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

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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5answers
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What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...
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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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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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Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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How are light and time related?

So, from what I understand: Special Relativity says that light is always observed moving at the speed of light (c). If some object had a velocity of (3/4)c, and the object had some sort of clock ...
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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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4answers
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Is time not a universal parameter, really, in special relativity?

I want to check that I get it right. The way that I have it in my mind is that, in my frame of reference and from my point of view, SR associates only one time parameter for the whole space, and not ...
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2answers
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What Did Nobelaureate Smoot Mean by “Modern Efforts to Find Violations of Special Relativity”

In George Smoot's 2006 Nobel Lecture, having won the Nobel prize for his research on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), he refers to the possibility of the CMB being a special frame stating ...
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Why and how is the speed of light in vacuum constant, i.e., independent of reference frame?

I was told that the Galilean relative velocity rule does not apply to the speed of light. No matter how fast two objects are moving, the speed of light will remain same for both of them. How and why ...
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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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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 ...
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2answers
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Two observers moving opposite to each other will see each other moving at speeds greater than light? [duplicate]

I read this question at another forum but the thread was already closed. Here's the description: Two observers A and B are both moving at a velocity of 0.9 times the speed of light with respect to a ...
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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
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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 ...
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5answers
234 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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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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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
96 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 ...
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7answers
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Why is there no absolute maximum temperature?

If temperature makes particles vibrate faster, and movement is limited by the speed of light, then temperature must be limited as well I would assume. Why there is no limits?
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1answer
72 views

Finding the total energy in centre of mass frame

I'm working through a problem in a special relativity textbook (Woodhouse) and I'm having some difficulty. I have to show that if I have a particle of rest mass $M$, total energy $E$ colliding with a ...
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1answer
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Field of moving charge / Lorentz;Lienard-Wiechert

First question here. I'm really confused at the moment. An electron moves at constant velocity, no acceleration Wikipedia says here Lorentz: Which yields something like this: Wheras here, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
94 views

Electron distribution around atom when moving

I do not have much experience on this but if an atom has some electrons around nucleus and the atom itself it is moving at some speed does that affect the distribution of electrons around? I am ...
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3answers
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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
168 views

Photons and proper time

Why is there no proper time without inertial frame? In question n°95054 I learned that there is no proper time zero and no proper distance zero for photons because they are no inertial frames. That ...
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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?
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
594 views

A thought experiment in special relativity theory

We have two sets: set No.1 and set No.2 as in this picture: The observer is fixed to set No.1 . He sees set No.1 motionless and observes set No. 2 approaching with velocity 100,000 m/s. Each set ...
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A question about special relativity theory

We have two sets: set No.1 and set No.2 as in this picture: The observer is fixed to set No.1 . He sees set No.1 motionless and observes set No. 2 approaching with velocity 100,000 m/s. Each set ...
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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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Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

The principle of non-locality states "that an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings." (Wikipedia) When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we ...
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Rotate a long bar in space and get close to (or even beyond) the speed of light $c$

Imagine a bar spinning like a helicopter propeller, At $\omega$ rad/s because the extremes of the bar goes at speed $$V = \omega * r$$ then we can reach near $c$ (speed of light) applying some ...
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1answer
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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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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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How would an electron bunch/beam look different in the rest and lab frames?

With respect to special relativity, I was wondering how the spatial dimensions would differ between the rest and LAB frame of an electron beam. System: Electron bunch/beam traveling in linear motion. ...
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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!
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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 ...
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Is the existence of electromagnetic standing waves dependent on the observers reference frame?

If I take two plane EM waves travelling in opposite direction e.g. $E = E_0 \sin(kx-\omega t)$ and $E=E_0 \sin (kx + \omega t)$, they sum to give a standing wave with a time-averaged Poynting vector ...
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Phase space volume and relativity

Much of statistical mechanics is derived from Liouville's theorem, which can be stated as "the phase space volume occupied by an ensemble of isolated systems is conserved over time." (I'm mostly ...
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1answer
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Doppler Shift when Light Travels Through Two Different Mediums

When considering the Doppler shift, the 'canonical equation' is $$f=\frac{c+vr}{c+vs}f_0$$ However, this equation seems to run into trouble in the following situation: A light source inside water is ...
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1answer
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Why isn't time axis vertical?

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 ...
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1answer
603 views

Special relativity paradox and gravitation/acceleration equivalence

One of the features of the black hole complementarity is the following : According to an external observer, the infinite time dilation at the horizon itself makes it appear as if it takes an ...
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3answers
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What is the Andromeda Paradox?

I have been studying causality (specifically why there is no such thing as a simultaneous instant of time across all observers) recently and I keep hearing references to the Andromeda paradox. Can ...
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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? ...