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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Spin in relativity

Mass and spin of the particle are used in classification of elementary particles. The mass is defined to be a Lorentz invariant quantity. On the other hand, the spin is a spacelike 4-vector and cannot ...
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Is Kinetic Energy stored as mass?

I know that if some object acquires potential energy, it also gains mass- is it the same for kinetic energy?
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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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Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole?

Is it possible for information (like 1 and 0s) to be transmitted faster than light? For instance, take a rigid pole of several AU in length. Now say you have a person on each end, and one of them ...
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What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...
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Special relativity paradox and gravitation/acceleration equivalence

One of the features of the black hole complementarity is the following : According to an external observer, the infinite time dilation at the horizon itself makes it appear as if it takes an ...
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Do photons change velocity instantaneously?

Any object traveling at c is observed as traveling at c in all reference frames. When a photon travels through a vacuum at c, all reference frames observe it traveling at c. When a photon passes ...
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Can acceleration feel like constant gravity for indefinitely long?

So here's the setup: I'm in a spaceship, without windows as always, and the ship is accelerating upwards at a constant rate of $1\,\text{g}$. So inside the spaceship it feels like I'm being pulled ...
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59 views

Thought experiment: Tethered galaxies - to the extreme

If two rocks were tied together with a tight, absurdly long, non-elastic rope, and placed on planets at either end of Earth's observable universe - or beyond - What would happen? Is the structural ...
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1answer
55 views

4-vector velocity to Newtonian?

The four-vector condition for a particle free of forces is: $\frac{du}{dτ} = 0$ and the equivalence of this to the statement of newton's first law follows from the expression for four-velocity: ...
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Relativistic Conservation laws [closed]

Conservation of Relativistic mass and thus energy is easily proven by considering an inelastic collision of two bodies while invoking the conservation of momentum. As such the momentum law appears ...
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1answer
45 views

Doppler Shift when Light Travels Through Two Different Mediums

When considering the Doppler shift, the 'canonical equation' is $$f=\frac{c+vr}{c+vs}f_0$$ However, this equation seems to run into trouble in the following situation: A light source inside water is ...
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Is there a graphical representation of the Lorentz transformation equations?

I always loved theoretical physics as a kid and when I came upon this site while seeking computer advice via superuser I had to stick my silly little head into an oasis of intelligence. I have often ...
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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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2answers
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Is negative mass for a bound system of two particles forbidden?

Is there any theorem that forbids the bound system of two massive particles to have negative mass?
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5answers
2k views

Why are objects at rest in motion through spacetime at the speed of light?

I read that an object at rest has such a stupendous amount of energy, $E=mc^2$ because it's effectively in motion through space-time at the speed of light and it's traveling through the time dimension ...
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2answers
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Refractive index of dielectric in different frames of reference

The setup A transparent isotropic dielectric medium moving in the negative $x'$ direction at speed $v$ in frame $S'$ is stationary in frame $S$, where it has refractive index $n$. In other words, ...
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1answer
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Minkowski spacetime vs Euclidian space

Two questions marked in bold: What is the magnitude of a Minkowski spacetime four velocity? I'm deducing that it is c for all observers, but I'd like it confirmed. In Euclidian space, a velocity ...
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391 views

Are Lorentz transformations linear transformations? [duplicate]

My textbook says that Lorentz transformations are linear transformations and present them as matrices. Lorentz transformations relate different coordinate systems with each other. It seems that ...
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Coulomb's Law- Why the Coulomb's law is valid only for point and static charges?

Why the coulomb's law is valid only for point and static charges? Is there is any definite reason?
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1answer
164 views

Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
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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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Question about Origins in Galilean transformation

I'm just learning about relativity, and every equation I see for a galilean transformation of frame $S'$ (moving with uniform velocity in the $x$-direction with respect to frame $S$) is $x'=x-vt$, ...
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139 views

How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?

I've read and heard that quantum electrodynamics is more fundamental than maxwells equations. How do you go from quantum electrodynamics to Maxwell's equations?
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Approaching speed of light: why do objects appear further away in front of me?

