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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Luminosity and entropy of a relativistic shell

I am looking to understand more about gamma ray bursts. The review I am reading through describes in equations (111), (112) the luminosity of a relativistic plasma shell, in an inertial frame at rest ...
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2answers
75 views

Transformation of four-velocity in special relativity

I am revising special relativity introducing more matrix form in the equation. Currently I am reading book in which transformation matrix is defined as $${\Lambda= \begin{bmatrix} \gamma & ...
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3answers
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If there is no definite speed in the universe, only relative speeds, how does energy increase when velocity approaches the speed of light?

Is the concept of energy increasing as it approaches the speed of light based on the fact that this is only true relative to the observer? Lets say, there's a scenario where a person in a rocket ...
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66 views

Time dilation and relativity paradox? [duplicate]

I've come across a weird paradox that I can't answer, I will explain it via the following thought experiment: There is a space-train and an observer 1 light year apart with synchronised clocks. The ...
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2answers
192 views

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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4answers
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How would the twins paradox be affected by wormholes?

The famous twins paradox where one twin travels to a distant star and returns to find an aged brother can be resolved with general relativity pretty easily, but I was wondering about this: If the ...
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2answers
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Is special relativity true? [closed]

Is the special theory of relativity true? http://www.npr.org/2014/03/20/291408248/einsteins-lost-theory-discovered-and-its-wrong
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2answers
231 views

Twin paradox…what happens to the ship?

The earth bound twin looks up and sees his travelling twin moving slower inside his spaceship because he is whizzing by at some percent speed of light. But what does the motion of the ship itself ...
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1answer
35 views

How to calculate spacetime intervals on a spacetime diagram?

In SR, the spacetime interval is given by the metric: $ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2$ (where I set $c=1$). To calculate $ds^2$ of a worldline on a spacetime diagram, I measure $dt$ and $dx$ of the line of ...
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1answer
92 views

What would happen in this “close to the speed of light” scenario?

Say you had a really long pole made of a super strong material, and at the you turned it through an angle of (for example) 45 degrees. Turning the pole through a small angle at the bottom would ...
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5answers
534 views

Can we change a photon's frequency in mid-air?

Can we have a light source emitting photons in the infrared range and after, lets say, 5 meters, these photons become a photon in the x-ray range? The only way I know we can change a photon's ...
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1answer
206 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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angle between spacelike and timelike vector

What is the significance of the fact that the angle between a spacelike and a timelike vector has a real part of pi/2?
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60 views

Black Hole - Between event horizon and singularity

Dear Physics Board Users What is between the singularity and the event horizon? If the gravitation gets bigger and bigger coming nearer to a black hole, is then the gravition inside even bigger that ...
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1answer
75 views

Why is locality an important requirement in physics?

Why is locality insisted upon in physics? Is it simple because empirical evidence suggests it, and also taking relativity into account, required due to the upper limit of propagation limited by the ...
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1answer
67 views

Derivation of the Lorentz algebra explicity [closed]

I need the complete proof for commutation relation of the Lorentz group generators. The proof of Lorentz algebra using this commutation relation.
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3answers
256 views

A question in Special Relativity

In books the equation for length contraction is derived by supposing that the velocity of the spacecraft is the same for both observers. So the question is that, is the velocity really the same for ...
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3answers
65 views

Lorentz Transformations understanding

I am wondering whether or not I fully understood what the variables represent in the Lorentz time and distance transformations. What I understand is: t′ is the 'proper time', the time taken to move ...
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1answer
24 views

Firing counter-propagating photons inside a moving train

This is sort of a follow-up to my other question, in which you have the following scenario: Have a photon gun firing two counter-propogating photons from the center of a moving train. The observer ...
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1answer
31 views

What happens when breaking simultaneity leads to different outcomes?

Consider the classic example to show that simultaneity does not hold: Have a photon gun firing two counter-propogating photons from the center of a moving train. The observer inside the train sees ...
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1answer
112 views

Relativistic Kinematics - 2-Body Particle Decay

Consider the scenario where a particle of mass $M$ decays into two lighter particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$. In the center of mass frame (i.e. $\mathbf{p}_1$ and $\mathbf{p}_2$, the momenta of the ...
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43 views

invariant angles in Minkowski space

Invariant intervals are fundamental in relativity. But if you make a triangle in space-time from 3 invariant intervals, then it will also have 3 invariant angles, by the cosine law which can easily be ...
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2answers
52 views

Velocity of approach of a beam of light and a moving object

I came across a problem on Brian Greene's course on Special Relativity. (http://www.worldscienceu.com/courses/6/elements/TnRUSU) From George's perspective, how fast does a beam of light approach ...
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5answers
427 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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2answers
50 views

Geometric definition of the Lorentz inner product

In Euclidean space one can define the dot product as projecting one vector to the other and multiply the length of the projected vector with the length of the other vector. This definition doesn't ...
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2answers
81 views

Video of light passing through water

How is this possible? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtsXgODHMWk Video shows beam of light travelling through water. I was under impression that Einstein's equations showed that light speed is ...
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32 views

What are some ways to measure variations in the speed of light in vacuum?

