1
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0answers
55 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
7
votes
2answers
101 views

What are the linear maps which preserve the time-like cone?

I'm looking at the set of time-like vectors: $\mathcal{T}_+ = \{ x \in \mathbb{R}^4 \mbox{ s.t. } x^T \eta x \geq 0 \:, x^0\geq 0\} $, where $\eta = \mbox{diag}(1, -1, -1, -1)$. I want to be able to ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

If two events separated by a spacetime interval of zero, can they both be said to be happening “now”?

Can the concept of c be validly expressed as "the rate at which an event propagates through space"? There was a television program last year featuring Prof Brian Cox. The presenter asked him "Is it ...
0
votes
5answers
365 views

Why Light and Observers have different laws of physics [closed]

Special relativity states: The speed of light in a vacuum is always $c$, regardless of the velocity of the observer. The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. These two ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Special relativity allows arbitrarily low travel times between two locations [duplicate]

I wish I had a good way of illustrating this, but anyway, doesn't the following travel strategy allow you to get anywhere in arbitrarily little time? You're at rest at the origin of space-time, and ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

Does physics recognize the particle of light separately from the wave of light? [closed]

To frame this question, we need to assume that time freezes when traveling at the speed of light. This is theoretically congruent with Einstein's theory of relativity and the theory of time dilation, ...
0
votes
3answers
121 views

Twin Paradox speed of light

Twin Paradox Can anyone clarify and or correct the following for me? A space ship is flying at speed v equal to 0.8 times the speed of light. Within the ship are three stations, a transmitter at ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Light cone and order of events?

If one event lies outside the light cone of another, can the events to some observers appear in a different order in one reference frame compared to the other, and is this the only time when this is ...
3
votes
2answers
185 views

Why time is considered a dimension?

Why time is considered to be a dimension? And the other 7 (except the 3 dimensions of space, and the dimension of time) dimensions that string theory suggests, why can't they be realized?
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Can special relativity be extended such that the frame of a photon makes sense?

Suppose I want to know what the universe looks like from the perspective of a frame of reference moving at $c$ relative to my current frame. As discussed at length in various other questions on this ...
5
votes
2answers
584 views

What is imaginary time? [duplicate]

I am not professional physicist; but I am curious about Stephen Hawking's "imaginary time". It would be better to elaborate exactly what it is. I am not confused because of the word "imaginary" but I ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Moving towards a clock at .866C [duplicate]

If you set up a clock that sends out a light pulse every second, and move towards it at a speed of .866c, will the clock appear to run faster?
0
votes
4answers
74 views

How can time dilation be symmetrical? [duplicate]

I recently posted a version of the twin paradox with a twist but here I'd like to propose a new thought experiment all together. Take two clocks, A & B, and place A 1 AU away from B. Once the ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
3
votes
2answers
102 views

Is space-time a Kantian concept - just a concept of the working mind? [closed]

Is space time a Kantian concept – that is, just a concept of the mind at work? That is that there is no ‘out there’ – it’s in the ‘mind’? Relativity might work but it certainly requires a stretch of ...
1
vote
2answers
210 views

Is time subjective?

In Minkowski spacetime time is subjective [or more precisely: time is different for every particle/ reference frame]. It is the coordinate time of an observer whose reference frame travels up the ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

Is proper time an intrinsic value of Minkowski space?

What is proper time? Is it a part of Minkowski space (that is a mere spacetime interval)? Or is it an intrinsic characteristic of massive particles (a sort of "aging")? Example: In the following ...
4
votes
2answers
351 views

Is it possible to derive Lorentz transformation equation without Einstein's postulates?

Overview Einstein's proof for the Lorentz transformation is given here: From $O$'s view point, $x^2+y^2+z^2 = (ct)^2$. Form $O'$'s view point, $x'^2+y'^2+z'^2 = (ct')^2$. We find that Einstein ...
0
votes
3answers
74 views

Space distance between observers and Lorentz transformation

I'm not a specialist of Lorentz transformation. I would like to know if the Lorentz transformation from one observer to another preserves the space distance between these two observers. Example ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Is proper time a vector?

Proper time is identical with the spacetime interval of a timelike movement. A spacetime interval is the dot product of two vectors and thus a scalar. Proper time however is always pointing exactly ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Minkowski spacetime: Is there a signature (+,+,+,+)?

In history there was an attempt to reach (+, +, +, +) by replacing "ct" with "ict", still employed today in form of the "Wick rotation". Wick rotation supposes that time is imaginary. I wonder if ...
3
votes
2answers
274 views

Is there an orthogonal time dimension in Minkowski spacetime?

