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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Exact definition of momentarily comoving reference frame (MCRF)

Consider a particle $P$ in the framework of special relativity with position $r(t)=(ct,x(t),y(t),z(t))$ respect to an inertial reference frame $\Sigma=(ct,x,y,z;O)$. I need to know if the following ...
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5answers
486 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 ...
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2answers
183 views

Does relativistic mass exhibit gravitiational effects?

Groundhog Day Update, 2014 The simple and dumb way to ask my main question is this: If something like a neutron start goes sailing by at very close to the speed of light, say fast enough to double ...
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1answer
123 views

Twins paradox “corrected”

If you know a bit of special relativity, probably you've heard of the twin paradox. I would like to know: what happens if we take acceleration into account in the paradox. Usually we consider an ...
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0answers
58 views

Hidden momentum

I'm trying to learn about hidden momentum. After reading what I could find with a google search, I understand that it is equal to the momentum carried by radiation, calculated with the Poynting ...
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1answer
54 views

Energy of electron accelerated by a magnet

In the YouTube video Monster magnet meets computer, the south pole of a 1 T (roughly) neodymium magnet is held in front of a CRT. Assuming the CRT produces electrons of 30 keV, and that the screen is ...
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3answers
176 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 ...
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3answers
151 views

How can the Lorentz transformation cause two objects' masses to both increase?

Suppose there are two people A and B. A is standing on the earth and B is on a rocket in space. Now B passes by the earth at a speed of 0.9c and A sees him. According to A, B's mass would have ...
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202 views

Relativistic elastic head-on collision: The momentum just reverses direction

Consider a relativistic elastic head-on collision between a projectile, with mass $m_a$ and velocity $\mathbf{v}_a$, and a stationary target of mass $m_b$. Here "head-on" means that the two particles ...
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0answers
95 views

Translational and Rotational Energy in Special Relativity

In non-relativistic classical mechanics: $$\tag{1} \begin{eqnarray} \text{KE}&=&\frac{1}{2}\sum_i m_i v_i^2=\frac{1}{2}\sum_i m_i (\vec{v}_{cm}+\vec{v}_{i,rel})^2 \\ ...
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2answers
145 views

Paradox Regarding Time Dilation at the Speed of Light

Consider the following scenario: On earth, I pulse a laser focused at a far away mirror such that the time it takes for the light to reflect off the mirror and arrive back at me is at least a few ...
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3answers
255 views

Why Sun light can reach us if Time is dilating?

I understand that if something is moving with constant speed in respect to an observer, the time of the moving one runs slower, so the more your speed is, the more your time ticks slower. Which ...
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0answers
44 views

What speed should have an alone planet to have a habitable zone due to relic radiation?

What speed should have an alone planet to have a habitable zone due to relic radiation, without any star involvement? How much time the planet will be able to remain in the habitable zone before the ...
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0answers
111 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 ...
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2answers
261 views

Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? [closed]

I have the following questions. Why can't matter pass the speed of the light? What happens to an object when it comes close to the speed of the light? What makes the object unable to surpass this ...
2
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2answers
153 views

Increase in Mass with Velocity [duplicate]

I just had a confusion. Does the mass of the body actually increase when it is moving with a certain velocity? Or does it only look like the mass has increase to another observer. How can the actual ...
1
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0answers
83 views

Time-Independent Gravitational Equation?

Is it possible to calculate gravitational induced position change without requiring the use of time (and therefore, acceleration) anywhere in the equation? If such an equation were to be discovered, ...
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1answer
90 views

Physical meaning of the Rindler hyperbola vertex and the Rindler lines

Two questions regarding the Rindler diagram: 1) Does the vertex of a given hyperbola in the diagram have physical meaning? I know it is the inverse of the constant proper acceleration ($\alpha$) ...
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2answers
95 views

What does this summation mean in relativity?

Equation 1.2 of 't Hooft's Introduction to General Relativity gives the Lorentz transformations: $$ (x^\mu)' = \sum\limits_{\nu = 1}^4 {L^\mu}_\nu x^\nu $$ Is this the sum of four square matrices ...
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2answers
375 views

Understanding the difference between co- and contra-variant vectors

I am looking at the 4-vector treatment of special relativity, but I have had no formal training in Tensor algebra and thus am having difficulty understanding some of the concepts which appear. One ...
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0answers
46 views

Action-reaction principle in special relativity

Consider a relativistic train of weight $W_t$ in its rest frame. Force transformation equations say that in the planet's frame its weight is reduced to $W_p=\frac{W}{\gamma}$. My question is: what is ...
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6answers
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What keeps mass from turning into energy?

I understand the energy and mass can change back and forth according to Einstein. It is fluid; it can go from one to the other. So, what keeps mass from just turning into energy? Is there some force ...
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1answer
107 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 ...
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1answer
385 views

Why does light travel at finite speed? [duplicate]

We have known for quite some time now that light travels at a finite speed of 3x10^8m/s (approx) through vacuum. But why is that? Why can't the speed be infinite? Or at least higher than the current ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Did the Goudsmit-Uhlenbeck analysis of spin consider relativity?

