
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0answers
51 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? ...
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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. ...
0
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2answers
134 views

why do we use the equation we do for special relativity when there is a shorter, more intuitive one?

$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$ is the equation physicists use to calculate time dilation.Why don't they use $\sqrt{1+v^2/c^2}$ which is faster and also more intuitive (for me at least) Although now I ...
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0answers
35 views

Velocity in relativity

We just started learning about 4-vectors in my physics class, and I'm a little confused about the relationship between the 4-velocity $U=\gamma(c,\vec{v}),$ and the velocity transformations given by ...
2
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4answers
146 views

The pole and the barn paradox (stretching the pole)

The basic variant of this paradox makes sense to me but I have problems in proving mathematically variation of this non-paradox. So lets imagine that we have barn and pole which is stationary to the ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Lorentz Transformation at t=0

Suppose I have two reference frames $S$ and $S'$, where $S'$ is moving with velocity $v$ with respect to $S$. The Lorentz transformation equation for time in reference frame $S$ is given by: ...
4
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1answer
48 views

What does a relativistically moving capacitor “look” like?

Suppose I have a parallel plate capacitor with a vacuum between the plates, a voltage $V$ across them and a capacitance of $C$. What will this arrangement look like to an observer in a uniformly ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Are 2 time intervals the same only for same speeds?

I'm only amateur in modern phsyics having read some about relativity theory and time measurements depending on relative movement. Is it true that 2 clocks measure time the same only if the relative ...
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1answer
34 views

Change in line density of electrons

We're proving that electricity and magnetism are essentially two manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon by using the toy example of a positive charge moving parallel to an infinitely long ...
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0answers
11 views

I am looking for a good primer on Special relativity [duplicate]

I am starting a course in Gravity and Quantum Field Theory this year, and I have all of the prerequisites except for a few topics in Special Relativity. I have had some SR, but only the 1-dimensional ...
2
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1answer
63 views

Special relativity and missing factors of $c$

I am doing problems in a textbook called 'Introduction to Classical Mechanics' by David Morin. In one of the questions it says the following: In the lab frame, two particles move with speed $v$ ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Vector fields and tensors in E&M

I'm confused by a very basic property of electric fields. The electric field is a vector field. Vectors are tensors. Wikipedia has the following statement in the article about the electromagnetic ...
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0answers
24 views

How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?

A clock c1 is situated at a distance $L$ from an observer carrying a clock c1. How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?
2
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0answers
31 views

Proper time integration [closed]

Say if a clock is lowered very slowly at a speed $v << c$ towards the surface of a spherical mass $M$ of radius $R$ from an initial position $z = R_0$ and returned very slowly at the same speed ...
0
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1answer
28 views

Is there a simple explanation for the fact that the Lorentz transformation must be linear? [duplicate]

In my physics class, for deriving the Lorentz transformatuons my professor assumed that there is a linearity relatioin between the coordinates of the two systems. But why is that?? Can anyone please ...
1
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1answer
50 views

Why do we write the lengths in the following way? Question about Lorentz transformation

Yesterday we have studied the Lorentz transformation in school. So we have two frames of reference, $S$ and $S'$ . $S$ is stationary and $S'$. $S'$ has a constant velocity $v$, relative to the $S$ ...
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2answers
48 views

A confusion regarding absolute motion in SRT

Suppose i am inside a uniformly moving spaceship and I send a light beam perpendicular to the direction of motion towards the opposite wall.Since the spaceship is moving and according to special ...
3
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1answer
72 views

Doppler shift for a uniformly accelerating observer

This was given in textbook as an example. An observer on a spaceship with a four velocity $u$ is approaching from $x = +\infty$ a star at rest in the reference frame $S$ while undergoing constant ...
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1answer
43 views

Spaceship Doppler frequency

A spaceship starts falling under gravity with an acceleration $g$ as measured by an observer Barry at rest on Earth. At the instant that the ship starts to fall, an astronaut Harry at the base of the ...
1
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0answers
57 views

Spacetime - Fact, Hypothesis, or Working Model? [closed]

Are the concepts of spacetime an accepted fact or something less? I have a limited background in modern physics and just finished a great book by Andrew Thomas that explains in very common language ...
3
votes
1answer
98 views

Force exerted by light on a moving mirror

Consider a light with energy density E shining uniformly over a mirror. The mirror has an area A. The mirror is moving at with a velocity β. Calculate the force that the photons exert on the ...
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0answers
42 views

Four-momentum, four-velocity, energy

If given the four-momentum of any particle monitored by an observer as: p = $p^\hat{α}e_\hat{α}$ using unit vectors in observer’s reference frame and u = $e_\hat{0}$ then I get I'm just ...