Space dimensions are orthogonal one to each other. But what about time in the Minkowski diagram? At first sight, time seems to be orthogonal to space. But we have to consider that each Minkowski ...
9
votes
3answers
844 views

Time travel outside of light cone without causality violation

If one is able to travel into the past but at a spatial distance that puts him outside of his own past light cone would this be considered a causality violating trip? Looking at a Minkoski diagram, it ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Special Relativity Problem [closed]

I am having trouble with the following problem: Fry travels in a rocket ship towards Leela, at constant relative speed $v$: Fry is delivering a pizza, which in its rest frame stays hot for ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Spacetime Diagrams

Suppose an observer $\mathcal{O}$ uses the coordinates $t$, $x$, and that another observer $\mathcal{O}'$, with coordinates $t'$, $x'$, is moving with velocity $\mathbb{v}$ in the $x$ ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Deriving formula for time dilation

Last week in class we derived the formula for time dilation using light clocks and got $$t=\gamma t_0\quad \gamma=\left(1+\left(\frac vc\right)^2\right)^{-1/2}$$ So far so good. However, after class I ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Speed=mass=time? [closed]

I was wondering why objects gain mass with speed? How can we measure speed if there is no truly stationary point to measure from? And if an object comes to a stand still will it loose its mass? ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Taking signal travel time into account in Special Relativity

I am having problems taking the time it takes for a light signal from an event to reach an observer into account: For instance, if we have two observers $A$ and $B$ who synchronize their clocks when ...
1
vote
2answers
168 views

Time dilation in special relativity?

I'm trying to understand the concepts of time dilation and spatial compression. I've been using the classic example of firing a photon of light inside a ship (spaceship, boxcar, etc.) moving at a ...
3
votes
1answer
280 views

Does time dilation correct for the Doppler effect?

Knowing that a body in motion experiences time dilation, "also" knowing when two objects travel at a great speed away from one an other, both observers experience the others clock as moving slower ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Difficulty in understading a part of the book “A Brief History of Time”?

Sorry if the question is not upto the standard of the site but i really can't understand what the following para says. I am reading the book "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking and in the ...
2
votes
1answer
116 views

Space-Time Continuum [duplicate]

In special relativity it is said that " Time and space cannot be defined separately from one another. Rather space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as spacetime. " What is the ...
1
vote
2answers
150 views

What does it mean to divide space and time?

Goldstein's mechanics book, on the chapter on relativistic mechanics says that "We cannot assume that all observers make the same division into time and space in the same way." What does it mean to ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Time dilation and relativity

We've just started with relativity and I got a question regarding an exercise we got. A spaceship passes by earth on its way to planet X, at the moment it passes by Anna is born on the spaceship. Can ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

K-factor in special relativity

A sends out a series of flashes of light to B, where the interval between flashes is denoted by T according to A's clock. Then it is plausible to assume that the intervals of reception by B's clock ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

How does Spacetime Curvature increase the velocity of particles falling towards the earth?

Two particles fall side by side, towards the earth. The horizontal distance between them is 10m. As they advance nearer and nearer to the earth's surface, the horizontal distance decreases, from 10m ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Proper time along path in Minkowski Space

Consider the path $x^\mu(u)$ in Minkowski space; such that: $$t = \frac{a}{c} \sinh(u) , \quad x = a \cosh(u) ,\quad y = 0 ,\quad z = 0 $$ where $a$ is a positive constant and $u$ is a parameter ...
5
votes
5answers
498 views

What distinguishes time from space in Quantum Field Theory?

Consider the following expression for a general QFT action: $$ S ~=~ \int_0^t\mathrm dt~L ~=~\int_0^t\mathrm dt\int_\mathbb {R^3}\mathrm d^3x~\mathcal L ~=~\int\mathrm d^4x~\mathcal L.$$ Here we ...
0
votes
3answers
198 views

Do photons see shorter distances due to space contraction?

I may be wrong, but this is just what I've heard. People often talk about what would happen if we, humans, were able to make a spaceship travel at the speed of light. If I'm not mistaken, then we ...
3
votes
0answers
119 views

Spacetime and uncertainty principle

I only have limited knowledge of relativity and quantumphysics but as far as I know, the uncertainty principle relates the uncertainty of space and momentum of a particle. Einstein however, explained ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

How is Momenergy frame independent?

momenergy = mass * spacetime displacement/proper time for that displacement What I dont understand is how can the momenergy be frame independent? The unit-4 vector always points in the direction of ...
9
votes
2answers
208 views

Rigorous definition of frame of reference

I'm looking for a mathematical definition of frame of reference. Most of the textbooks I have seen take it for granted and they just refer to some set of spacetime coordinates. A more mathematical ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Space as a function of time? [duplicate]

So - a little bit of background. Obviously from Einstein's equations it's shown that energy can be converted to matter and vice versa; in essence, energy and matter are different manifestations of the ...
1
vote
1answer
248 views

Lorentz boost matrix in terms of four-velocity

As I understand it, the value of a 4-vector $x$ in another reference frame ($x'$) with the same orientation can be derived using the Lorentz boost matrix $\bf{\lambda}$ by $x'=\lambda x$. More ...
7
votes
2answers
270 views

Can we show that time is orthogonal to space?

It's easy to show that the time we measure is "in a different direction" from the space directions we measure. However, it's not immediately obvious to me that these directions are orthogonal. How do ...
3
votes
8answers
6k views

How does velocity cause time dilation?

I've been trying to learn about the speed of light and time dilation, but I'm at an impasse. The presented facts say that if I travel around the solar system at 50% the speed of light and then come ...
1
vote
2answers
211 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

What is the geometry behind special relativity?

Many books on special relativity eventually mention that the geometry of spacetime is special because the metric has a signature $(-,+,+,+)$ which is non-Euclidean. I have encountered many ways this ...
5
votes
4answers
473 views

Why is space-time four dimensional?

Wikipedia says, "In special relativity, four-momentum is the generalization of the classical three-dimensional momentum to four-dimensional space-time. Momentum is a vector in three dimensions; ...