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 we traveled at almost light speed with a mirror in hand [duplicate]

What would we see if we hold the mirror in front of us and behind us.
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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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Twin paradox where the twins start at different locations

Suppose we have this scenario with twins A and B: 1) Instead of the twins starting at the same location, let's say the twins start out some distance apart, in the same reference frame. 2) The ...
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Applying Lorentz Transformations and Time Dilation

My question is based on a popular question, usually posed in introductory courses on the special theory of relativity. Two rockets are on a collision course. Rocket 1 is traveling at the speed ...
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Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
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Does rotation increase mass?

If an object is rotated on its axis near the speed of light would its mass increase? Normally if the object was moving (in relationship to the Earth for example) I would agree that its mass would ...
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Is it really possible to create some mass only from equivalent energy? [duplicate]

From Special theory of relativity we know that $E=m_0 c^2$, which says about mass energy equivalency. But my question : **Is there any real experiment where some mass is created purely from energy? ...
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$2\to3$ Phase space Integration

I have a $2\to3$ process ($P=p_1+p_2 \to p_3+p_4+p_5$) where all particles in the initial state and one of the particles in the final state ($p_3$) are massless. The other two ($p_4$ and $p_5$) have ...
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How to identify a “measuring rod”, and how to compare separated “measuring rods” with each other?

The notion of "measuring rod" has appeared in PSE here and there, and outside PSE as well. As far as I understand (and as perhaps all who refer to this notion do agree on), important constituents of ...
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Measuring speed of the moving train, if I'm inside it

So I am inside a coach in a train that is fully sealed (with no windows and a locked door). I have a torch, photo & time sensor and a scale with me. So, I place the sensor at one of the walls and ...
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If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
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Is it possible to propagate a relativistic system of particles in time using Verlet?

The Verlet algorithm and its derivations are very popular methods to integrate Newton's equations of motion in time and obtain a trajectory for a system with $N$ particles. I work with classical ...
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Circumference of a circle in a co-rotating frame of reference

According to Einstein it should be greater than $2 \pi R$ for a co-rotating observer, i.e. $L' = \gamma L$ where $L = 2 \pi R$ in a non-rotating frame and $\gamma$ is the usual Lorentz factor, which ...
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How does the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu}$ transform?

For example the Four-velocity transforms as $$U^{a'}=\Lambda^{a'}{}_{\nu}U^{\nu},$$ the Faradaytensor as $$F^{a'b'}=\Lambda_{\,\,\mu}^{a'}\Lambda_{\,\,\nu}^{b'}F^{\mu\nu}$$ or in Matrixnotation: ...
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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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Does a Michelson-Morley experiment uphold mass-energy equivalence and special relativity?

If there is an experiment that best supports $E=mc^2$, is it the Michelson-Morley experiment?
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185 views

A simple quantum mechanics question [closed]

Here is the problem: Find the energy of neutron, electron and electromagnetic waves of wavelength 0.1nm. English is my second language, so I am kind of confused about the meaning of problem ...
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How to describe arbitrary accelerations in special relativity

Describing acceleration in special relativity is in principle straightforward, and for simple cases the resulting transformations are simple. Examples include circular motion and constant acceleration ...
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Can length contraction really be derived from time dilation? Does speed equal speed?

I am referring to Wikipedia: "Length contraction can also be derived from time dilation." with the following proof which seems to be the result of a circular reasoning. The proof uses only one and ...
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Tangent vector norm squared conservation in special relativity

I'm trying to analyse non-inertial motion in special relativity. First I'll start off with inertial motion. In my reference frame, my particle has coordinates $x^\mu = (t, x)$ And in the particle's ...
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Can “uniform motion” (or “mutual rest”) be determined intrinsically, by members of Synge's “five-point curvature detector”?

In his description of a "five-point curvature detector" [1], J. L. Synge exhibits a Cayley-Menger determinant in terms of "optical distances" between five distinct participants; and he states that the ...
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Does mass increase at relativistic OUTSIDE of the mass's frame of reference? [duplicate]

There are other questions on here with responses saying that the mass does not change from its own frame of reference. But those answers were somewhat unclear if the mass changes to someone observing. ...
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If we could not see, would we think that nothing can go faster than sound?

And if so, then why does everybody keep asserting nothing can go faster than light speed (I'm implicitly assuming there could be something which we do not observe, which goes faster than light)?
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Is it OK to see time dilation and (relativistic) mass increase as phenomena that avoid $c$ being reached? And how about length contraction?

I think I have been exposed since years ago to this line of reasoning: if $ v\to c $, then $ \Delta t \to \infty $. As $\displaystyle v=\frac{\Delta s}{\Delta t} $, it's like a natural reaction to ...
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Scalar operators In Quantum Field Theory

I am trying to learn Quantum Field Theory and I am stuck in a basic point. What is the definition of a scalar operator in QFT? That is, how does it transform under a Poincare transformation? Why do ...
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Stress Energy Tensor of EM Field

Stress energy tensor for electromagnetic field is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\frac1{4\pi}(F^{\mu\alpha}F^{\nu}{}_\alpha-\frac14 g^{\mu\nu} F_{\alpha\beta}F^{\alpha\beta}).$$ My textbook (unpublished ...
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Proof of equivalence of two different covariant notations of Maxwell's equations [closed]

My homework assignment is Prove that $$\partial_\beta F_{\gamma \delta} + \partial_\gamma F_{\delta \beta} + \partial_\delta F_{\beta \gamma} = 0$$ with the electromagnetic tensor ...
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Effects of travel greater than speed of light [closed]

What will happen if a person with say weight of 100 kilograms, starts to travel with, a) equal to speed of light? b) greater than speed of light?
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Is it possible to measure relativistic mass of a body moving towards or from an observer?

