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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How can we observe lights properties if it travels at the speed of light, or can we? [duplicate]

Special relativity says that anything moving (almost) at the speed of light will look like its internal clock has (almost) stopped from the perspective of a stationary observer. How do we see light as ...
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Has relativity of simultaneity been directly observed?

I know that thought experiment about trains when a flash of light in the middle reaches the both end simultaneously for a passenger but different times for the bystander. So were there (non-thought) ...
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5answers
367 views

Why define four-vectors to be quantities that transform only like the position vector transforms?

A four-vector is defined to be a four component quantity $A^\nu$ which transforms under a Lorentz transformation as $A^{\mu'} = L_\nu^{\mu'} A^\nu$, where $L_\nu^{\mu'}$ is the Lorentz transformation ...
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249 views

What is the time component of velocity of a light ray?

If we have a light ray $x^\mu$ with velocity $c$, what is $c^0$ (the time component)?
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184 views

How to add a potential term to the Dirac Equation?

I've read that if you have a Hamiltonian for the Dirac Equation, you can add a potential term to it simply by adjusting the momentum operator so that $p^\mu \rightarrow p^\mu-A^\mu$, where $A^\mu$ is ...
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The Speed of Light [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light is constant for some reason. But why is it that when shining light from a spacecraft that is moving at (almost) the speed of this light, the speed of this light ...
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208 views

What has $E = mc^2$ to do with nuclear powerplants?

In life, when you talk about nuclear energy, there always happens to be a guy who says that famous Einstein's equation. "Yeah, they just convert mass to energy, $E = mc^2$ ya know?" When I think ...
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Synchronization of clocks and observations of time in special relativity

I have thought up a situation that I cannot understand with my understanding of special relativity. I don't know general relativity, but as the situation doesn't involve gravity or acceleration, I'm ...
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136 views

Quantum Mechanical Effects of an object accelerating near speed of light $c$?

Consider a space ship, undergoing constant acceleration (which for our purposes means that the same amount of energy is being used per second to increase its speed). According to special relativity ...
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Velocity of an object undergoing homogenous acceleration

So I was considering the following problem within the context of Special Relativity: Given an object O, with initial velocity v, undergoing constant acceleration at a rate of a, I want to express the ...
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232 views

Formulas for kinetic energy

I was reading ABC of relativity from Bertrand Russell and some formulas about kinetic energy caused me some problems. Here is the extract : The kinetic energy is, in the usual form ...
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353 views

How fast can time flow? A question of time dilation

(I would describe myself as an illiterate physics enthusiast, so I hope you'll forgive me if my ignorance is borderline offensive.) If I've understood anything of the concept of time dilation, your ...
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4answers
267 views

If angular momentum corresponds to linear momentum, what corresponds to energy?

Angular momentum is defined from linear momentum via $\vec L = \vec r\times\vec p$, and is conserved in a closed system. Since energy is the time part of the linear four-momentum, is there a quantity ...
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Right-angle lever paradox in special relativity

I remember to have read somewhere an interesting special relativity "paradox" considering two perpendicular rods $A$ and $B$ of equal proper length $L$ fixed at point $O$. In the "rest" frame equal ...
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173 views

What if EM or QCD was spontaneously broken?

Suppose that Standard Model Higgs mechanism broke electromagnetism, by e.g. veving the charged component of the doublet, so that the photon was massive with $m_\gamma\sim v$. Could such a Universe ...
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1answer
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If time stops at the speed of light is a photon 'everywhere' at once? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so excuse my question if it's paticularly stupid. As a particle gets closer to the speed of light time slows down as for that particle as compared to a reference from the ...
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2answers
187 views

Why do single particle states furnish a rep. of the inhomogeneous Lorentz group?

Following up on this question: Weinberg says In general, it may be possible by using suitable linear combinations of the $\psi_{p,\sigma}$ to choose the $\sigma$ labels in such a way that ...
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Explicit form of $\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu$ in the Dirac equation

I'm in an introductory particle physics class, and in performing manipulations on the Dirac equation, my instructor expands the $\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu$ term as: $$\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu = \gamma^0 ...
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What's wrong with this application of Thomas Precession to circular motion velocity measurements?

If you happen to have the Third Edition of Classical Electrodynamics by John David Jackson, turn to section 11.8, as that's where I'm getting all this from. If not, you should still be able to follow ...
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Why do we identify symmetric 2nd rank tensors with spin-2 particles in string theory?

I am going through Tong's lecture notes on String Theory and came across the following irrep decomposition (Chap 2, p.43) of the bosonic string first excited states: $$\text{traceless symmetric} ...
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Violation of Newton's 3rd law

I'm just expressing my guess. Let two particles A and B experiences forces $F_1$ and -$F_2$ between them and let guess also there are two observer, one is stationary and other is moving with ...
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2answers
143 views

Relativistic Lagrangian transformations

I need to study the relativistic lagrangian of a free particle. It's $\ L= - m c^2 \sqrt[2]{1- \frac{|u|^2}{c^2}} $ I need to study the translation, boost and rotation symmetry. I say it doesn't ...
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can be exist the negative mass? [duplicate]

I'm not sure about this but I guess there must be negative masses in the universe because of the symmetry. If the gravity is one of the main forces in nature it must has negatives mass to be able to ...
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Volume element $\mathrm{d}^4k =\mathrm{d}k^0 \,|\mathbf{k}|^2\,\mathrm{d}|\mathbf{k}| \,\mathrm{d}(\cos\theta) \,\mathrm{d}\phi$ in Minkowski space?

Suppose we have an integral $$\int \mathrm{d}^4k \,\ f(k)$$ we want to evaluate and that we're in Minkowski space with some metric $(+,-,-,-)$. Is it true that: $$\mathrm{d}^4k = \mathrm{d}k^0\ ...
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223 views

Energy conserved… or not? Confused!

