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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1answer
135 views

What's wrong with this reactionless drive?

I think this is analogues for the Woodward effect, but macroscopic: We assume a spacecraft consisting of a broomstick, a donut and lots of gear for storing and transfering mechanical energy. Take the ...
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6answers
295 views

What can $E=mc^2$ do? [closed]

In the famous equation $E=mc^2$, the variables stand for: $E$ is energy, $m$ is mass, and $c$ is the speed of light (in vacuum). And I understand the equation fairly but limited in knowing in ...
6
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1answer
784 views

Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology?

If a person was sitting on a craft that has accelerated to near light speed speed from Earth (e.g. 99.999% of light speed) would there be any impact on his or her human biology due to relativistic ...
6
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4answers
606 views

Potential energy in $E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$?

Let's consider $$E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$$ where the $mc^2$ is the rest energy due to the rest mass -- in Finnish "lepomassa". $$ \sqrt{(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2} - mc^2~=~(\gamma-1)mc^2$$ is the kinetic ...
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0answers
204 views

Matrix manipulation for Dirac matrices

From the Dirac equation in gamma matrices, we know that $$\gamma^i=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & \sigma^i \\ -\sigma^i & 0 \end{pmatrix}$$ and $$\gamma^0=\begin{pmatrix} I & 0 \\ 0 & -I ...
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2answers
82 views

If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and not the ground,

If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and not the ground, does it mean we can build a time machine if only the air moves near the speed of light?
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3answers
463 views

Extended Rigid Bodies in Special Relativity

I was reading Landau & Lifshitz's Classical Theory of Fields and I noticed that they mention that an extended rigid body isn't "relativistically correct". For example, if you consider a rigid ...
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2answers
1k views

Charge conjugation in Dirac equation

According to Dirac equation we can write, \begin{equation} \left(i\gamma^\mu( \partial_\mu +ie A_\mu)- m \right)\psi(x,t) = 0 \end{equation} We seek an equation where $e\rightarrow -e $ and which ...
3
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3answers
286 views

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? And what is proper acceleration?

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? Geometrically, four-acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line. Therefore, the magnitude of the ...
15
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2answers
2k views

Is the “How to break the speed of light” minute physics video wrong?

I am referring to this video, on YouTube, by minutephysics, which has quite a lot of views. In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the ...
4
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1answer
140 views

Intervals as infinitesimals of same order (Landau & Lifshitz)

I don't understand the following statement in Landau & Lifshitz, Classical Theory of Fields, p.5: $ds$ and $ds'$ are infinitesimals of same order. [...] It follows that $ds^2$ and $ds'^2$ must ...
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2answers
154 views

Can time dilation be explained by limitations on computing power?

Are there any ideas of explaining the time dilatation as limits in "computing power"? What I mean is basically that the greater is a concentrated mass, the harder is to "compute" what happens in such ...
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0answers
169 views

I need to understand the Lorentz transformation [closed]

Two observers A and B, in different initial system describe the same physical event with their particular, different space time coordinates . Let the coordinate of the event be $x^\mu$ for observer A ...
3
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2answers
285 views

Matrix operation in dirac matrices

If we define $\alpha_i$ and $\beta$ as Dirac matrices which satisfy all of the conditions of spin 1/2 particles , p defines the momentum of the particle, then how can we get the matrix form ? ...
11
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1answer
449 views

How is quantum mechanics compatible with the speed of light limit?

Consider a free electron in space. Let us suppose we measure its position to be at point A with a high degree of accuracy at time 0. If I recall my QM correctly, as time passes the wave function ...
3
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1answer
79 views

Empirical meaning of relativity in the context of QM

In special relativity an event E is mapped to coordinates (x,t) in one inertial frame, and to coordinates (x',t') in another, and SR provides the relation between (x,t) and (x',t'). What is the ...
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5answers
679 views

The definition of an inertial reference frame in Einstein's relativity

I'm reading Sean Carroll's book on general relativity, and I have a question about the definition of an inertial reference frame. In the first chapter that's dedicated to special relativity, the ...
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1answer
138 views

Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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2answers
935 views

What do massive photons have to do with superconductivity?

I keep reading that the idea of massive photons leads to an explanation of the Meissner effect but I fail to see how photons are involved with the repulsion of fields inside a superconductor. How ...
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1answer
153 views

Scattering Amplitudes in Centre of Mass Frame

I'm reviewing page 59 of the QFT notes here and am a little confused by a reference frame argument. You can compute the second order probability amplitude term for nucleon-nucleon scattering to be ...
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1answer
906 views

Calculating the speed of an object moving relative to another moving Object (Frame of reference) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to deduce the theorem of addition of velocities? Let's say that you are in a rocket speeding at 90% the speed of light away from Earth. Now fire a bullet inside the ...
4
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2answers
936 views

Lorentz invariance of the integration measure

This is regards to the lorentz invariance of a classical scalar field theory. We assume that the action which is $S= \int d^4 x \mathcal{L}$, is invariant under a Lorentz transformation. How do you ...
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2answers
633 views

Why do many people say vector fields describe spin-1 particle but omit the spin-0 part?

We know a vector field is a $(\frac{1}{2},\frac{1}{2})$ representation of Lorentz group, which should describe both spin-1 and spin-0 particles. However many of the articles(mostly lecture notes) I've ...
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4answers
716 views

Why do Maxwell's equations contain each of a scalar, vector, pseudovector and pseudoscalar equation?

