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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Doppler effect of matter waves

We all know that the relativistic mass of a moving object in Special relativity increases for an observer who is measuring it for a moving object. We also know the the concept of particle-wave ...
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66 views

Determining Proper Time and Distance in Relativistic Systems

I'm having a heck of a time understand how to account for time dilation and space contraction in the following problem: A mothership traveling at 0.620 c toward the Earth launches a landing craft. ...
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2k views

Why does time dilation cause you to age slower? And is time considered relative to the observer?

I understand that the higher your velocity the slower light will move. But how does time itself slow down while you are moving faster?
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1answer
99 views

Integrating elements of a Lie group with respect to parameters of the corresponding Lie algebra

I am working with an operator $\textbf{M}$ that is represented by the Lie group SO(1,3), thus it can be written as, $$ \textbf{M} = \exp{\textbf{L}} $$ where, $$ \textbf{L} = \begin{bmatrix} ...
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1answer
51 views

Helicity as a good quantum number [closed]

Why helicity $h (p)$ is not a good quantum number? I know it is not good for particles with mass, but I don't know why? Maybe it is not Lorentz invariant, if it is correct, could you please explain ...
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40 views

Funny Time Dilation Relation

Today I was curiously calculating/comparing the times of moving observers and the time recorded by a corresponding stationary observer using Einstein's time dilation equation as detailed in Special ...
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2answers
57 views

Why don't people use Hamilton's equations for a relativistic free charged particle?

A charged relativistic free particle has the Hamiltonian in general: $$ \mathcal{H} = \sqrt{p^2c^2+m^2c^4}.$$ I read somewhere that says, it is possible to go further and say that the EoM are ...
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5answers
127 views

Simple length contraction question

The question I'm doing states that the nearest star to earth is 4 light years away, as measured on earth and a spaceship can get there in 5 years, as measured by an observer on earth. It asks how long ...
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1answer
104 views

How far does a photon move in the 4th dimension when it travels one light second? [closed]

In one second a photon moves 3x10^8 meters through the three spatial dimensions. Light's velocity is 3x10^8 m/s. If the photon moved at all in the fourth dimension, it's velocity would no longer be ...
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2answers
368 views

Stanford: “Objects in spacetime all move at constant speed $c$.” Are they right? [duplicate]

In this Stanford University lecture on Relativity, it is stated: Likewise, objects in spacetime all move at constant speed c in spacetime but if you change its direction, say by moving at speed v in ...
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1answer
46 views

If the universe is closed, does the twin paradox really matter? [duplicate]

By closed universe, I mean just something like 3-D analog of a closed ring or a sphere. I think it can be one of arguments that the universe must not be closed. Is that right? The paradox is just the ...
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2answers
51 views

Centripetal effect or curved space time

I think I understand both the centrepedal effect and Einsteins curved space time. However I am confused about which best describes the motion of a planet ( or other orbiting body ). Simply put, does ...
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1answer
75 views

Can light break relativity's reference frame? [closed]

I have fairly little experience with relativity and physics in general, so I might just be missing something, but I do often ponder how the universe works. My understanding of relativity is that ...
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3answers
87 views
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0answers
39 views

Coulomb Gauge under Lorentz Boost

In the Coulomb gauge for the Maxwell potential we have $$ A^0 = 0 \\ \partial_i A^i = 0 $$ Under an infinitesimal Lorentz Transformation with parameter $\epsilon$, we have $$ A^\mu(x) \rightarrow ...
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1answer
41 views

Could we find relativistic energy in a simple way?

I asked a couple of questions on mass(-energy) increasing with speed, but there is still a very simple aspect I cannot understand, I hope you can give a simple and direct answer: The formula to find ...
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1answer
66 views

What is the Lorentz group representation for a general spin?

