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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The mas-energy equivalence for rest mass

It is clear that the kinetic energy can be derived as $(m-m_0)c^2$. However, why do we say that $m_0c^2$ is the rest mass energy? It seems that this mass-energy equivalence for rest mass is just a ...
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2answers
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Pair production and energy conservation?

Consider the question whether a photon can decay, in the free space, into an electron and a positron - a pair production event. Such an event I don't think is possible, because both energy and ...
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1answer
74 views

Special Relativity Explanation [duplicate]

I'm in a relatively basic Physics class in university, and was reading the section in my textbook about The Principle of Relativity. It says: Einstein's Theory of Relativity ... added the ...
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1answer
111 views

Does my explanation of relativity have any validity?

I've been trying to explain relativity to myself by developing a model based upon small finite changes along one dimension. For me, as a computer programmer, this model works well as an explanation ...
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3answers
169 views

Why can a particle have a nonzero amplitude outside its forward light-cone?

I'm having trouble grasping an idea that I think that is a very basic part of  quantum field theory. Many introductory QFT resources I have consulted often pose the following question: What is ...
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2answers
204 views

Trying to understand one of Einstein's thought experiments

I try to understand Einstein's Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, chapter IX., "The Relativity of Simultaneity". Here's an online version: http://www.bartleby.com/173/9.html. ...
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0answers
51 views

Why is special relativity so special? [duplicate]

The title says it really. Why is special relativity so special? I'm just curious as to how and why the term 'special' came to describe the theory of relativity where gravitational forces are ...
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4answers
841 views

Is Minkowski space usually a vector space or an affine space?

When I visited Wikipedia's page on Minkowski space, it seemed to offer two definitions. The first defined Minkowski space a vector space. Then, in a later section, it says The section above ...
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2answers
80 views

Is a non-accelerating object far from a gravity source moving at the speed of light through time?

I'm trying to understand the Minkowski spacetime better. If an object is not undergoing acceleration, and is far from any large mass, does it travel maximally "fast" through time? Can we calculate a ...
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3answers
125 views

Why does relativistic kinetic energy (KE) equal to the total relativistic energy minus the rest mass energy?

OK, I understand why $KE=\gamma mc^2-mc^2$, but why is it also equal to $E-E_0$?
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2answers
73 views

Successive measurment of incompatible variables on an entangled state

Suppose I have 2 particles in an entangled state with opposite spins far away from each other, both stationary with respect to the lab. At time t=0 I measure the spin of both particles in the x ...
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1answer
71 views

Muon decay why proper length in the earth frame?

Consider the two diagrams below (ignore the velocities), Consider the situation in the right hand picture where we have a rod connected to the earth. Let us now say that the muon is created at the ...
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1answer
54 views

Time difference between two moving inertial frames of reference [closed]

This is a question I am trying to solve: Let S and S' be two inertial frames of reference and S' is moving relative to S at a velocity of 0.6c. When x = x' = 0, t = t' = 0. At t = 2 x 10-7 s, an ...
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2answers
315 views

Photon energies after neutral pion decay

I am trying to find the photon energies of the decay $\pi_0 \rightarrow \gamma\gamma$ and their dependence on the pion energy $E_{\pi}$, its initial velocity $\beta$ and the scattering angle between ...
3
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1answer
363 views

The cap on massive particles's speed is below the speed of light due to Planck length?