Maxwell's equations, in differential form, are $$\left\{\begin{align} \vec\nabla\cdot\vec{E}&=~\rho/\epsilon_0,\\ \vec\nabla\times\vec B~&=~\mu_0\vec J+\epsilon_0\mu_0\frac{\partial\vec ...
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1answer
248 views

Lorentz Invariant Equation of Motion for Scalar Field

I'm trying to understand why you can't write down a first order equation of motion for a scalar field in special relativity. Suppose $\phi(x)$ a scalar field, $v^{\mu}$ a 4-vector. According to my ...
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0answers
64 views

Does Bernoulli's principle hold in moving reference frames? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Bernoulli’s equation and reference frames Sometimes in train, when setting behind opening window, I can feel strong gale blowing in. The closer to the window the ...
3
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2answers
121 views

Mass-Energy Equivalency

We call $E=mc^2$ the Mass-Energy Equivalency because it equates mass and energy together. But, by that same logic, shouldn't we call $E=\frac{1}{2}(mv^2)$, the equation of kinetic energy in Newtonian ...
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2answers
378 views

Limitations on how far one can travel in the universe

Someone once incorrectly told me that, given the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe, aliens would have to live for hundreds of years if they are to travel distances of hundreds of light ...
14
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2answers
546 views

What does a sphere moving close to the speed of light look like?

What shape does the viewer in a reference frame with $v=0$ perceive? I suppose that since the sphere moves in one direction only (oX only, not oY) its section would change into an ellipse, where the ...
7
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1answer
472 views

Classical vs. Quantum use of the spin 4-vector

I have a few basic questions about the Pauli-Lubanski spin 4-vector S. I've used it in quantum mechanical calculations as an operator, that is to say each of the components of S is a matrix operator ...
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1answer
161 views

Proper times of two observers in a three-torus

Consider two observer in a tree-torus space of size $L$. Observer $A$ is at rest, while observer $B$ moves in the $x$-direction with constant velocity $v$. $A$ and $B$ began at the same event, and ...
5
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1answer
236 views

How much does a proton weigh when it is going around the LHC at CERN?

Considering that speed increases weight and the proton is going at almost the speed of light, I would like to know how much a speeding proton would weigh in the LHC.
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2answers
95 views

Minimal voltage in linear accelerators to achieve relativity?

Could anyone tell me what is the minimal voltage between anode and cathode in a linear accelerators to achieve speeds where relativity starts to show? Let me ask in a different way: "What is the ...
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2answers
175 views

Is there a way to formulate relativistic dynamics in a way that “hides” the finite speed of light?

I'm not referring to the dimensional choice that makes $c=1$; rather I'm imagining something more about replacing all references that apparently involve velocities with the appropriate $\gamma$ ...
3
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1answer
687 views

Connecting 4-velocity to equation for adding velocities

Is there a way to connect 4-velocity to equations for adding speeds? I know 4-velocity $U^\mu$ is derived like this: \begin{equation} \begin{split} P^\mu &= m U^\mu \Longrightarrow U^\mu = ...
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0answers
98 views

Proper time and 4-velocity

I am trying to derive 4-velocity, but i get stucked when i try to derive equation for proper time. I end up confused as i get $\scriptsize\textrm{d}\tau = \frac{\textrm{d}t}{\gamma(v)}$ instead of ...
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2answers
99 views

Terminology for opposite null lines

Is there a name for two null lines that lie on the opposite sides of the null cone? Each line can be obtained from the other by reflection in the axis of the null cone (the time-axis). In terms of ...
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8answers
1k views

The Four-Clock Special Relativity Conundrum

Two open-car trains approach each other at fixed velocities. Each has a radar to see how quickly the other train is approaching, but apart from that the trains have no a priori knowledge of each ...
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1answer
161 views

Why is energy-momentum 4-vector so much easier to explore/observe than spacetime 4-vector

I have read that spacetime 4-vector is quite difficult to observe/explore and that energy-momentum 4-vector is much more appropriate for CERN etc. Why is that? Could anyone give me a brief ...
2
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2answers
483 views

Two photons of different frequencies collide to create electron and positron

A photon of frequency f, and another of frequency f' (take f' as given) collide to create an electron-positron pair. The frequency f is such that when the collision is head on, there is exactly enough ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

Temporal part of Quantum Wavefunction

I was hoping that someone could give me the more fundamental reason that we take as the temporal part of a quantum wavefunction the function $e^{-i\omega t}$ and not $e^{+i\omega t}$? Clearly ...
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2answers
696 views

What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
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2answers
253 views

Does General Relativity encompass Special Relativity?

Can all of the predictions made in Special Relativity (SR) also be made in General Relativity (GR)?
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1answer
154 views

4-momentum and an $y$ component of momentum

I have 2 coordinate systems which move along $x,x'$ axis. I have derived a Lorentz transformation for an $x$ component of momentum, which is one part of an 4-momentum vector $p_\mu$. This is my ...
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1answer
294 views

How to express $ds$?(when we know expression for $ds^{2}$) [closed]

We know that $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ Can you say how to calculate $ds$?
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1answer
143 views

Accelerating expansion of universe - entire universe a non-inertial frame of reference?

If the expansion of the universe is accelerating, doesn't that mean that the entire universe is a non-inertial frame of reference? And if so, what implications does this have (if any)?
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1answer
85 views

Lorentz Transformations and Aberration

Why does the azimuthal angle, $\phi$, remain unchanged between reference frames in special relativity? Edit: Here is a link from "Radiative Processes in Astrophysics": ...
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0answers
58 views

Help identifying an expression for the action

I found the following expression for the action of a (free, I think) relativistic particle in my notes but I can't remember from what it came from: $$ S = \int_{0}^{N} \left [ ...
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2answers
169 views

Acceleration and relativity

Usually in physics books this equation used $a=\frac {dv}{dt}$ to calculate the relativistic acceleration. It is true that speed $v=\beta c$ don't have relativistic (Lorentz) factor, But time have a ...
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2answers
702 views

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it?

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it? For example: traveling to Alpha Centauri Based on me reading this site: ...