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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Determining the range of values for separation angle (Landau problem)

I encountered a problem while reading the following exercise from the second Landau & Lifshitz volume: Determine the range value in the $L$-system for the angle between the two decay particles ...
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2answers
54 views

Can a spaceship increase velocity “infinitly” [duplicate]

This keeps me awake at night, and i can't seem to find the solution. Introduction: Suppose an observer is currently at rest, and a space ship accelerates close to the speed of light (current velocity ...
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36 views

Don't photons pass photons move away at speeds faster than light? [duplicate]

I understand there is a longstanding rule that nothing travels faster than the speed of light... but if you had two flashlight aimed at each other and turned them on inside a vacuum the photons from ...
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62 views

Calculate Time travel with Time Dilation [closed]

Does the following hold: If we have: person A moving at a speed of $0$; person B moving at a speed of $xC$ (where $C$ is speed of light, $x$ a fraction) And if time passes for $m$ ...
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86 views

Since the Earth is moving through space, do we experience time dilation?

What I mean is, the Earth orbits around the sun at around 30km/s, while I understand that this isn't a very high velocity does time dilation still occur to say a person who is completely stationary in ...
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Travelling faster than the speed of light

Let's say I fire a bus through space at (almost) the speed of light. If I'm inside the bus (sitting on the back seat) and I run up the aisle of the bus will I in fact be traveling faster than the ...
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2answers
503 views

Exact definition of momentarily comoving reference frame (MCRF)

Consider a particle $P$ in the framework of special relativity with position $r(t)=(ct,x(t),y(t),z(t))$ respect to an inertial reference frame $\Sigma=(ct,x,y,z;O)$. I need to know if the following ...
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3answers
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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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103 views

Paradox - Laws of physics are the same in all inertial reference frames vs Equivalence Principle (Pictures Added)

According to the equivalence principle, no experiment should exist that one can perform to determine whether one is in an accelerating elevator, or in a gravitational field. I will outline two ...
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429 views

How much fuel is required for star travel considering relativistic time dilation?

John Rennie's Q&A How long would it take me to travel to a distant star? discusses about interstellar travel taking into consideration. There was a case that discussed about constant ...
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57 views

Ηow does a current density becomes a charge density?

The transformations in special relativity of current and charge density fields are given as follows: $\bar J' = \begin{matrix} \gamma(J_x - Vρ) \\ J_y \\ J_z \end{matrix}$ $ρ' =\gamma (ρ - {V J_x ...
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Galilean relativity & the road to special relativity

Firstly, I just want to make sure that I've understood the notions of relative and absolute quantities correctly. Elementary analysis shows that position and velocity are relative quantities. Indeed, ...
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Is the fourth dimension of Minkowski Spacetime viewed as an axis? [duplicate]

In the three axes of space, I can move in a positive or negative fashion, up or down, side to side, etc. Why is this not the same for the axis of time, if it is an axis? If it's not an axis, what is ...
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1answer
121 views

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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2answers
156 views

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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45 views

Which is the corrispondent of the Lorentz's transformation in general relativity?

The Lorentz's transformations tell us how space and time change in a flat case? There are a more general and powerfull transformation for general relativity?
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Special Relativistic approximation to GR

Some time ago I was talking to a professor in college about some of the fundamental aspects and origin of General Relativity. I was surprised to learn, in fact, that a pretty good approximation to GR ...
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1answer
319 views

Cancelling special & general relativistic effects

We know that for a GPS we need to make a correction for both general and special relativity: general relativity predicts that clocks go slower in a higher gravitational field (the clock aboard a GPS ...
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1answer
82 views

Does the Unruh effect really describe a thermal bath?

If we consider a free (massless scalar) field $\phi$ in Minkowski space and look at it in Rindler coordinates (which correspond to what an accelerated observer sees), we find that the action of the ...
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33 views

Is distance always 0 relative to an object moving at speed of light $c$?

As I understand it, when an object is traveling at the speed of light, relative to itself all travel is instantaneous and the distance is zero. If a photon traveling from the sun was aligned with the ...
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3answers
104 views

The speed of light/EM waves in vacuum; as if there was another one in non-vacuum?

