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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Special Relativity - oscillator paradox

I am reading about the Special relativity and the original Einstein papers from 1905 and 1920 where he derives the Lorentz transformation and the effects of the time dilation and space contraction ...
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71 views

Speed of light from moving source evidence [closed]

The speed of light in a vacuum is taken to be a constant $c$ from a light source moving in our frame. What experiment(s) provide direct evidence for this. To what level of precision do we know this ?
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426 views

Could velocity be taken as fundamental instead of time?

In physics time and length are taken as fundamental in the SI system and, as it seems, in the thinking of physicists. Could one instead take velocity, with c as its unit, together with length as ...
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1answer
77 views

Why cannot Paul be the observer? (Questions about Twin Paradox)

Here is the explanation to the Twin Paradox in Feynman's Lecture on Physics 16–2. we consider a famous so-called “paradox” of Peter and Paul, who are supposed to be twins, born at the same time. ...
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3answers
249 views

Spacelike to timelike four vectors

First at all, let me just say that I'm not a Physicist, I study mathematics. So, I have this question. If you have a spacelike four vector, is there any transformation that could change it to be a ...
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2answers
332 views

Watching a live stream in spaceship traveling away from earth close to speed of light

My name is Dennis. This might sound just straight up ignorant of basic concepts of physics. I was having a conversation with my friend in regards to streaming a live event on earth to a spaceship ...
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0answers
49 views

Fierz identity for chiral fermions [closed]

First of all I define the convention I use. The matrices $\bar{\sigma}^\mu$ I will use are $\{ Id, \sigma^i \}$ where $\sigma^i$ are the Pauli matrices and $Id$ is the 2x2 identity matrix. I will use ...
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1answer
146 views

Strange implication of the relativistic invariance of the Dirac equation

At least as normally formulated, the law of transformation of a wave function solution of the Dirac equation to another inertial frame seems to indicate that if observer 1 is certain the particle is ...
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2answers
226 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
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1answer
38 views

By special relativity, a particle can only couple to an EM field? [closed]

By special relativity, the Lagrangian for the coupling must be $$ u_i A^i . $$ Here $u_i $ is the four-velocity, and $A^i$ is the four-potential. So, a particle can only couple to an EM field? ...
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1answer
75 views

What is physical meaning of Lorentz boost?

Physical meaning of spatial part of Lorentz transform is, obviously, rotations in R-space. Does anybody have a nice physical interpretation of boosts though? I can understand to some extent off-...
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1answer
44 views

Symmetry, Space-Time interval, and Coordinate Time

I had the following question I was working from a book: Question: A physics professor runs across the hallway covering 120 ns of distance in 150 ns of time as measured in the frame of the earth....
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0answers
38 views

Conceptual interpretation of the left- and right-handed spinor representations of the Lorentz group

I understand mathematically that the Lorentz group's Lie algrebra $\mathfrak{so(3,1)}$ (given by eqns. (33.11)-(33.13) in Srednicki's QFT book) is isomorphic to $\mathfrak{su(2) \times su(2)}$ (given ...
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1answer
65 views

Four Vectors in SR and QFT

I'm covering both special relativity and quantum field theory in the summer. I'm currently using Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler to cover SR. Since I'm covering SR on the side with QFT, I'm ...
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2answers
74 views

How does the comparison of rates depend on mutual speed?

If I'm moving with a considerable fraction of speed of light, the time and any process in my system will be going slower. If B is an outstanding person that is watching me passing by, he will see ...
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0answers
47 views

From gauge invariance to charge conservation in covariant electrodynamics

I tried to solve the equations of motion using the action for the electromagnetic field interacting with a current, like $$ L = F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} + A_{\nu}j^{\nu} $$ getting the right Maxwell's ...
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1answer
53 views

Speed of light when accelerating

I'm studying special relativity and saw the 2 postulates of Einstein. The most remarkable one for me is the universal speed of light. Einstein postulated that the speed of light in vacuum is the same ...
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0answers
43 views

Can the momentum of a system be spacelike?

