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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Potential energy in Special Relativity

In Special Relativity, the energy of a free particle is $E^2=p^2c^2+m^2c^4$. But what would be the energy when there is potential energy? If it's something like $E=\sqrt{p^2c^2+m^2c^4}+U$, what ...
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Fate of largest scale structures?

In $\Lambda\mathrm{CDM}$, structures form "bottom up" with larger structures forming later. Structures are generally speaking supported by the velocity dispersion of their constituent objects (e.g. ...
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Does space between objects contract?

I had a question, let us assume a coordinate system where there is 2 objects moving at relativistic speeds (at same velocity) for the observer therefore the observer will observe the length ...
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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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How do I transform onto a relativistic rotating frame of reference?

In classical mechanics, the usual formula to translate the evolution of a quantity as seen from an inertial frame of reference to a rotational frame is: $$\frac{d \textbf{A} }{dt} \vert_{Inertial} = ...
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Is there a strong force analog to magnetic fields?

In special relativity, magnetism can be re-interpreted as an aspect of how electric charges interact when viewed from different inertial frames. Color charge is more complex than electric charge, but ...
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Twin paradox…what happens to the ship?

The earth bound twin looks up and sees his travelling twin moving slower inside his spaceship because he is whizzing by at some percent speed of light. But what does the motion of the ship itself ...
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What is “special” and what is “general” in Relativity?

Initially I thought in special relativity the velocity was constant, whereas general relativity allowed treatment of accelerated frames as well. But now I have heard that SR is only valid locally?
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Bound electrons don't move, right?

I've never been satisfied with the explanation that electrons have a “speed” and move close to the speed of light, thus incurring relativistic effects that make gold pretty and mercury wet. I learned ...
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Occlusion of light with very fast objects

Take this graphic: On the left there is a light emitter, which can fire light on command, towards the right. There are also two receptors, A and B, both $1$ light second away from the emitter. ...
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Entanglement and simultaneity

According to the special theory of relativity, distant simultaneity depends on the observer's reference frame. And, according to the quantum theory, in the case of two entangled particles, a measure ...
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Why isn't length contraction permanent even though time dilation is?

It's my understanding that when something is going near the speed of light in reference to an observer, time dilation occurs and time goes slower for that fast-moving object. However, when that ...
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1answer
135 views

Is imaginary time a fifth dimension? [duplicate]

I've read that by introducing the concept of imaginary time, the dimension of time can be treated like a spatial dimension mathematically. Assuming, without imaginary time, one considers the universe ...
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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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Why is kinetic energy only “often $(1/2)mv^2$”?

I am reading the first few pages of Nakahara and refreshing my memory on physics I learned a while ago as a physics math undergrad. Nakahara defines a field $F$ to be conservative if it's the gradient ...
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Synchrotron radiation and special relativity

My questions below are for all those who assume the point-like electron of special relativity, that strange entity with no inner structure (!), but with intrinsic (?) rest energy, magnetic moment and ...
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If I kept getting closer and closer to the speed of light, what would be the gravitational effects appearing like to an observer? [duplicate]

Now, with special relativity applied to the scenario of me getting closer and closer to light speed, my mass would increase with respect to the observer, and also my length would contract in the ...
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Mass of photon, is it possible? [duplicate]

$P=E/C$ In relativistic mechanics a Photon is defined as. $P=hf/C$ Replacing "P" $ mc=hf/C$ $M=h/CT$ What does it mean, did they have mass?
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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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Twin paradox, different starting locations

Let's say I have a twin who is at rest relative to myself and ten light years away from me, we are both in rocket ships. We have agreed that I will send a laser pulse and that when he receives it we ...
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Do paradoxes exist due to velocity addition?

Do paradoxes exist due to velocity addition ? .. In the above diagram, we have a very lengthy 259,627.885 km long space station. Rocket "A" is parked at the left end of the space station. Let us ...
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A neutrino has rest-mass and travels at (near) $c$, why isn't its mass/ energy (nearly) infinite?

If the total energy of all three types of neutrinos exceeded an average of 50 eV per neutrino, there would be so much mass in the universe that it would collapse. This limit can be circumvented ...
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8answers
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Does the (relativistic) mass change? Why?

I learned recently that when an object moves with a velocity comparable to the velocity of light the (relativistic) mass changes. How does this alteration take place?
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How will the Twin Paradox become, for Time Dilation, if no acceleration was ever involved?

