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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Minkowski Diagram for Time-Like Separated Events

A while ago, I asked a question if two events are always simultaneous in some reference frame. I received excellent answers. The point is that if $E_1$ and $E_2$ are time-like separated with time ...
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Special relativity question [closed]

I have a problem. I´m trying to solve this, but I have no idea how to start, how to understand it. We have two objects moving away from each other, each has a speed $v$. We measure time in the system ...
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260 views

How come the concept of an instant of time is such a controversial topic with relativity, but with entanglement it's completely acceptable?

When talking about relativity most people say that a universal instant of time doesn't exist, but when talking about entanglement most will say that the particles are both measured instantaneously. ...
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special relativity with four vectors [closed]

I am new in the group and I have an exam on electromagnetism with special relativity tomorrow and I really stack on four vectors. It's the first time that I encounter four vectors. I got formulas in ...
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1answer
128 views

Why doesn’t the Sagnac Effect disprove relativity?

It was my understanding that the speed of light is supposed to be constant for every observer, as in the classical mental experiment of the guy in the train with the flashlights which explain the ...
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1answer
48 views

A general relativity question about 4-velocity? [closed]

In a general spacetime with metric $g_{\alpha\beta}$ where there exists coordinates such that there are observers with 4-velocity $u^{\mu} = \{1,0,0,0\}$, show that $$ g_{00} = -1 ...
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How does the solar sailing concept work?

Wikipedia describes solar sailing as a form of spacecraft propulsion using a combination of light and high speed ejected gasses from a star to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds. I ...
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3answers
121 views

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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Could unfound matter travel faster than light? [duplicate]

Is it impossible to go faster than the speed of light or is it just that we have not yet found anything that travels faster?
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303 views

The definition of transpose of Lorentz transformation (as a mixed tensor)

In the appendix of the textbook of Group Theory in Physics by Wu-Ki Tung, the transpose of a matrix is defined as the following, Eq.(I.3-1) $${{A^T}_i}^j~=~{A^j}_i.$$ This is extremely confusing for ...
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1answer
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Does scale invariance imply massless or continuous mass distribution?

$\newcommand{\ket}[1]{\lvert #1 \rangle}\newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle #1 \rvert}\newcommand{\scp}[2]{\langle #1 \vert #2 \rangle}$ In his 2008 slides Unparticle Phenomenology (PDF), Tzu-Chiang Yuan ...
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1answer
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Camera on the ground vs camera in a train

A couple days ago my history teacher was explaining special relativity with the train example, where you are in a train close to light speed and you see a clock on the train terminal and the clock ...
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“Derivation” of Minkowski metric?

Is there a deeper meaning behind the the Minkowski metric? Does it just come from the SR formulae? Or is there some deeper geometrical meaning, maybe in the context of GR?
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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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Does a photon in vacuum have a rest frame?

Quite a few of the questions given on this site mention a photon in vacuum having a rest frame such as it having a zero mass in its rest frame. I find this contradictory since photons must travel at ...
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Does Special Relativity Define a Number divided by 0? [duplicate]

As a new student of special relativity, I am confused by the statement light experiences no time, because $$∆t = {∆t_0\over\sqrt{1-{v^2\over c^2}}}$$ Wouldn't that imply that ${1\over0}= ...
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1answer
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Lagrangian for free particle in special relativity

From definition of Lagrangian: $L = T - U$. As I understand for free particle ($U = 0$) one should write $L = T$. In special relativity we want Lorentz-invariant action thus we define free-particle ...
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Is macroscopic causality an issue in the context of certain quantum experiments?

In order to formulate my question properly I need to explain a few things. Cramer_Herbert Zych_Brukner Reference 1. - John Cramer, Nick Herbert, "An Inquiry into the Possibility of Nonlocal Quantum ...
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2answers
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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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3answers
108 views

Time dilation. Why?

We are able to predict, measure and mathematically demonstrate time dilation, but are we able to explain 'why' it happens? what would be that explanation? Edit1 Think the question backwards: After ...
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1answer
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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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42 views

Traveling near the speed of light

If I travel near the speed of light, form a stationary observer perspectives, I will take 1 year plus to travel 1 light year, but in my perspective, would I take less than 1 year to travel to that ...
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1answer
79 views

Is cause-effect always preserved in relativity?

