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 many days it takes to travel to Cygnus? [duplicate]

BACKSTORY I read today newspaper and made discovery of planet Cygnus (in news paper of course :v) that human can live there! The distance is 1400 Lightyear. Assuming I travel with the world fastest ...
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Constancy of speed of light $c$ with perpendicular motion [duplicate]

Suppose light is travelling in a straight line parallel to $y$-axis takes time $t$ to reach from $y_1$ to $y_2$ in a reference frame $S$. Let there be another frame, $S'$, which is travelling parallel ...
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Does an object traveling near the speed of light create a gravitaional field? [duplicate]

Does a particle traveling near the speed of light create an observable/measureable gravitational field around it? I know most elementary particles travel near the speed of light and have no ...
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610 views

Will heating up an object increase its mass? [duplicate]

According to the $E=mc^2$ equation, will an object whose thermal energy (temperature) rises also weigh more? And by the same token, will the mass of an object decrease as its temperature approaches ...
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Klein-Gordon equation and wave velocity

It looks like solutions of the KG eqn travel faster than light, because if $$\omega^2 - k^2 = m^2$$ then $$\mid\ \omega\mid \ > \ \mid k\ \mid$$ and I thought the wave velocity was $\omega / k$. ...
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Angle between two momenta in particle physics (principal axis of a two-body decay vs. center-of-mass motion in the lab)

Situation: I have events with a W-Boson decaying into two leptons (e.g. electron and electron-neutrino). Now I want to see, whether there is an angle range into which the leptons are emitted ...
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Regarding the Weyl spinor and its transformation properties

I am trying to prove the Lorentz invariance of the (left-handed) Weyl Lagrangian: $$\mathcal L=i\psi^\dagger\bar\sigma^\mu\partial_\mu\psi$$ A Lorentz transformation is realized as $\psi\to M\psi$, ...
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Why magnetic field lines and force are not orthogonal with magnets?

The below explanation why magnetism exists is superb in this video. The explanation about magnets is also great in this video. A magnet has atoms with unpaired electrons forming mini magnets. The ...
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Why is the stress-energy tensor symmetric?

The relativistic stress-energy tensor $T$ is important in both special and general relativity. Why is it symmetric, with $T_{\mu\nu}=T_{\nu\mu}$? As a secondary question, how does this relate to the ...
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Coincidence of spacetime events & Lorentz invariance

Am I correct in thinking that if two spacetime events are coincident in one frame of reference, then they are coincident in all frames of reference, i.e. coincidence of spacetime events is a Lorentz ...
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34 views

Is the scale factor Lorentz invariant?

Given that the Minkowski metric does not change under a Lorentz transformation, the scale factor does not change in the special case when it is equal to 1. Is this result true in general? i.e. is the ...
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Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
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How are photons effected by gravity? [duplicate]

If we use E=m²c⁴+p²c², and we know mass of photon is zero, and they have momentum but why aren't they affected by gravity.
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How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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7answers
790 views

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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2answers
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Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
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Vector representations of Lorentz transformation in terms of $E$ and $p$

Hello everybody the things I understand are the transformation properties of a four vector given as $\tag{1} p^\mu = \Lambda^\mu_{\,\,\nu} p^\nu.$ and an arbitrarily boosted transformation is of the ...
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The relativity of gravity: If mass is relative how much gravity do I experience?

Now let's say the I am on a spaceship. The spaceship is not accelerating, i.e., it is not firing its rockets. Most of the ship's mass is in the back of the ship. Let's say it is moving arbitrarily ...
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Prove that $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$, and $T_{11}$ are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$ at $(ct, x, 0, 0)$ for star of constant luminosity $L$

We have a star of constant luminosity $L$. We want to prove that the components $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$ and $T_{11}$ are all the same for the event $(ct,x,0,0)$ and they are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$. ...
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Do photons have relativistic mass?

I am conducting research on photons and was wondering if they have relativistic mass. I already know that they they have zero rest mass. Any answers are welcome!
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Is this a Lorentz-scalar? How do I tell?

I'm struggling to identify whether a scalar is a Lorentz-scalar. E.g: $$\partial_i A^i \quad i \in {1,2,3}.$$ How do I determine if this is a Lorentz-scalar or not? If got the same problem with ...
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Dirac Eqn: why separate operators

At some point Dirac writes: (OpA)(OpB)Y = 0 where OpA and OpB are those two brackets that differ only in the sign of m, then he deduces: (OpA)Y = 0 OR (OpB)Y = 0 (or is that AND). I don't get ...
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Amplitude for a string to propagate from one point to another

In Zwiebach’s book sections 12.6 and 12.7 interesting aspects of the wave function of the string are discussed. In order to introduce my question first recall what happens with the relativistic ...
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What does Weinberg–Witten theorem want to express?

