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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Are Lorentz transformations linear transformations? [duplicate]

My textbook says that Lorentz transformations are linear transformations and present them as matrices. Lorentz transformations relate different coordinate systems with each other. It seems that ...
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Refractive index of dielectric in different frames of reference

The setup A transparent isotropic dielectric medium moving in the negative $x'$ direction at speed $v$ in frame $S'$ is stationary in frame $S$, where it has refractive index $n$. In other words, ...
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Coulomb's Law- Why the Coulomb's law is valid only for point and static charges?

Why the coulomb's law is valid only for point and static charges? Is there is any definite reason?
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54 views

Minkowski spacetime vs Euclidian space

Two questions marked in bold: What is the magnitude of a Minkowski spacetime four vector? I'm deducing that it is c for all observers, and that it is a velocity vector. In Euclidian space, a ...
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Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
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Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
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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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444 views

Dark matter a medium for light propagation

Is dark matter a candidate to fill void left by luminiferous ether as a medium for light travel?
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Could velocity be taken as fundamental instead of time?

In physics time and length are taken as fundamental in the SI system and, as it seems, in the thinking of physicists. Could one instead take velocity, with c as its unit, together with length as ...
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Question about Origins in Galilean transformation

I'm just learning about relativity, and every equation I see for a galilean transformation of frame $S'$ (moving with uniform velocity in the $x$-direction with respect to frame $S$) is $x'=x-vt$, ...
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111 views

How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?

I've read and heard that quantum electrodynamics is more fundamental than maxwells equations. How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?
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1answer
72 views

Approaching speed of light: why do objects appear further away in front of me?

A Slower Speed of Light is a video game created by the MIT Game Lab which allows users to experience what it would be like if the speed of light was closer to normal walking/running speeds and thus ...
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98 views

At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
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2answers
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Energy & Mass of a Photon [duplicate]

$$\text{Please read the whole question before answering}$$ Before I ask my question, I would like to say that "Yes, I do know a photon has no mass." I was helping someone here on P.SE with the ...
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1answer
50 views

How is the Photoelectric Effect affected by Blue-Shifting

I was thinking about the Photoelectric Effect and Blue-Shifting when I came up with a thought experiment that I couldn't think of an answer for. The thought experiment is as follows: A metal plate is ...
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2answers
63 views

Moving coil contradiction of Faraday Induction

In Faraday's Induction Experiment, the e.m.f. induced in the induction coil becomes zero when the relative velocity of the coil and the magnet becomes zero. But one can also argue from a stationary ...
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1answer
125 views

Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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69 views

Inertial frames

I'm just starting my study of relativity, and I have a rough understanding of the connection between inertial frames, newton's laws, and galilean transformations, but I'd probably benefit more if ...
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176 views

A vertical variation of modern versions of Michelson-Morley

For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea. However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical ...
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5answers
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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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2answers
183 views

A curious case of Relativistic Velocity Addition [duplicate]

The relativistic velocity addition formula is $$u = \frac{v+u'}{1+ \frac{vu'}{c^2}}$$ Where $u$ = velocity of projectile seen by rest observer "A" $v$ = velocity of moving observer "B" as seen by ...
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3answers
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Physical reason for Lorentz Transformation

Seeing the mathematical derivation of the Lorentz Transformation for time coordinates of an event for two observers we get the term. Now how to make sense physically of the $t-\frac{vx}{c^2}$ ...
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6answers
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Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
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1answer
445 views

What is the meaning of Non-Relativistic theory in Condensed Matter Physics?

I an attempt to evade the Goldstone Theorem, it is argued in Gilbert and Klein and Lee's paper that in a non-relativistic field there exists a preferred direction which can be used to evade ...
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1answer
55 views

Prove that a derivative with respect to a covariant 4-vector is a contravariant vector operator

In special relativity, I know you can prove that the derivative with respect to a contravariant 4-vector component transforms like a covariant vector operator by using the chain rule, but I can't work ...
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Why are there no asteroids or meteoroids with relativistic speeds?

Cosmic rays can have energies going into the $10^{20}$ eV domain. Asteroids and meteoroids originating in the solar system are probably limited in their speed because they all started out from the ...
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Speed greater than light in circular motion [duplicate]

We know that linear speed of object going around a circle is $\omega * r $ Now let us take an elastic string and rotate a body of negligible mass with $\omega = 500 rad/s$ It is possible to further ...
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If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
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1answer
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Is light so important in special relativity?

