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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Relativity of simultaneity: light source inside and outside

(Orange are light sources and red are observers) There is a train, which is moving right. In each side, there is a light source, which emits light when the train passes certain point on a track. And ...
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1answer
61 views

What would happen if light was converted into matter as it is propogating?

If light is a form of energy and can be converted into matter then does light slow down since no mass full object can reach the speed of light
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2answers
85 views

Does invariant mass depends of temperature? [duplicate]

From special relativity theorie we know that $E = mc^2$. When a system acquires energy, mass becomes greater. That is clear for kinetic energy, because we have a formula that gives m as a function of ...
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1answer
67 views

Canonical field momentum in quantum field theory

In the context of the second quantization and the use of fields in the canonical quantization, the canonical momentum of the field is defined as the derivative of the field by the time coordinate. But ...
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5answers
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Does decrease in temperature affect mass $E=mc^2$?

My understanding of Quantum physics and String Theory is very basic and I don't yet have a grasp on the maths, but in my research I have come up with a question. Does a decrease in temperature also ...
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2answers
73 views

Time Dilation diagram on wikipedia

The wikipedia article on Time Dilation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation) has an explanation involving the following two diagrams: I have some problems with these diagrams. In the second ...
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1answer
89 views

How do you calculate time dilation when neither frame is inertial?

I'm reading Hartle, Gravity and read bout the Twin Paradox. I understand why there isn't really a contradiction, one frame is inertial, the other isn't. However, I'd like to know how to calculate time ...
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4answers
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What happens when a photon hits a mirror?

When a photon of light hits a mirror does the exact same photon of light bounce back or is it absorbed then one with the same properties emitted? If the same one is bounced back does it's velocity ...
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1answer
60 views

Why is there a cap on the speed at which we can attain? [duplicate]

Also, If you are traveling 1 mph under the speed of light on a train and throw a baseball in front of you at 20mph what would a viewer outside the train see?
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0answers
59 views

Photon has energy but no mass [duplicate]

The photons energy is defined as Plancks contant multiplied by the frequency of the light wawe it represents. However Einstein states that the total energy of a particle with rest mass $m$ is $m$ ...
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0answers
83 views

What is the status of Lorentz Invariance in String Theory ? Is it global or local?

The questions is simple, what is the status of lorentz invariance in string theory ? Is it global or is it only local ? The proof of absence of anomalies assumes lorentz invariance. However, I believe ...
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19 views

A few positrons collide with a solid body at rest; what can happen?

Suppose we have a macroscopic solid object. Now we have a beam of Positrons that is injected into this solid Body at vacuum. What can happen? There will take place a pair Annihilation of electrons ...
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2answers
56 views

Speed of light and infinite energy [duplicate]

While browsing some physics websites, I saw that to make an object reach the speed of light, it requires infinite energy and talked about its relation with Einstein's famous equation $E=mc²$. However, ...
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1answer
47 views

Time and velocity

Suppose two cars are traveling at a velocity of $c/2$ ($c$=speed of light) in two straight lines parallel to each other but in opposite direction in vacuum. Then what will a person sitting in one of ...
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2answers
66 views

Would this be correct for kinetic energy in special relativity?

In galilean relativity $$p=mv$$ and $$KE=\frac{1}{2}mv^2$$ If I understand it in special relativity the equation for momentum is $$p=\frac{mv}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$ In galilean relativity ...
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3answers
1k views

Trouble with the Lorentz law of force: Incompatibility with special relativity and momentum conservation?

In Physical Review Letters, there was a paper recently published: Masud Mansuripur, Trouble with the Lorentz Law of Force: Incompatibility with Special Relativity and Momentum Conservation, Phys. ...
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1answer
84 views

Relative velocity of light in a medium

The speed of light in a medium is independent of motion of source relative to medium but it depends on the motion of observer relative to the medium. I don't understand why it is so.
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1answer
129 views

Beyond the speed of light [closed]

Suppose that I can walk/run/travel (not sure if this matters) faster than the speed of light. What would I experience? I know speed of light is a constant and cannot be reached. If someone were to ...
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2answers
35 views

time of flight between two scintillators

I found this page on Wikipedia about finding distance between time of flight of two particles passing past two scintillators, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_of_flight_detector, but I can't find ...
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0answers
41 views

How does combining special relativity with quantum mechanics produce spin? [duplicate]

I have read and heard that the intrinsic property of spin that elementary particles have comes from combining special relativity with quantum mechanics. How does combining special relativity with ...
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1answer
101 views

Clock on constantly accelerating object approaches Gudermannian limit?

If an object is moving away from X with a constant acceleration of a, its velocity at time t (relative to X and accounting for relativity) is given by: $v(t)=\...
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2answers
118 views

Why is cut-off regularization is not Lorentz invariant?

Why is it said that the cut-off regularization is not a Lorentz invariant regularization method?
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2answers
243 views

A whole lot of doubts on Lorentz representation

Can someone tell me in layman's language how the $(1/2,1/2)$ represents a vector field and $(0,1/2)$ or $(1/2,0)$ represents spinors and $(0,0)$ represents scalar field. Please don't be pedantic on ...
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0answers
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Time in the early universe [duplicate]

When it is said, for example, that grand unification took place "Between 10−43 second and 10−36 second after the Big Bang", how are these figures of time derived? Moreover, do these figures have any ...
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1answer
58 views

Effects of FTL travel on time [closed]

The twin paradox explains, using relativity theory, what happens to a person travelling close to the speed of light. When he returns to Earth, he finds his twin brother much older because the ...
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3answers
149 views

Is the maximum possible measurable velocity = 2c

What is the maximum velocity that can be measured between two objects? Is 2C the correct answer? Two photons (A & B) are emitted simultaneously from my position; photon A going north and photon ...
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4answers
2k views