This answer http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/8525/1991 claims that no particle can accelerate further after its de Broglie wavelength becomes Planck length. Given that speed at this point is ...
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0answers
33 views

Two particle collision - excited particle emits photon absorbed by the other particle

Part (a) Doing everything in the lab frame: 4-vector before collision: $(Mc,0)$ Let $E$ be energy of photon emitted, p be momentum of de-excited particle. 4-vector after collision: ...
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3answers
180 views

Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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0answers
100 views

Special relativity and the electromagnetic field tensor [closed]

Ok, I've got an exam for general relativity in the next week and I'm working through a (special) relativity problem at the moment and I just cant seem to get the solution indicated at all and was ...
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2answers
174 views

why do x Schwarzschild radii equal time dilation effects of speed of light going y times faster than an object^2?

let me walk you through the math. First you start with the gravitational time dilation formula where: $$ T_1=T\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}} $$ and rather than entering $r$ for the radius we replace $r$ ...
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1answer
192 views

Possible Answer To The Double-Slit Experiment [closed]

I think I might have figured the double-slit experiment out. I am not going to explain it here, Google it if you don't know it. If I am wrong please tell me why: Matter are relative to observers ...
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0answers
30 views

How does a frame of reference work in relativity? [duplicate]

I am struggling to understand what frame of reference means in relativity. Imagine the twin scenario. Twin A is at rest, while twin B travels somewhere and back at near the speed of light. If one ...
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5answers
4k views

Why does the speed of light totally prevent instantaneous information exchange?

Based on the classical light-cone approach it's easy to see you can't transmit information faster than $c$ but why does the speed of light (as far as I know) treat information transmission in this way ...
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1answer
125 views

Michelson-Morley experiment revisited under the light of special relativity

Taking into account the composition of speeds in special relativity, lets suppose that a Michelson-Morley interferometer is moving at a speed of $\vec{v}$: the speed of Earth relative to the local ...
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0answers
35 views

Do charges attractions cause time dilation? [duplicate]

I was pondering whether charges will cause time dilatation? Let me explain more, well we know that gravity causes time-dilatation because of gravitational acceleration which is equal to: $$a = ...
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2answers
58 views

Time Dilation Back to Original Frame is Inconsistent?

I am watching someone jog at nearly the speed of light, and they snap their fingers. In my frame (A), it takes $\Delta t$ seconds. Using $\Delta \bar{t}=\frac{\Delta t}{\gamma}$ to bring you from ...
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5answers
471 views

What is the slowest possible speed?

According to special relativity, nothing can go faster than the speed of light, and nothing can be distinguished to be in a state of absolute rest. So it makes me wonder: is there a slowest ...
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32 views

What would an relativistically expanding sphere look like for an external observer?

Consider a reflecting sphere, whose radius is increasing at constant rate V close to light speed. What would the collision look like for a remote observer stationary relative to the centre of the ...
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5answers
191 views

Why is the speed of light in vacuum constant? [duplicate]

Are there any proof of the speed of light in vacuum being constant? All I hear is that light in vacuum travels at a constant speed because that's an observation and that it fits in a coherent theory ...
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2answers
217 views

Calculating time dilation for photon traveling towards a moving spaceship

Suppose a spaceship is moving away from the Earth at $0.5c$. When the spaceship is one light-year away from Earth, an observer on Earth sends a photon toward the spaceship. According to the observer ...
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1answer
119 views

Non-reciprocal time dilation

Is this report describing Absolute Lorentz Transformation legitimate or pseudoscience? The reporting sounds like the kinds of things I see in newbie's questions on the twin paradox, or crackpot ...
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0answers
49 views

What does the temperature of the early universe tell me?

I am re-reading Weinberg's book "The First Three Minutes". In the Introduction he makes this statement: "At about one-hundreth of a second, the earliest time about which we can speak with any ...
3
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3answers
306 views

Does the stationary object deform more than the moving one after a collision?

Given two identical clay disks on an air track, one is stationary and another is moving at "high" speed. After colliding, does the stationary disk deform more than the moving one? If it matters, the ...
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1answer
51 views

Why can you treat coordinates as vector in flat spacetime?

In a manifold there is a distinction between points and vectors, but in flat spacetime this seems to disappear. For example in Minkowski spacetime you can define a coordinate 4-vector ...
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4answers
107 views

Special Relativity - travelling close to light speed

When we say something travels close to the speed of light, what is its speed relative to? For example, we have 4 highly advanced spacecraft at rest beside each other, labelled A, B, C and D. We ...
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Is there an equivalent of Rindler coordinates for an object in centripetal motion?