For a particle, we always have $Eu=p$ where $u$ is the speed of the particle and correspondingly the momentum is always timelike. For a system of particles, if the potential energy is not considered ...
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1answer
26 views

Does increasing the energy of a relativistic particle increase thrust?

I know this particular chestnut has been asked before, but I have a specific variation on the theme: Particle accelerator space thrust. Specifically, cyclotrons to generate the thrust. They are ideal ...
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1answer
36 views

What happens to forces when a charge travels at near c?

Suppose 3 electrons are travelling at $c - 1$mm at 1 cm distance The charges are at rest relative to one another in their frame, but what happens to fundamental forces Fe and Fg? What Fe does A get ...
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2answers
7k views

Is it really possible to break the speed of light by flicking your wrist with a laser pointer?

Minutephysics has a popular YouTube video called "How to break the speed of light". In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the spot of ...
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2answers
76 views

Special Relativity, refractive index and catching up with a wave

Einstein was partially motivated by the following: With Maxwell's equations, a plane wave is a sinusoidal wave that varies in space in time and moving with speed $c$. These variations are linked by ...
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81 views

A method of showing how mass increases with higher velocity. I don't get it

I am a high schooler interested in physics and recently started reading a book about relativity. The name of the book is "What Is Relativity" by Jeffrey Bennet. In page 54 there is a paragraph that ...
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1answer
202 views

Herbert Dingle's paradox modified

Suppose two spaceships A and B have on them clocks A and B move along the same straight line at uniform speeds differing by 161 miles per second. And suppose they are at positions A and B in space ...
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1answer
160 views

Can special relativity be derived from the invariance of the interval?

As far as I know, the classical approach to special relativity is to take Einstein's postulates as the starting point of the logical sequence, then to derive the Lorentz transformations from them, and ...
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4answers
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Another Special Relativity Paradox inspired by Herbert Dingle's Paradox

Suppose spaceships A and B with clocks A and B move along the same straight line at uniform speeds differing by 161 miles per second. At the moment when B passes A, their clocks both read noon. ...
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1answer
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Is this the correct method for deriving E=mc^2?

So lately I tried to deriving Einstein's $$ E = mc^2$$ which later I found from this website : http://www.emc2-explained.info/Emc2/Derive.htm They use calculus based method, so I tried another way. ...
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1answer
63 views

Lorentz transformation of an antisymmetric tensor

I'm trying to find the infinitesimal Lorentz transformation of a rank 2 antisymmetric tensor. Looking through Peskin, all I can see is the transformation of a vector, and even there it is simply given....
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1answer
48 views

Invariant upper bound for velocity of a particle

In the book Relativity book by Wolfgang Rindler, he explains that the Galilean and Lorentz transformations exhaust all the possible transformations. And explaining that he says, "Now, either there is, ...
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2answers
94 views

Why $F_\mu V^\mu=0$ in special relativity? [closed]

I'm trying to prove why $F_\mu V^\mu=0$. Where $F^\mu$ is the four force and $V^\mu$ is the four velocity. Can anyone help me?
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3answers
101 views

Information, entanglement and EPR

I'm currently trying to understand why superluminal information transport is not possible. Therefore, I would like to get some help concerning the definition of information or the general setting. ...
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1answer
60 views

Relativity theory - lower end of falling to Earth object moves slower or faster than higher end?

According to relativity, time slows close to gravitational field (I prefer to say the processes with which we measure Time slows). (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafele%E2%80%93Keating_experiment) - "...
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3answers
149 views

Interpretation of terms in the Lorentz Transformation

What is the physical significance of the term "${vx}/{c^2}$" in $$ t' = \gamma \left(t- \dfrac{vx}{c^2}\right) $$ It has got something to do with clock synchronization but cant derive the 'correction ...
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60 views

Relativity on a universal scale

Imagine there was a clock on a planet the same size as earth, travelling at the same speed through space, and that this planet was at the most distant part of the universe from earth. If we had a ...
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1answer
49 views

Why does $k^z/E$ have dimensions of inverse velocity rather than velocity?