Weinberg-Witten theorem states that massless particles (either composite or elementary) with spin $j > 1/2$ cannot carry a Lorentz-covariant current, while massless particles with spin $j > 1$ ...
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If traveling at the speed of lights stops time, why does it take light 8 minutes to reach Earth?

I just learned that, according to Einstein's relativity theory, time reaches zero for an observer (light) when traveling at the speed of light, so everything is supposed to be at the same place in the ...
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Would time-dependent wave-functions be constrained by relativity?

Please pardon my beginners understanding. I was thinking about the wave function of a "free particle", $\psi(x,t)$, where $\psi(x,0)$ is the initial condition. Writing $\psi (x,t)$ as $\sum\limits_n ...
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Postulates of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

I have been reading this Phys.SE answer in order to clarify my doubts. It seems to me that he claims that the postulates are the same no matter if it is QFT, QM or whatever. But some books tell us ...
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Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
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Propagation speed of photons when taking higher-order QFT corrections into account

In our group of experimental physicist who have nothing to do with and know very little about quantum field theory, we recently had a question concerning the propagation speed of photons in vacuum: ...
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Does special relativity explains working of an electromagnet?

I heard that special relativity could be used to explain the working of electromagnet, but couldn't dig anything out of it. Can somebody give some explanation of the above? I also heard that it is ...
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What effect does direction have on special relativity?

Okay, so here's what I'm stuck on. First imagine there is an observer (observor A) on a train heading west at half the speed of light. It is chasing a beam of light. There is another observer ...
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Time and gravity relation

I was reading about relativity when I crossed by the applications of relativity in real life, and they said that as the elevation increase time increase so gravity decrease Can someone explain to me, ...
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Understanding the nature of metric tensor [closed]

The metric tensor for a flat spatial manifold gives us length on object, or separation between two space points. Similarly, $g_{\mu \lambda} dx{^\mu} dx{^\lambda}$ gives separation between two space ...
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Would impact angle matter on relativistic impactor?

I'm trying to calculate (for fun) a comparison between a kinetic impactor and an H-bomb. I would assume this to be a fairly straight forward problem involving kinetic energy and a table of various ...
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Does relativity objectively define entropy?

In his undergraduate text "Spacetime Physics", Wheeler points out that there is always a fourth component to momentum and energy interactions, because the internal motion of the objects involved will ...
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Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
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Lagrangians densities & interactions in field theory

To avoid ambiguity, this question pertains to the construction of Lagrangian densities (including interaction terms) in terms of their values at single points in spacetime. In classical mechanics in ...
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why do x Schwarzschild radii equal time dilation effects of speed of light going y times faster than an object^2?

let me walk you through the math. First you start with the gravitational time dilation formula where: $$ T_1=T\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}} $$ and rather than entering $r$ for the radius we replace $r$ ...
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Can light travel slower than the maximum?

First of all, I know that light does indeed travel slower in a medium like air or water, but that's because the photons are bouncing off of the medium's particles and in different directions so the ...
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Maximizing particle annihilation of a certain particle type?

Is there any theoretical situation where one would be able to maximize the production of a certain type of particle? I wish to continue discussing this question: Where would dark matter be produced? ...
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What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
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If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?

I've often heard that Einstein shattered the notion of absolute motion (i.e. all things move relative to one another) and that he established the speed of light as being absolute. That sounds ...
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how to prove that two angles made by unprimed axes are same in minkowski diagram

I am reading special theory of relativity by resnick.In supplemntory topic A it is given that two inertial reference frame s and s' where s' is moving relative to s with uniform velocity.The diagram ...
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How can time be relative?

I don't understand how time can be relative to different observers, and I think my confusion is around how I understand what time is. I have always been told (and thought) that time is basically a ...
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Are (active vs. passive) and (covariant vs. contravariant) related?

I've only heard about the active/passive transformation distinction and the covariant/contravariant distinction in passing, but whenever I hear about both of them at the same time, people seem to say ...
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magnet moving in space

I know that a time varying magnetic field produces an electric field even in the absence of a conducting body, because thats how em waves work. But can you say the same for a space varying magnetic ...
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What happens to light when the light source is spinning rapidly

In Einsteins analogy to demonstrate relativity, he asked that we envision two trains moving at different velocities, and then imagine a light shone from one train to the other. Do we know what impact ...
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Do particles with exactly zero energy exist?

In my understanding, in Newtonian mechanics if something has no mass it cannot be said to "exist" since it cannot possibly have energy or momentum and thus cannot participate in interactions or be ...
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Does the reaction force appear without delay?

According to Newton's law of action-reaction, there is a reaction force for the action force. He did not say when the reaction appears, whether immediately or with a delay. Could you tell me the ...