To avoid confusion, I am not talking about measuring differences in the speed of light in vacuum as a result of a particular Lorentz boost. What I mean is, suppose the "constant speed of light" were ...
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2answers
472 views

Relativistic Energy

The question stated: By what percentage does your rest mass increase when you climb 30m to the top of a ten-story building? New to the concept of relativistic energy, I was a bit confused with ...
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4answers
467 views

Is $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ correct, or is $E=mc^2$ the correct one?

I have been having trouble distinguishing these two equations and figuring out which one is correct. I have watched a video that says that $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ is correct, but I do not know why. It ...
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1answer
50 views

What is meant by “the Klein-Gordon equation is unsymmetrical between the temporal and spatial components”, and why is this a problem? [closed]

The Klein-Gordon equation explicitly reads $\left( \frac{\partial ^2}{c^2\partial t^2} - \nabla ^2+\left( \frac{m_0 c}{\hbar}\right)^2\right) \psi =0$ Now I read here on page 8 that: What is ...
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2answers
737 views

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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3answers
276 views

What does the first postulate of specially relativity really say?

I know these two versions of the same postulate is saying the same thing. But I failed to connect them. Please help me understand the links between them. version1 The laws of physics are the same ...
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1answer
424 views

Gravity's Rainbow

What is it? I've seen it in context of a few research papers such as Absence of black holes at LHC due to gravity's rainbow and Thermodynamics of black holes in gravity’s rainbow formalisms My best ...
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1answer
32 views

Regarding different representations of the Lorentz Group & its defining properties

Take $\Lambda$ to be a Lorentz matrix, it satisfying $\Lambda^T \eta \Lambda=\eta$. By writing $\Lambda=\exp[-\frac{i}{2}\omega_{\mu\nu}\mathcal J^{\mu\nu}]$, we find that the generators satisfy $$ ...
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106 views

Using Lorentz transformations

The question states that two particles in a high-energy accelerator experiment approach each other head-on with a relative speed of $0.890 \, c$. Both particles travel at the same speed on a straight ...
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1answer
69 views

Problem conserving 4-momentum at CoM frame in an inelastic collision [closed]

I am confused about the case where mass is not conserved in a collision (not due to relativistic factors). The center of momentum (CoM) frame is not the same before and after the collision. Let's ...
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48 views

Are photons just electric waves in an electron's frame of reference?

They say that electrons emit photons when they jump to a lower orbit. But the way electrons should see it, there's no any emission, really. There's just rapid change in electric field due to a rapid ...
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2answers
64 views

Energy in the Relativistic COM Frame

I have been taught that in Classical Mechanics, the total energy of a system of two particles in the Centre of Mass Frame is given by $$ E_\mathrm{total} = \frac{1}{2}MV^2 + \frac{1}{2}\mu v_r^2 $$ ...
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Why is the speed of light limited to (only) 299.792.458 m/s? [closed]

The speed of light (in a vacuum) is limited to 299.792.458 m/s. This sounds very fast, and it is on a global scale. But if you look at the Universe on a larger scale than it sounds quite slow, For ...
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1answer
71 views

Einstein on a train paradox: what's the resolution?

Okay, so Einstein is on a train looking at a mirror. The train is moving at $c - 1 \frac ms$. Einstein is facing in the direction of motion. All along the side of the train are stationary clocks. ...
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1answer
87 views

Is there a reason why a relativistic quantum theory of a single fermion exists, but of a single scalar not?

When we try to construct the relativistic generalization of non-relativistic time dependent Schroedinger equation, there are at least two possible completions - Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac ...
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1answer
30 views

The effects of special relativity when accounting for two reference frames

If reference frame A is travelling past reference frame B could one argue that it is in fact B that is motionless as their motion is relative to each other? If this is the case then how does one ...
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1answer
147 views

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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1answer
120 views

How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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1answer
53 views

Could light be limiting towards a more fundamental speed limit? [closed]

Could it be possible (as in strictly speaking, no evidence going against this) that light could be limiting towards a more fundamental speed, and that light truly does slow down when a mass goes a ...
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9answers
5k views

If an event happens 10 light years away and we observe it here, did it actually happen 10 years ago?

I'm sorry if this question has been answered a squillion times; I need someone with smarts to explain it to me. If an event happens at a distance of 10 light years away, and we observe it here, at a ...
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1answer
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Special Relativity: Time Dilation

I am having difficulty solving the following problem: How fast must a rocket travel relative to the earth so that time in the rocket "slows down" to half its rate as measured by earth-based ...
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322 views

Is the assumption that space-time has to be a continuum just a matter of mathematical taste?

Is the assumption that space-time has to be a continuum just a matter of mathematical taste? Isn't there any physical significance associated with it?
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Energy for acceleration towards speed of light is relative?

This seems a very simple question - and I guess it will turn out to be so. It's a given that accelerating particles with mass towards the speed of light takes more and more energy (ultimately an an ...
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6answers
398 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...