I'm studying quantum field theory and I want to prove the cross section. In Peskin's book, equation 4.77 says that: $$ \frac{1}{\left | \frac{k_{A}^{z}}{E_{A}}-\frac{k_{B}^{z}}{E_{B}}\right |}=\frac{...
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2answers
76 views

Special relativity: is this a known paradox, or one at all?

Two ships of the same proper length $L$ move towards each other, as in the diagram below (which shows it in the reference frame where the ship at the left is at rest). The fronts (noses) are pointing ...
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1answer
33 views

Lorentz contraction (or not) of an accelerated electron bunch

It's a well-known fact from special relativity that moving objects are subject to a length contraction: an object with a proper length $L_0$ moving at a high velocity $v$ will appear to a stationary ...
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1answer
28 views

Anti-commutator relation of supercharges

Reading mutiple references on SUSY (e.g. Baer and Tata's Weak Scale SUSY and A SUSY Primer by S.P. Martin, arXiv:hep-ph/9709356), there seems to be different anti-commutation relation conventions for ...
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4answers
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Does $E=mc^2$ mean that an object with mass $m$ travels at the speed of light in empty space? [closed]

I cannot wrap my head around this (Im new to physics), and this concept is troubling me. I think no, but im not sure why?
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1answer
62 views

If we traveled at almost the speed of light would objects appear the same?

We see objects with our eyes as object emits/reflects light. Say if we travel at almost the speed of light can we see the objects normally?
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1answer
112 views

Is there a physical upper limit on how fast a physical object can rotate?

Objects can not travel faster than the speed of light. Angular velocity is $\omega = \frac{s \times v}{|s|^2}$ It seems to me that for infinitely small objects (like electrons) there is no limit on ...
2
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1answer
164 views

The norm of the vector sum of two 4-momentum vectors before and after pair production

Two photons traveling along the x-axis (in a lab frame of reference) of different frequencies are about to collide. Their 4-momentum vectors are (h$\nu_1$/c , h$\nu_1$/c , 0, 0) and (h$\nu_2$/c , -h$\...
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2answers
68 views

Difference between KE “relativistic” mass and heat mass

I have been told in several answers that the term "relativistic mass" is no longer considered adequate wrt. the mass/energy increase in KE. Yet, I read that 1 Kg of gold's mass ingreases by 10^-14 Kg ...
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1answer
144 views

Invariance in Euclidean and Minkowski spaces

Consider Wick's rotation from Minkowski to Euclidean space in QFT. What is the connection between O(4) invariance in Euclidean space and Lorentz invariance in Minkowski space? If we define a quantity ...
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2answers
50 views

Difference between space of reference and system of coordinates

In the book "The meaning of the relativity" by A. Einstein, it is referring to two different concepts: space of reference and system of coordinates. What it is the difference? It says: "we ...
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3answers
97 views

What is meant by rest in rest-mass?

As far as I know only photons are considered to have no rest-mass. In common words when it doesn't move it 'disappears'. Electrons and quarks should have a rest-mass. But are they really at rest? ...
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75 views

The criteria of light

My question is regarding if the "speed of light" 299,792,458 m/s should only apply to certain frequencies of light/colors/amplitude and most the medium in which it travels at 299,792,458 m/s . Shouldn'...
2
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2answers
63 views

Time dilation: time shortest where events occur at same place?

In his book Simply Einstein Richard Wolfson describes time dilation this way: "The time between two events is shortest when measured in a reference frame where the two events occur at the same place." ...
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1answer
41 views

Observer travelling near speed of light observing a laser pointer seeing photons at speed of light?

I'm a little confused by the following classic example about the speed of light being constant for all observers (paraphrasing): Jack and Jill are both travelling at a significant portion of the ...
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0answers
53 views

How do I draw the Minkowski diagram of a event in two inertial systems when t=t'=0?

An Introduction to Mechanics" by David Kleppner & Robert Kolenkow, 1st Edition, 12.1 Assume that v= 0.6c . Find the coordinates in S' of the following events: a). x=4 [m], t= 0[s] b). x=4 [m], ...