A Slower Speed of Light is a video game created by the MIT Game Lab which allows users to experience what it would be like if the speed of light was closer to normal walking/running speeds and thus ...
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At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
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2answers
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Energy & Mass of a Photon [duplicate]

$$\text{Please read the whole question before answering}$$ Before I ask my question, I would like to say that "Yes, I do know a photon has no mass." I was helping someone here on P.SE with the ...
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Moving coil contradiction of Faraday Induction

In Faraday's Induction Experiment, the e.m.f. induced in the induction coil becomes zero when the relative velocity of the coil and the magnet becomes zero. But one can also argue from a stationary ...
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132 views

Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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Inertial frames

I'm just starting my study of relativity, and I have a rough understanding of the connection between inertial frames, newton's laws, and galilean transformations, but I'd probably benefit more if ...
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A vertical variation of modern versions of Michelson-Morley

For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea. However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical ...
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Two clocks along different worldlines

I have been reading and watching videos about this subject for a while now. I just can not seem to grasp the idea. Let's say we have two clocks. I leave one at home and keep one in my pocket. Then, ...
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2answers
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A curious case of Relativistic Velocity Addition [duplicate]

The relativistic velocity addition formula is $$u = \frac{v+u'}{1+ \frac{vu'}{c^2}}$$ Where $u$ = velocity of projectile seen by rest observer "A" $v$ = velocity of moving observer "B" as seen by ...
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Physical reason for Lorentz Transformation

Seeing the mathematical derivation of the Lorentz Transformation for time coordinates of an event for two observers we get the term. Now how to make sense physically of the $t-\frac{vx}{c^2}$ ...
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Proving that interval preserving transformations are linear

In almost all proofs I've seen of the Lorentz transformations one starts on the assumption that the required transformations are linear. I'm wondering if there is a way to prove the linearity: Prove ...
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What is the meaning of Non-Relativistic theory in Condensed Matter Physics?

I an attempt to evade the Goldstone Theorem, it is argued in Gilbert and Klein and Lee's paper that in a non-relativistic field there exists a preferred direction which can be used to evade ...
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1answer
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Prove that a derivative with respect to a covariant 4-vector is a contravariant vector operator

In special relativity, I know you can prove that the derivative with respect to a contravariant 4-vector component transforms like a covariant vector operator by using the chain rule, but I can't work ...
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Why are there no asteroids or meteoroids with relativistic speeds?

Cosmic rays can have energies going into the $10^{20}$ eV domain. Asteroids and meteoroids originating in the solar system are probably limited in their speed because they all started out from the ...
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Speed greater than light in circular motion [duplicate]

We know that linear speed of object going around a circle is $\omega * r $ Now let us take an elastic string and rotate a body of negligible mass with $\omega = 500 rad/s$ It is possible to further ...
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If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
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1answer
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Is light so important in special relativity?

I'm an amateur physics enthusiast with no formal university education in Physics. So my question might sound very naive, so forgive me. I had this question in the back of my mind since the wrong ...
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2answers
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Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
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2answers
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Magnetic force and relative frame

The magnetic field for to a moving charge depend on its velocity (Biot Savart's law). My question is that is it then not frame dependent? If it is, it means if a man is walking and other is standing ...
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Would an object lose physical mass if it accelerated to a relativistic speed (would an object burn it's own mass)?

First of all, I have read other questions, and seen how an object gains mass just by gaining a lot of speed. But here, I am talking about losing some of that mass to convert the value into kinetic ...
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4answers
389 views

Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
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How do moving charges produce magnetic fields?

I'm tutoring high school students. I've always taught them that: A charged particle moving without acceleration produces an electric as well as a magnetic field. It produces an electric field ...
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3answers
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Is sound relative when travelling fast?

If I was listening to music through my headphones and travelling close to the speed of light and time is slowing down around me , would the music slow down as well?
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1answer
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Significance of angle in relativistic mass equation

I was playing with $$M=\frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$$ and when I put $v=c\sin\theta$, I got $$M=m_0\sec\theta.$$ And this new equation is appearing so beautiful and attracting to me that I was ...
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Does this count as moving faster than light?

I'm not familiar with any complicated physics equation, however I do understand some basics. Suppose there is two objects, both of them are moving away from each other in a 3-dimensional space, which ...