Setup, as I understand things so far: One way to think about where the spin of a quantum field comes from is that it is a consequence of the ways that different types of fields transform under ...
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1answer
48 views

Relation between two clocks in two different Reference frames [closed]

I'm beginning to study Special Relativity and I'm a bit confused with Lorentz transformations. Here's my doubt. Imagine two reference frames, $S$ and $S'$, and suppose $S'$ to be moving at a velocity ...
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1answer
89 views

Why is a theory Lorentz invariant if the Lagrangian is Lorentz invariant?

For if I started by trying to make the Hamiltonian Lorentz invariant, I would have failed. Indeed, the Hamiltonian is part of a covariant tensor. But how do I know that the Lagrangian is not a part of ...
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2answers
80 views

Do mechanical waves also carry momentum as well as energy? [closed]

I have read that electromagnetic waves carry momentum because they carry energy, while energy is equivalent to mass. So they carry momentum. But this explanation is in the context of special ...
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1answer
50 views

Is the rate of light emissions actually the frequency of the light?

I am confusing with the concept of frequency in the context of Doppler effect studying SR. The Schutz says, if the source emits pulses more frequently, then the observer would see the lights not only ...
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1answer
377 views

How is the Photoelectric Effect affected by Blue-Shifting

I was thinking about the Photoelectric Effect and Blue-Shifting when I came up with a thought experiment that I couldn't think of an answer for. The thought experiment is as follows: A metal plate is ...
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2answers
114 views

(Hyper)Surface of Simultaneity

How can I determine the surfaces of simultaneity if I know the metric? In particular, what are the surfaces of simultaneity for rotating disk with Langevin metric: $$ ...
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1answer
411 views

Derivation of force law in special relativity

I've seen force defined in special relativity as the rate of change of 4-momentum $$ {\bf{F}} = \frac{d {\bf{p}}}{dt} $$ Can anyone comment on the following derivation of that relation? Take one ...
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34 views

Twin Paradox when both twins are moving [duplicate]

Let's say twin scientists A and B start on Earth. Twin A moves east at speed v comparable to light, and Twin B moves west at speed v comparable to light. After some time, they reverse directions and ...
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1answer
77 views

At what speeds does time dilations start to occur?

My question is, is it possible for time dilation to occur at a speed less than that of speed of light?
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1answer
77 views

How is time dilation consistent between both observer?

There is a special variant of time dilation paradox bugs me. Imagine there are 2 small spaceships moving toward each other in constant speed. Each ship has an observer on-board. According to both ...
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Definitions: 'locality' vs 'causality'

I'm having trouble unambiguously interpreting many answers here due to the fact that the terms locality and causality are sometimes used interchangeably, while other times seem to mean very different ...
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121 views

Meaning and logic of Einstein's train thought experiment

This seems to be a recurrent topic but I wasn't able to find any satisfactory discussion about this tought experiment. I will quote the original story from Einstein's and put my doubts inside: Up ...
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2answers
140 views

Einstein wrote $x^4=ict$, where $c$ is the speed of light. Does this mean the fourth dimension is moving? [closed]

Saw this on a forum: Einstein wrote$x^4=ict$, where $c$ is the speed of light. Does this mean the fourth dimension is moving? We can write $x^4=ict$ as $dx^4/dt =ic$. The fourth dimensions is thus ...
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0answers
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If one flies by the sun at .9999999c, will it become a black hole? [duplicate]

If one flies by the sun at .9999999c, will it become a black hole? If one flies by the sun at .9999999c, its width will become tiny due to relativistic contraction, while its mass will augment ...
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23 views

Error in deriving constant acceleration relativistic distance

Bob accelerates away from Carol at proper acceleration $a$ (in light seconds per second), and Carol wants to know how far Bob has traveled when $t$ seconds pass in Bob's frame. Using ...
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2answers
64 views

Do Einstein's postulates of relativity emerge from the Minkowski spacetime metric?