I'm an amateur physics enthusiast with no formal university education in Physics. So my question might sound very naive, so forgive me. I had this question in the back of my mind since the wrong ...
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2answers
142 views

Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
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2answers
44 views

Magnetic force and relative frame

The magnetic field for to a moving charge depend on its velocity (Biot Savart's law). My question is that is it then not frame dependent? If it is, it means if a man is walking and other is standing ...
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2answers
55 views

Would an object lose physical mass if it accelerated to a relativistic speed (would an object burn it's own mass)?

First of all, I have read other questions, and seen how an object gains mass just by gaining a lot of speed. But here, I am talking about losing some of that mass to convert the value into kinetic ...
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4answers
379 views

Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
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2answers
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Is time nothing but the speed of light (or the light itself)?

With regard to relativistic effects on time, all the examples and explanations revolve around light and its speed. Especially in explanatory situations that explain this using photon clock, it seems ...
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How do moving charges produce magnetic fields?

I'm tutoring high school students. I've always taught them that: A charged particle moving without acceleration produces an electric as well as a magnetic field. It produces an electric field ...
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3answers
63 views

Is sound relative when travelling fast?

If I was listening to music through my headphones and travelling close to the speed of light and time is slowing down around me , would the music slow down as well?
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1answer
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Significance of angle in relativistic mass equation

I was playing with $$M=\frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ and when I put $v=c\sin\theta$, I got $$M=m_0\sec\theta.$$ And this new equation is appearing so beautiful and attracting to me that I was ...
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Does this count as moving faster than light?

I'm not familiar with any complicated physics equation, however I do understand some basics. Suppose there is two objects, both of them are moving away from each other in a 3-dimensional space, which ...
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How to ask debunking questions (trying to examine decuity.com claims “Light is an inertial particle not a wave” etc.)? [migrated]

What is the proper format to ask debunking questions without being marked as off-topic, yet be able to step through the entire theory logically? Specifically, I am looking at Wallace Kluck's claim on ...
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3answers
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Can lightly-ionized atoms be accelerated to relativistic speeds with current technology?

I know there're lots of various particle accelerators, which can accelerate particles to TeV's of energy, but it seems they all work on electrons or nuclei or other elementary of tightly-bound ...
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Interpretation of rank 2 spinors

While inspecting the $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of the Lorentz group and defining a right-handed spinor with upper dotted index and a left-handed spinor with lower undotted index and ...
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2answers
73 views

How do we know that clocks slow down relative to each other? [duplicate]

For example if a body in motion experiences time dilation, why does it see a body at rest slow down relative to it? wouldn't it make more sense if the body at rest has a faster clock relative to it?
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1answer
48 views

Universal speed limit [duplicate]

Is there any reason the universe has matter not being able to exceed the speed of light, or why there is a speed limit in the first place? I know why it can't, meaning the basic physics of it. I ...
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1answer
62 views

If the mass of an object or system is a measure of its energy content, multiplied by speed of light squared…?

If the mass of an object or system is a measure of its energy content, multiplied by speed of light squared, does it mean that the total potential energy of the rest mass of object or entire system ...
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6answers
6k views

Can you run away from your shadow?

Now this might be a silly question but it's actually bugging me, this one might be easier to understand if you have kids that watch (or used to watch) Peppa Pig. In one of the episodes, about shadows, ...
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4answers
132 views

What is the intuition behind the Lorentz factor from Special Relativity

Time Dilation = $1/\sqrt{ 1-v^2/c^2}$ but why? How do you get to that conclusion? I know you use Pythagoras'theorem and my current understand goes like this: $$vt^2+ct^2=cT^2$$ then you take the ...
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1answer
777 views

How do I derive the Lorentz contraction from the invariant interval?

Reviewing some basic special relativity, and I stumbled upon this problem: From the definition of the proper time: $$c^2d\tau^2=c^2dt^2-dx^2$$ I was able to derive the time dilation formula by using ...
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Wick rotation and special relativity

CMIIW, but as I understand it, Wick rotation replaces the Minkowski basis (t,x,y,z) with the Euclidean basis (it,x,y,z). Suppose that $t_2=t_1 \cosh \beta+x_1 \sinh \beta$ and $x_2=t_1 \sinh \beta+x_1 ...
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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 ...