It is clear there is no problem in measuring relativistic mass via magnetic field: “Suppose you know the strength of a uniform magnetic field B. Launch a charged particle, of magnitude charge q, ...
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How does a single charge produce magnetic field?

I have studied in Introduction to electrodynamics (Griffiths) that magnetic field is actually due to effects of relativity unequal Lorentz contraction of the positive charge and negative lines, a ...
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What is energy of light, as we know speed of light?

1.What is total energy of EM waves, as all got same speed? If two em waves has same energy, do they have same mass? If same mass and energy, do they have same frequency or wavelength still ...
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Special Relativity: Four possible time spans between events?

I've got another question regarding time in special relativity. I'll start with the standard configuration: there are two observers O and O', their x-axis are aligned, in the rest frame of O observer ...
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Help understanding Bell's spaceship paradox

The problem statement of Bell's Spaceship paradox is this: Two spaceships float in space and are at rest relative to each other. They are connected by a string. The string is strong, but it ...
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1answer
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Spin statistics

I have a very intrinsic question about quantum field theory and even more general, why in 3+1-dimensional spacetime, we have only two statistics for particles to obey? Therefore why we have only two ...
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188 views

Transverse doppler effect in light

In most books to explain transverse Doppler effect the following example is given: Consider a source that emits flashes at frequency f0 (in its own frame), while moving across your field of vision at ...
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length contraction in a gravitational field [duplicate]

As space-time is distorted in a gravitational field, relativistic effects such as time dilation and length contraction take effect. Time dilation is explained simply enough: closer to the source of ...
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Relativity and acceleration-acceleration

Presummary to save expert's time! (pls see below!) "In GR, is jerk relative?" As I understand it, "Special Relativity" (special meaning, specific limited situations) applies only for (in a word) ...
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Is the explanation of special relativity in Stephen Hawking's “The Grand Design” flawed?

To explain special relativity (in chapter 5 titled "the theory of everything"), Hawking starts with an example involving a flying jet, its passenger (being an observer) and an observer on the earth. ...
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Problem with understanding time dilation (moving clocks can run faster?)

I ran into a serious problem with the Lorentz transformation and time dilation. In the standard configuration you have one observer S and another one S' with their x-axis aligned. I assume S to be at ...
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Does this proof for time dilation ignore length contraction?

A simple proof for time dilation can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation#Simple_inference_of_time_dilation_due_to_relative_velocity What I am confused about is that when the ...
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1answer
57 views

Relative velocity of two objects travelling at $c$ (or near $c$) [duplicate]

If two bodies are travelling at speed $0.9 \, c$ in opposite directions, what will be the speed of one, as observed by another? Newtonian mechanics won't apply at such speeds. As such, how will we ...
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1answer
59 views

Explicit Symmetry Breaking: Where do the additional d.o.f. come from?

Massless vector bosons have only two independent degrees of freedom, while massive ones have three. In spontaneous symmetry breaking, the massless vector belonging to the broken group becomes massive ...
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Energy-Time Uncertainty Principle and Photons

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states that: $$ \Delta E \cdot \Delta t \ge \frac{\hbar}{2} $$ It is clear that this has nothing to do with the accuracy of our measurements, but rather is a ...
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Formal definition of an observer?

What is the formal definition of an observer in special relativity? I have seen a few: The actual coordinate system. The collection of synchronised clocks that cover the coordinate system. A well ...
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2answers
189 views

Why does the existence of an aether go against Maxwell's equations

I am trying to determine why there is a conflict between Maxwell's equations and Galilean relativity. The standard way I have seen it explained is: The Galilean world model says velocities transform ...
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Shouldn't we use a Hamiltonian that doesn't give special treatment to time? [duplicate]

If we have a Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ that depends on some scalar field $\phi$, we define the momentum as $\pi \doteqdot {\partial \mathcal L \over \partial \dot \phi}$. The Hamiltonian then is ...
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The definition of transpose of Lorentz transformation (as a mixed tensor)

In the appendix of the textbook of Group Theory in Physics by Wu-Ki Tung, the transpose of a matrix is defined as the following, Eq.(I.3-1) $${{A^T}_i}^j~=~{A^j}_i.$$ This is extremely confusing for ...
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Misuse of $\mathbf J^2$ in classifying Poincare reps

$SO(1,3)$ has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $p^2$. $SO(3)$ also has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $\mathbf ...
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When talking about atomic mass, how is $E=mc^2$ factored in? [duplicate]

When talking about atomic mass in the periodic table of elements, is this number the mass of the element at rest? If I understand correctly, the (relativistic) mass of an element will increase as the ...