I guess most of you are familiar with the "paradox" of the train passing through a tunnel smaller than itself on a speed close to the speed of light and 2 guillotines (1 in the exit and 1 in the ...
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Is Lorentz transformation applicable of light itself?

I've just studied Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and have followed most part of it. I was just wondering that whether the equations of Lorentz transformation are applicable on light? i.e. can ...
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Frames of reference and why are they different

Here is a quote from "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene. Imagine two countries that have been at war are sitting down to sign a treaty ending hostilities while traveling aboard a train that is ...
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1answer
272 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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4 dimensional interpretation

Has it ever been hypothetized that, in a 4 dimensional space, being time the 4th D, one body could travel through the dimensions at the combined speed of $c$? If a body is at rest in the classical 3 ...
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Our speed and direction by comparing the speed of light?

If the speed of light is constant no matter the speed of the source, shouldn't we be able to know the direction and exact speed we are going relative to the absolute 0 in speed? If a photon is sent in ...
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Time flow difference for satellites [duplicate]

Clocks in satellites have to be adjusted due to the effects of relativity; but does time for satellites (GPS) flow slower, due to the relative motion, or faster, due to the weaker amount of ...
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1answer
156 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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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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Do the mediums decrease or increase the speed of light? (source to target) [duplicate]

If sun is the source of light then is it possible that the speed of light might increase depending on the mediums its going through or its not possible.
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1answer
105 views

Planck length paradox [closed]

This is a paradox I thought of a few days ago, and I wanted to ask whether it makes any sense and where the mistake is. We know that the nothing but light can move faster than light itself. So in a ...
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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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What does it mean to perturb the electromagnetic energy with respect to a change in a Lorentz frame?

I am perturbing the energy of an electromagnetic field using \begin{align} \dfrac{\partial U}{\partial \zeta} = \dfrac{1}{\mu} \boldsymbol{H}\cdot \dfrac{\partial \boldsymbol{H}}{\partial \zeta} + ...
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Faster than light signals and the price to be paid if we accept them : a very simple protocol

Most physicists currently understand entanglement as transferring information instantaneously, yet not violating causality. Is this really a satisfactory explanation, or should be look for something ...
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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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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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Non-symmetric Lorentz Matrix

I was working out a relatively simple problem, where one has three inertial systems $S_1$, $S_2$ and $S_3$. $S_2$ moves with a velocity $v$ relative to $S_1$ along it's $x$-axis, while $S_3$ moves ...
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Would it be possible to develop special relativity without knowing about light?

My understanding of special relativity is that it is fundamentally based on the constancy of the speed of electromagnetic radiation - that this speed is a physical law (or derivable from physical laws ...
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Is there any upper limit on a particles kinetic energy?

While the speed of light is the "ultimate speed limit" for any particle.. Is there any upper limit to kinetic energy?
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How to construct generators and Lie Algebra for Lorentz group?

I'm trying to figure out Lorentz group in 2+1. First of all, I'd like to think the special orthgonal group as a combination of rotation and boost in space. Then I construct it as below. First rotation ...
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Relativistic momentum of an electron

Suppose we have some interaction between a photon and an (initially) stationary electron, and we wished to find the final momentum of the electron. Should we solve this using conservation of momentum, ...
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is speed of light is the limit [closed]

If an electron is away from a proton about 1 kilometer and the proton is fixed what will be the velocity of electron when they collide? I calculated it its speed was coming out to be more than the ...
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1answer
100 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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Paradox in special relativity

Yesterday we started relativity on our physics class, and my professor taught us a few concepts. We did some examples on how things changed by looking them from different reference systems, and a ...
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148 views

How can we justify dropping the absolute time hypothesis?

In some approaches to Special Relativity the theory is motivated talking about the Michelson-Morley experiment and how this relates to the postulate that the speed of light is the same in every ...
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1answer
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Symmetric Time Dilation in Uniform Relative Motion

I feel (and hope) this is an easily answerable question among physicists versed in GR. I promise that I searched for other answers on the forum. Here goes: Observer 1 starts at X distance from ...
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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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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 ...