Rindler coordinates are a parametrization of (a subset of) Minkowski space that are "natural" for an object experiencing constant acceleration - more specifically, an object experiencing constant ...
0
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1answer
66 views

Temporal properties of a photon

Naively, one can attempt to consider the (impossible) light-speed inertial frame. From there you arrive at nonsense conclusions like 'the universe is flattened in the direction of travel' which must ...
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2answers
137 views

Why is the relative velocity of B with respect to A negative of the relative velocity of A with respect to B?

I'm trying to figure out how to derive the transformation matrix for the Lorentz boost. Consider two inertial frames A and B, and let B move at a constant velocity V with respect to A. All the ...
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Is it possible extend Schrodinger theory in relativistic contexts with naive consideration?

Preamble Let's consider a generic sinusoidal wave $\Psi (\mathbf{r},t) = A e^{i(\mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{r} - \omega t + \phi)}$ and let's insert it into Schroedinger equation (please note that $ ...
2
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1answer
49 views

Is measurement of energy also relative? [duplicate]

From SR we know that the measurement of space and time are relative to the specific reference frame of the observer. What about measuring energy content? When an object is accelerated to a near ...
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1answer
130 views

Solving relative velocity without Lorentz transform [closed]

A train with proper length $L$ moves at speed $\frac{5c}{13}$ with respect to the ground. A ball is thrown from the back of the train to the front. The speed of the ball with respect to the ...
3
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3answers
282 views

Using the speed of light in a vacuum or in that medium

To clarify, is the speed limit of the universe the speed of light in a vacuum, or the speed of light in that particular medium, i.e. if the speed of light in a particular medium were only 17 m/s, ...
2
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2answers
229 views

Complex numbers in quantum mechanics and in special relativity

Is there a physical relation between the use of complex numbers for the wavefunction in (non-relativistic) quantum mechanics and in special relativity (as formulated in the setting of Minkowski ...
3
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2answers
229 views

Lorentz algebra and its generators

I'm reading Maggiore's book A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory and I'm getting a bit confused when he writes about Lorentz algebra: $$K^i = J^{i0},$$ ...
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0answers
40 views

A question based on the paper 'ON THE ELECTRODYNAMICS OF MOVING BODIES' [duplicate]

Light is emitting from a source. Velocity of photon is always constant 'C' w.r.t stationary system. Say the source is moving at velocity 'V'. Then what is the velocity of photon at the instant of time ...
2
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0answers
105 views

The relativistic effects of angular velocity

Imagine I have a circular disk in a vacuum. I apply a constant force, so a constant torque on the disk. My first question is: does this disk have a angular velocity speed limit? I believe it does, ...
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1answer
190 views

Time-reversed twin paradox

This started with wondering about the nature of certain physical quantities under time-reversal - chiefly, that acceleration retains its magnitude and direction at a given time regardless of the ...
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1answer
122 views

Is this even possible to understand this proof? [closed]

Can someone explain what kind of sorcellery is this proof about Maxwell's equations: http://proofs.wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations_predict_that_the_speed_of_light_is_constant. Is this a joke?
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1answer
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Time dilation simple derivation

In a special theory of relativity we have a phenomenon known as time dilation. There is a simple explanation of this, with a thought experiment with a train and a flash light: We flash a light in a ...
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3answers
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Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity?

In From Paradox to Reality: Our Basic Concepts of the Physical World by Fritz Rohrlich page 55 it states that [...] just doing away with the ether would not have resolved all problems. The ...
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1answer
144 views

Can I fix a point in Minkowski space to give it a vector space structure?

I looked up the term Minkowski space on Wikipedia. It said There is an alternative definition of Minkowski space as an affine space which views Minkowski space as a homogenous space of the ...