It's frequently mentioned in introductory quantum mechanics texts that Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck conjectured that the magnetic moment of an electron was due to angular momentum arising from the electron ...
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1answer
451 views

Deriving the Electromagnetic Tensor

The electromagnetic tensor is given as: How do you derive this? And how come there is a partial derivative in front of $A_\mu$? Do you multiply the derivatives or what?
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1answer
99 views

Speed of Light and Special Relativity

If light is travelling vertically upwards and I am travelling horizontally and perpendicular to light, the velocity of light in the vertical direction will get reduced. How does this happen? How does ...
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201 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 ...
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4answers
434 views

What does 99.9% speed of light mean when there is no absolute velocity?

So when people say: 'I am approaching the speed of light, and to get to 100% light I would need infinite energy' they are essentially saying that this situation is impossible? I read this in ...
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0answers
59 views

Possible values of energies and impulses of virtual photon emitted by real electron

I need to find the possible values of energies and impulses of virtual photon emitted by real electron. I don't understand how to compute it (look to the text below). Let's introduce the free ...
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4answers
256 views

Speed of light travel

I have just started special theory of relativity. The limiting speed known as speed of light fascinated me most. I asked my teacher: Consider two massless objects moving in the same direction at ...
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0answers
95 views

Quantum Eraser under Lorentz Boost

Suppose I am conducting the Quantum Eraser experiment. The results of this experiment are easy to understand with the traditional quantum mechanical interpretation of a pair of entangled photons. ...
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2answers
72 views

Lenght contraction question

Say I have a ball at 0.999999% the speed of light going past the Sun toward Earth. Now from the ball's reference frame, the distance between Earth and Sun is the same lenght as the ball's diameter. My ...
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2answers
75 views

Speed of light and relativity [duplicate]

Suppose there are two observers $A$ & $B$ both are in motion, now $A$ sees $B$ is moving with speed $'u'$. A says that another object $'d'$ is moving with speed $c+u$ w.r.t. A in the same ...
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1answer
117 views

Lorentz Transformations

I am trying to understand Lorentz Transformations in SR. I have some doubts. 1) In the derivation for Lorentz Transformations, why do we assume that Galilean Transformations hold true when an ...
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0answers
43 views

Allowed transformations in General Relativity [duplicate]

So in Special Relativity we have: $$ \Lambda \eta \Lambda^T=\eta $$ Is there an analagous formula for the metric in General Relativity?
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1answer
33 views

Relativistic aberration - half-sky radius

With relativistic aberration, a sky full of stars gets concentrated in the direction of motion. As a rough measure of the degree of concentration, one could use the radius of a small circle, centered ...
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0answers
67 views

Relativistic Black Hole? [duplicate]

So recently, looking at high energy particles through the lens of General and Special Relativity has peaked my interest. One thing I was considering, using the electron as the first example, is as ...
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4answers
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Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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1answer
44 views

How is the universe is experienced at light speed? [duplicate]

When moving faster, we experience time dilation and space contraction. We often state that a photon does not travel through time, i.e. if it where capable of observation, it would not experience time. ...
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1answer
153 views

Faster than light possibility? [duplicate]

According to general relativity, speed is relative, so for example if you are running at 20 km/h and a car passes you at 30 km/h, the runner is actually moving at 50 km/h relative to the car. Now ...
3
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2answers
97 views

Relationship between mass preserving four-fources and proper acceleration

Background I studied Rindler's book on Relativity. Relevant information from this book is available on-line here: http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Special_relativity:_mechanics Given that we ...
2
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1answer
146 views

Definition of Lorentz transformations as transformations of the universe?

Following Arnold's [1] definition of the universe as an affine space $ A ^4$ with the group $\mathbb R ^4$ acting on it, we may define a galilean transformation as an affine map $g:A^4 \to A^4$ which ...
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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 ...
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1answer
194 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 ...
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0answers
54 views

Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
-1
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1answer
100 views

Nuclear fission or fusion occurring at or near the speed of light

Suppose a device or object were traveling at or near the speed of light, and fission or fusion occurred while in this state of motion, creating an enormous blast, what would occur? Would this cause an ...
0
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1answer
147 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
9
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2answers
204 views

Proving invariance of $ds^2$ from the invariance of the speed of light

I've started today the book of Landau and Lifshitz Vol.2: The Classical Theory of Fields $\S 2$. They start from the invariance of the speed of light, express it as the fact that $$c^2(\Delta ...
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0answers
115 views

What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?

Take a perfectly rigid metal rod of length $\ell$ and some uniform linear density. Place one end at $(0,0)$ and the other at $(0, \ell)$. Over some reasonably short time interval $t$, perhaps on the ...