Relativistic object impacts the earth

A familiar trope within science-fiction is that of a large relativistic object hitting a planet such as the earth. This is normally an interstellar spacecraft or a kinetic weapon with a mass in the ...
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72 views

Need some help understanding Relativistic Notation

My question originates from what is done in the book on Quantum Field Theory book by Mark Srednicki on page 21 (if anyone has it). So say you have an inertial frame that is represented in the ...
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2answers
525 views

Lorentz invariance of the Minkowski metric

As far as I understand, one requires that in order for the scalar product between two vectors to be invariant under Lorentz transformations $x^{\mu}\rightarrow x^{\mu^{'}}=\Lambda^{\mu^{'}}_{\,\,\...
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1answer
108 views

Time slows down as you approach the speed of light, travelers observe speeds faster than light travel? [closed]

If I was on a spaceship traveling almost at the speed of light, my time would slow down relative to the time for a stationary external observer. My question is, since we measure distances between ...
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0answers
62 views

Momentum eigenstate definition in Eq (2.5.5) of Weinberg Vol. 1 clairification

This is question is related to one asked here: Questions concerning some parts of the section on one-particle states in Weinberg's first volume on QFT. In Eq (2.5.5) of Weinberg's "The Quantum ...
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1answer
578 views

Relativistic Kinematics - 2-Body Particle Decay

Consider the scenario where a particle of mass $M$ decays into two lighter particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$. In the center of mass frame (i.e. $\mathbf{p}_1$ and $\mathbf{p}_2$, the momenta of the ...
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4answers
169 views

Does light in vacuum actually travel at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I know my question sounds like a joke (and I suppose on some level it is) but I'm confounded by the following: As the thought experiment goes, if I'm in a spaceship flying rapidly the people on earth ...
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1answer
70 views

If a car is travelling faster than the speed of light, do the headlights still work? [closed]

If a car is travelling faster than the speed of light, do the headlights still work? If you can help because i really need to know i am going on a trip with my car tomorrow!
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475 views

Homogeneity of space implies linearity of Lorentz transformations

In the derivation of Lorentz transformations, the Wikipedia article mentions a couple of times that the linearity comes from the homogeneity of space. I am looking for a thorough explanation on this.
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3answers
81 views

If light slows down while passing through a material, does it speed back up while in a vacuum?

Light slows down while passing through, say, water. After passing through the water, does the light speed back up to the "speed of light"? If so, how and why?
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2answers
80 views

Can we look across Time? [closed]

A photon moves across space, but it does not move across time. If we look at a galaxy that is 1 billion light years away, then we see that galaxy as it appeared 1 billion years ago. Now the ...
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4answers
656 views

Do the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations have limited applicability because of retardation?

In the usual bookwork treatment, it is easy to show that the differential and integral forms of Maxwell's equations are equivalent using Gauss's and Stokes's theorems. I have always thought that ...
11
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4answers
2k views

The Lagrangian in Scalar Field Theory

This is perhaps a naive question, but why do we write down the Lagrangian $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}\eta^{\mu\nu}\partial_{\mu}\phi\partial_{\nu}\phi - \frac{1}{2}m^2\phi^2$$ as the simplest ...
2
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3answers
192 views

Does it make sense to say that objects moving at relativistic velocities appear in space-time cross-section?

Let object A move at relativistic velocity relative to a frame O. In 4D space-time (Minkowski diagram) the space view of O at any given moment of its own time is a space-like hypersurface (hyperplane, ...
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41 views

From which reference frame is the time dilation factor measured?

I do not know much physics so please try to answer as simply as possible. I am probably confused but I recently learned that in Special Relativity (you can tell that I don't know much physics), the ...
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0answers
48 views

Does Gauss flux theorem hold in relativity?

Does the Gauss flux theorem, stated in the classical electrostatics as $\iint{\vec{E}}\cdot{\vec{dS}}=q/\epsilon_0,$ hold in the case of relative motions. For instance if we observe a charged body ...
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44 views

Electromagnetic tensor in cylindrical coordinates from scratch

I want to calculate the electromagnetic tensor components in cylindrical coordinates. Suppose I did not know that those components are given in Cartesian coordinates by $$(F^{\mu \nu})= \begin{pmatrix}...
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1answer
160 views

Time dilation confusion? [duplicate]

If I understand the theory correctly, time dilation causes a moving clock to tick slower than a stationary clock. If clock A is moving relative to clock B, then clock A ticks slower. However, ...
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2answers
104 views

Einstein's train-platform thought experiment — what if we're not talking about light

I'm trying to understand the famous train-platform thought experiment ( http://www.bartleby.com/173/9.html ). I understand part of the Theory of Relativity is that the speed of light is the same ...
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4answers
146 views

Physics newb: Why can't I plug $E=mc^{2}$ into $W=mg$?

Starting with $E=mc^{2}$, I solved for $m$ and plugged the result into $W=mg$. Which was very confusing, as objects at rest had no weight: $$W = (e/c²)\cdot g \implies W = (0/c²)\cdot g \implies W =...
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1answer
93 views

Does light still slow down in the direction of motion?

This is quite a naive question however I hope to learn from this - I had always learnt a light clock in a space ship is placed like so : That said as the light moves the light will seem to slow ...
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1answer
151 views

Feynman Lectures on Physics, Michelson Morley question about angle of light

My question is similar, if not identical, to this one, but I don't find the answer satisfying, given the context of experiment. First, here is an outline my understanding of the motivation behind the ...
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4answers
222 views

Explanation for a much simpler version of the twin paradox?

I have seen the classical twin paradox before. It uses a twin stationary on Earth and the other traveling away and back. I have seen many contradictory solutions for it, some use general relativity, ...