I think one catch in Twin Paradox was about the big acceleration that can turn back the traveling twin from light speed outward bound, to become light speed inward bound. What if there is strictly no ...
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Turning off point for 1g acceleration

Let's say I am on a ship accelerating with 1g. I want to keep the engine running for half a year ( to an observer from my point of origin ) but due to time dilation it would have to be sooner than ...
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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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Lorentz transformation of scalar field [closed]

How can I show that $$\phi(x^{\mu}) - \frac{1}{2}\lambda^{\sigma \rho}L_{[\sigma \rho]}\phi(x^{\mu}) = \phi(x^{\mu} + \lambda^{\mu \nu}x_{\nu}) \,\,\, ? $$ Here, $\lambda^{\rho \sigma}$ are the ...
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Lorentz transformations of spinors in $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$

I was wondering what the matrix representations of all the coordinate rotations and Lorentz boosts of the $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$ were along with a general method of solving for them. I've been able to do ...
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What does Weinberg–Witten theorem want to express?

Weinberg-Witten theorem states that massless particles (either composite or elementary) with spin $j > 1/2$ cannot carry a Lorentz-covariant current, while massless particles with spin $j > 1$ ...
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Time slowed by gravity

If time moves more slowly on Earth (due to our proximity to a gravitational body) than for someone orbiting Earth in a spaceship, yet the opposite occurs in the frequently cited "twin paradox" of the ...
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In special relativity, do explanations involving clocks require that the clocks are ticking and that $c$ is fixed?

Are the explanations involving clocks only valid if the clocks are ticking when light hits? Is it true that these thought experiments experiment could only be valid due to the invariance of $c$?
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Is it correct that there is time dilation and time contraction in the same reference frame?

I have played a bit with spacetime diagrams and Lorentz transformation and can see time dilation, length contraction and the relativity of "at the same time". Classical: ...
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Electromagnetic mass of a continuous charge distribution [closed]

I am trying to understand if it is possible to have a consistent solution to Maxwell's equations and Lorentz force equation simultaneously with no other forces present. The Lorentz force density is ...
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Schroedinger Equation and Special Relativity

From what I understand, the Schroedinger equation describes how the wave function of a quantum system evolves in space over a given time (I am referring to a relativistic version of the Schroedinger ...
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Prove the relation between relative velocity ,momentum and energy

In Chapter 8 of F.Mandl's book Quantum field theory, during the derivation of the differential cross section, the following relation is used: $$E_1E_2v_{rel}=\sqrt{(p_1p_2)^2-m_1^2m_2^2} \,\, ,$$ ...
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Can asymmetrical Lorentz forces account for Relativistic affects near the speed of light?

The underlying thought here is that at low relativistic speeds all objects are subjected to emf radiation from all directions. This is basically the sum of all the radiation (light, infra-red, ...
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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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Why does the group velocity of 2D plasmon diverge at small wave number?

Now plasma represents collective wave-like motions of charged particles. In 3D, their frequency is well known to be almost a constant, $\omega^{3D}_p \approx \sqrt{4\pi n e^2/m}$, with $n$=charge ...
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Real representations of chiral fields

Why we can´t have real representations of chiral fields, i.e. why does a multiplet of chiral field (Weyl spinors) under a real representaiton of a Lie Group transforms as a "vector". It is easy to see ...
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Relativistic Kill Vehicle

What would happen if a significantly supra-molecular object (say ranking from grams to low kilotons) would be accelerated to relativistic speeds (>.10 c) such that its worldline would intersect with a ...
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Newton's Bucket

Newton's Bucket This thought experiment is originally due to Sir Isaac Newton. We have a sphere of water floating freely in an opaque box in intergalactic space, held together by surface tension and ...
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Why should we believe in clock hypothesis? [on hold]

It is often assumed in special relativity that the rate of a clock in a non inertial frame does not depend on the proper acceleration of the observer. The point is, Rindler's observer shows us that ...
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How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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Do we move at the speed of light relative to light?

My understanding of relativity isn't very sophisticated, but it seems to me that relative to a photon moving at the speed of light, we are moving at the speed of light. Is this the case?
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How are these types of time dilation related?

How are these two phenomena related (if at all): 1. Gravitation slowing down time 2. High speed slowing down time
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Relativity and light speed communication

Say Alice could instantly encode another human being, Bob, into photons. Say Alice then beams those photons to a receiver on another planet, Vogon, one light year away. Charlie is controlling the ...
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Two clocks along different worldlines

I have been reading and watching videos about this subject for a while now. I just can not seem to grasp the idea. Let's say we have two clocks. I leave one at home and keep one in my pocket. Then, ...
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Thought experiment: Tethered galaxies - to the extreme

If two rocks were tied together with a tight, absurdly long, non-elastic rope, and placed on planets at either end of Earth's observable universe - or beyond - What would happen? Is the structural ...
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Length contraction in cyclic space

Consider a flat universe with at least one finite cyclic spatial dimension: travel x meters in one direction, and you will end up back where you started. For an object that is of small size relative ...
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There must be free positive charges, moving oppositely to electrons for the wire with current to stay neutral

All popular expositions (e.g. these ones) of relativistic electromagnetism claim univocally that electrons in motion become more dense due to the speed. They teach that Lorentz contraction of charges ...