I am confused. Could someone kindly explain what's going on in this question? A particle of mass $m$ and charge $e$ moves in the $x,y-$ plane. There is a constant magnetic field $B$ that points in ...
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How Special Relativity causes magnetism

So my physics teacher assigned us an article about how special relativity causes magnetism in a wire with a current, even with the low drift velocities of electrons in a current. It seemed that the ...
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Relativistic canonical transformation

What is relativistic canonical transformation? I need every piece of information about it. Does anyone know a reference or an article about relativistic canonical transformation? For example, in ...
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Does inertia increase with speed?

I have heard that when the speed of the object increase, the mass of the object also increase. (Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass?) So inertia which is related to ...
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Einsteins train though experiment. What if the train is moving at the speed of light? (layman Q) [closed]

I understand einstein's train paradox. Where one man on a platform is passed by a man in a traincar, at the moment they meet a flash of light is given off in the middle of the train car. To the man on ...
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1answer
63 views

Speed of Light and Information

Einstein in his thought experiment(?) for the constancy of speed of light in vacuum in all frames reasoned , that if speed of light of vacuum isn't constant than you'll be able to perceive effect ...
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129 views

Neutrinos and Speed of light

Einstein's Special Theory of relativity postulates that the speed of light is same for all frames. Suppose a neutrino is there moving at the speed of light. Then will that neutrino also be flowing ...
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How to keep the clock of a spaceship synchronised to the clock of an observer? [duplicate]

I read that the clocks of GPS satellites seem to run slower than the clock of stationary observer, because of their speed (special relativity) and seem to run faster than the clock of stationary ...
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Why is the Dirac equation not used for calculations?

From what I understand the Dirac equation is supposed to be an improvement on the Schrödinger equation in that it is consistent with relativity theory. Yet all methods I have encountered for doing ...
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The definition of Lorentz transformation

I know that the Lorentz transformation, when two frames $\mathcal{S}$ and $\mathcal{S}'$ are in standard configuration (the axes are all parallel to their counterparts in the other inertial frame) is ...
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3answers
181 views

Mass in special relativity

I have just got a query about how this equation works if its right. We have Newtonian Physics saying $F=ma$, According to the 'Mass in special relativity' the mass changes according to $$m= ...
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190 views

Is period of rotation relative?

My question is inspired by the following answer by voix to another problem: "There is a real object with relativistic speed of surface - millisecond pulsar. The swiftest spinning pulsar currently ...
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230 views

Doubts concerning Wigner's classification

Wigner classified particles in function of the eigenvalues of $P_\mu P^\mu$ and $W_\mu W^\mu$. Then, it can be proved that for massless particles spin values can be only $\pm s_{max}$. But for a ...
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Why is this thought experiment flawed: A vast lever rotating faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

If there were a vast lever floating in free space, a rigid body with length greater than the width of a galaxy, made of a hypothetical material that could endure unlimited internal stress, and this ...
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1answer
267 views

Why does Lorentz factor not hold for relativistic mass when we apply it to photons? [duplicate]

We know that the photon itself is massless particle $m_0=0$. But we also know, that the mass of the objects does increase with their energy. And we know that under certain circumstances (gravity, ...
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3answers
635 views

Does relativistic mass have weight?

If an object was sliding on an infinitely long friction-less floor on Earth with relativistic speeds (ignoring air resistance), would it exert more vertical weight force on the floor than when it's at ...
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129 views

Limit on velocity in Minkowski Spacetime geometry

Let A be a rocket moving with velocity v. Then the slope of its worldline in a spacetime diagram is given by c/v. Since it is a slope, c/v = tan(theta) for some theta > 45 and theta < 90. Does ...
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135 views

Solving the equation of relativistic motion

How does one solve the tensor differential equation for the relativistic motion of a partilcle of charge $e$ and mass $m$, with 4-momentum $p^a$ and electromagnetic field tensor $F_{ab}$ of a constant ...
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There must be free positive charges, moving oppositely to electrons for the wire with current to stay neutral

All popular expositions (e.g. these ones) of relativistic electromagnetism claim univocally that electrons in motion become more dense due to the speed. They teach that Lorentz contraction of charges ...
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How to understand the emergent special relativity in the superfluid?

The superfluid vacuum theory was proposed to understand some features of the vacuum (aether) from the emergence point of view. Although made up of non-relativistic atoms, the low-energy excitations of ...
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215 views

Do velocity and acceleration time dilation factors add?

For a spinning space station such as in 2001, A Space Odyssey, what would be the time slowing in the perimeter of the spinning space station with respect to the center axis of the station? The ...
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256 views

Status of experimental searches for tachyons?

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 superluminal neutrino debacle at OPERA, I'm interested in understanding the current status of experimental searches for neutrinos. Although the OPERA claim ...
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3answers
265 views

Bound State of Only Massless Particles? Follows a Time-Like Trajectory?

Is there any way in which a bound state could consist only of massless particles? If yes, would this "atom" of massless particles travel on a light-like trajectory, or would the interaction energy ...
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Reaching the speed of light via quantum mechanical uncertainty?

Suppose you accelerate a body to very near the speed of light $c$ where $v = c - \epsilon$. Although this would take an enormous energy, is it possible the last arbitrarily small velocity needed -- ...
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138 views

Difference between vector and pseudo-scalar

In physics, a pseudo-scalar is a quantity that behaves like a scalar, except that it changes sign under a parity inversion such as improper rotations while a true scalar does not. Can someone show me ...
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1answer
361 views

Einstein’s Thought Experiment of a Stationary Box and a Photon

1) First of all, let us consider a particle of light, also known as a photon. One of the interesting properties of photons is that they have momentum and yet have no mass. This was established in ...