Does the constancy of the speed of light for all observers naturally emerge from the Minkowski spacetime metric? Do Einstein's two postulates of relativity emerge from the Minkowski spacetime metric? ...
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1answer
94 views

Can $E=mc^2$ be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? $s^2=x^2+y^2+z^2-(ct)^2$?

Can $E=mc^2$ be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? $s^2=x^2+y^2+z^2-(ct)^2$? If so, how? Can the equivalence of mass and energy be derived from the Minkowski spacetime metric? Has someone ...
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328 views

Infinitesimal transformations for a relativistic particle

The action of a free relativistic particles can be given by $$S=\frac{1}{2}\int d\tau \left(e^{-1}(\tau)g_{\mu\nu}(X)X^\mu(\tau)X^\nu(\tau)-e(\tau)m^2\right).$$ If we then make an infinitesimal ...
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1answer
731 views

Why do we identify symmetric 2nd rank tensors with spin-2 particles in string theory?

I am going through Tong's lecture notes on String Theory and came across the following irrep decomposition (Chap 2, p.43) of the bosonic string first excited states: $$\text{traceless symmetric} ...
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4answers
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Is there an underlying physical reason why the Coriolis force is similar to the magnetic component of the Lorentz force?

I couldn't help but notice that the expression for the magnetic component of the Lorentz force, $$\mathbf F = q\,\mathbf v \times \mathbf B\,,$$ is very similar in its mathematical form to the ...
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1answer
25 views

Synchronization of clocks

I have read the book "Introduction to special relativity " by Robert Resnick In the book I have found that "If the distance between the clocks is L, one observer will see the other clock lag his by ...
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1answer
66 views

Plane Wave Solutions of the Dirac Equation

I'm trying to understand the plane wave solutions of the Dirac Equation. But I'm still a newbie on indices notation and contravariant and covariant objects. What I don't understand is how to get: ...
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2answers
192 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
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Were Michelson-Morley results a surprise?

How unexpected were the Michelson-Morley experiment results? Did physicists have theoretical reasons to predict that the speed of light would result to be invariant?
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173 views

What's the max speed a man-made satellite can travel in space before its circuitry stopped working?

Assume it could withstand extreme temperatures in either direction. I'm mainly curious what would happen to its circuits as it approached the speed of light.
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1answer
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Radiative equilibrium of a relativistic black body

A black body in empty space in the CMB rest frame should (discounting starlight) come to an equilibrium temperature of around 2.7 K. However, if the body is moving relative to the CMB frame, one side ...
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1answer
63 views

Force, Mass, Motion? $E = mc^2$

Does any object needs force to move? If 'yes', does the matter needs mass to form a force? These questions arises from me because $E = mc^2$ and $F = ma$ does not relate and one does not agrees with ...
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1answer
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How to express in terms of spacetime intervals the average speed of one participant having moved between two suitable others

Given a flat region of spacetime as set $\mathcal S$ of events together with values of spacetime intervals (up to a common non-zero constant) for each pair of events, $s^2 : \mathcal S \times \mathcal ...
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3answers
293 views

Why does the Michelson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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1answer
82 views

Why is the speed of light being invariant and finite in all inertial reference frames?

I understand the basics of Lorentz transformation and Riemann Geometry but I still cannot understand why the speed of light is the same in all inertial references. Has anyone ever researched about ...
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2answers
56 views

Planes of Simultaneity on Minkowski diagrams

As seen from a "stationary" reference frame, Why do lines of simultaneity for fast-moving observers run parallel to distance axis instead of perpendicular to the time axis. Obviously, in a regular t ...
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3answers
145 views

What's the problem with light traveling at speed higher than $c$?

I'm trying to understand how Einstein concluded that time is relative based on thought experiments such as a torch attached to the end of a rocket. Based on answers to questions like this one, this ...
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4answers
158 views

How can we prove charge invariance under Lorentz Transformation?

We have gravitational force between two massive particles and we have electromagnetic force between two charged particles. When special relativity suggests that mass is not an invariant quantity why ...