Q1: is there a speed of a photon other than in "vacuum"? Q2: isn't "speed of light in vacuum" misleading? If I understand, that light moves with speed of light until there is "something in between" ...
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2answers
68 views

The invariance vs constancy of the speed of light in vacuum

This is perhaps as much a question of semantics as of physics but it is something I have been thinking about recently and was wondering if anyone else had a perspective on this. Now, it could be that ...
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4answers
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Photon Emission/Absorbsion from the Photons Perspective [duplicate]

First some assumptions. 1) Photons travel at the speed of light. 2) From the photon's reference spacetime is contracted to 0 length in the direction of photon travel. 3) From the photon's reference ...
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2answers
71 views

Clarification on meaning of scalar in math and scalar in physics

When a mathematician says something is a scalar, say on the plane, they mean that it associates to points on the plane real numbers. When a physicist says something is a scalar, they mean that if we ...
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What would've happened if we wormhole Titan to orbit between Jupiter and Mars? [migrated]

Lets assume we humankind can not only wormhole the spacecraft, but planets and moons. So, what would've happened to Earth if we pulled Aurora to be Mars's third moon? What if we moved Titan in between ...
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1k views

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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Would time freeze if you could travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the universal speed limit. So, if I were to travel in a spacecraft at (practically) the ...
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322 views

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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541 views

Light-cone coordinates

The light-cone coordinates are defined as $$x^{\pm} ~=~\frac{x^0 \pm x^3}{\sqrt{2}}.$$ Then in the light cone coordinates the position 4-vector becomes: $(x^+, x^-, x^1, x^2)$ . Zwiebach, in his A ...
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203 views

Why is the metric tensor symmetric? [duplicate]

I was reading Schutz, A First Course in General Relativity. On page 9, he argued that the metric tensor is symmetric: $$ ds^2~=~\sum_{\alpha,\beta}\eta_{\alpha\beta} ~dx^{\alpha}~dx^{\beta} $$ ...
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116 views

Tricks for evaluating tensor contractions with Levi-Civita symbol

I am trying to evaluate the Lorentz invariant $\epsilon^{\alpha\beta\gamma\delta}F_{\alpha\beta}F_{\gamma\delta}$, where $F_{\mu\nu}$ is the electromagnetic field tensor, $$ F_{\mu\nu} = ...
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213 views

Fate of largest scale structures?

In $\Lambda\mathrm{CDM}$, structures form "bottom up" with larger structures forming later. Structures are generally speaking supported by the velocity dispersion of their constituent objects (e.g. ...
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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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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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On the no-faster-than-light in special relativity

In the special relativity it is well established that, in the vacuum no one can ever travel faster than light, due to the relativistic velocity addition formula. Recently I saw some silly statement ...
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High speed and low speed photons

Looking at the discovery of the neutron, and I came across this page: http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphy/neutron/neutron3_1.htm The animation on the left, talks about low energy photons and ...
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5answers
399 views

Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

The principle of non-locality states "that an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings." (Wikipedia) When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we ...
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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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1answer
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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 , ...
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Are moving objects producing stronger gravity fields? [duplicate]

If the strength of gravitational influence exerted by a body is derived from its mass and energy then is it true that a moving object which has some kinetic energy should also produce stronger ...
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Parameterisation of the equation of motion for a relativistic massive point particle

The equation of motion for a relativistic massive point particle is given by: $$\frac{dp_{\mu}}{d \tau} = 0,$$ where $p_{\mu}$ is the four-momentum defined by $p_{\mu} = m \frac{dx_{\mu}}{ds/c}$, ...
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165 views

Time-reversed twin paradox

This started with wondering about the nature of certain physical quantities under time-reversal - chiefly, that acceleration retains its magnitude and direction at a given time regardless of the ...
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81 views

What experience tells us that gravitational acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to describe the consequences of the Equivalence Principle, Papapetrou in his book, said: When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of ...
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2answers
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Is the Einstein Energy-Momentum equation $E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$ valid only for Free Particles?

Is the energy -momentum relation $$E^2 = p^2c^2 + m_0^2c^4$$ satisfied only by free particles or even bound particles? Does the Energy refer to total Energy(including potential) or only (kinetic ...
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Would magnetic charge (i.e., magnetic monopoles) be Lorentz invariant if it existed?

Would magnetic charge (i.e., magnetic monopoles) be Lorentz invariant if it existed? It is clear that Maxwell's equations in themselves permit magnetic charges but what would their relativistic ...
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40 views

Does an electron beam always repel electrons outside the beam?

Having read that question: Magnetic force as a relativistic effect? And quoting from the answer: http://physics.stackexchange.com/a/143901/7743 If you want to analyze things in the electrons' ...
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1answer
23 views

Relativistic conical pendulum [closed]

I came across this problem while going through old exams of my Physics department: A pendulum with mass $m$ is swinging on the $xy$ plane at high velocity $v = 10^7\ ms^{-1}$, performing a ...
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1answer
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Proving the conservation of 4-momentum for a particle collision $A+B\to C+D$

Let me say that particle A hits particle B and two particles come out - C and D; In system S I can write: $$p_A^μ+p_B^μ=p_C^μ+p_D^μ;\tag{1}$$ here $p_N^μ$ is the 4-momentum. Using the Lorentz ...
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Relativity Mass [duplicate]

How does mass increase as velocity approaches the speed of light? Why does the (relativistic) mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light?