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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What is the resolution of this Lewis-Tolman like paradox?

Though my question stands on its own, here is a brief overview of a well-explored question which I think might be helpful in finding the resolution to my question. The Lewis-Tolman Lever Paradox has ...
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2answers
294 views

Atomic Weight and Time Dilation

So, this might sound kind of ridiculous but I was thinking about Relativity and since Gravity is a warping of Space-Time, or Time Dilation, why don't we measure Atomic Mass in Units of Time Dilation? ...
5
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167 views

When particle number can change in quantum physics?

Let me write a paragraph from D.Tong lecture notes on QFT-chapter2 when he is talking about non-relativistic limit of scalar quantum field theory : A related fact is that the conserved charge $Q=\...
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2answers
159 views

Is measure relative velocity the same for both observer n particle

A particle is moving at velocity v. A stationary observer tries to measure its velocity. From the observer reference frame, he will measure a shorter distance travel as compared to what the particle ...
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0answers
39 views

Lorentz Invariance of Entropy

So I am working on Relativistic Thermodynamics and I have skimmed through a few papers by Hamity, Callen, etc. People are not in agreement as far as I know, but I don't understand why people don't ...
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1answer
49 views

Can molecules/atoms/any subatomic particle cause space time curvature?

Space-time curvature is caused by huge objects in space like black holes, merging black holes, or planets. This curvature is what causes gravity. Can molecules cause at least a really tiny curve ?
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1answer
117 views

Why doesn't the relativistic formula for momentum appear consistent with collisions?

The relativistic formula for momentum is $$p = \frac{mv}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v^2}{c^2}}} \,.$$ In the following example, I apply the formula in the most basic way possible to the addition of velocities. ...
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2answers
94 views

Reciprocal Time Dialation in Special Relativity [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand theory of special relativity, but there is one thing that really makes me confused which is reciprocal time dilation in special relativity. In special relativity, the time ...
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3answers
64 views

Why is speed defined as coordinate derivative over proper time rather than observer's time in STR?

In special theory of relativity, why is 4-velocity defined as: $$ u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau} $$ and not as $$ u^\mu = \frac{dx^\mu}{dt} $$ where ${\tau}$ is proper-time and t is time in some ...
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1answer
72 views

What do things move relative to?

When someone says that a spacecraft in otherwise empty space is traveling at a constant velocity of 10 km/h (for the sake of convenience) then what is the reference point for which this measurement ...
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40 views

Construction of vector bundles of relativistic fields by Mackey's method of induced representation

I recently stumbled on Sternberg's book on group theory and physics. The ideas expressed in the book are really great, but the detailed reasoning is very hard to follow, I find. I am kind of stuck ...
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1answer
115 views

What is the matrix representation of the momentum operator (generator of translations) that is used in the commutators of the Poincaré Group?

So the commutators of the Poincareé group are given by \begin{eqnarray} [J_{i},P_{j}]=i\epsilon_{ijk}P_{k}, \quad [J_{i},J_{j}]=i\epsilon_{ijk}J_{k}, \quad [J_{i},K_{j}]=i\epsilon_{ijk}K_{k}, \quad [...
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1answer
72 views

Does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric? [closed]

In Special Relativity, does the use of $\gamma=\left(1-v^{2}/c^{2}\right)^{-1/2}$ automatically assume a (+ - - - ) metric convention? For introductory textbooks, the Lorentz factor is is always ...
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1answer
165 views

Why do we add gamma to derive the Lorentz transformation?

As set up and described by Professor Shankar, I was trying to derive the Lorentz transformation with his equations... $$\frac{t'}{t} = \frac{c-v}{c},\qquad \frac{t}{t'} = \frac{c+v}{c}$$ After adding ...
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23 views

Sign choice for sigma-matrices

I'm trying to figure out the consequences of the sign choice $$ \sigma^\mu = (\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma)\qquad\text{vs.}\qquad \sigma^\mu = (-\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma) \,. $$ This choice does not affect the ...
2
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46 views

What is the irreducible set of fundamental principles of Special Relativity? [duplicate]

This is something that I have been pondering for some time. The fundamental principles of special relativity are usually presented as forming a twofold: There is no absolute reference frame of ...
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1answer
49 views

Maximum Angular Momentum for an orbit in GR

[The reference for this question is the book Gravitation by Misner,Thorne, & Wheeler.] The trajectories of massive particles around a spherically symmetric body is governed by the effective ...
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1answer
45 views

Why speed of light is constant with respect to any inertial frame of reference? [duplicate]

Its getting too difficult to think.if we travel at the speed of light then will light will cross us at same speed or travel with us adjacent (special theory of relativity)
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82 views

Question on the Derivation of Lorentz Invariance of Electric Charge

On Zwiebach's "A First Course in String Theory" textbook, there is a problem 8.2 that derives the invariance of electric charge given a few assumptions: 1. Conservation of Maxwell 4-current $j = (c\...
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11 views

Do electronic energy levels of an atom effectively shift for scattering processes if the atom is moving in the lab frame?

When an electron of low energy scatters off an atom it interacts with one of the electrons in its shell and can transfer energy to it. The energy transfers would be discrete, since the shell electron ...
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3answers
112 views

One particle states in an interacting theory

Question: What is the general definition of one particle states $|\vec p\rangle$ in an interacting QFT? By general I mean non-perturbative and non-asymptotic. Context. 1) For example, in Weigand'...
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1answer
66 views

Lorentz Transformations in Minkowski space

If $\Lambda$ represents the Lorentz transformation matrix, then the transformation of contravariant components $x^\mu$ is given by $$x'^\mu=\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu} x^\nu$$ and that of the covariant ...
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4answers
126 views

If a photon has no mass why doesn't it have infinite speed? [duplicate]

Please help a naïve layperson understand -- if a photon has no mass, why is its velocity limited at all? Shouldn't a particle with no mass be able to travel at an infinite speed?
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1answer
65 views

Deriving invariance of interval

I'm reading a book called A First Course In General Relativity, and when I got to the invariance of the interval, the book didn't derive it. Also, when the book derived time dilation and Lorentz ...
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22 views

Is mass relative? [duplicate]

This question has to do with the relativistic mass of an object. I have been reading that as energy increases, so does mass to a much lesser extent, and that this applies to kinetic energy as well. ...
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40 views

What is the irreducible decomposition of the tensor product of left and right weyl spinor representations, i.e. $(1/2,0)⊗(0,1/2)$?

What is the irreducible decomposition of the tensor product of left and right weyl spinor representations of the group $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$, i.e. $(1/2,0)⊗(0,1/2)$? I mean, the tensor product of two ...
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3answers
90 views

Length contraction in special relativity: can space be at rest in any frame?

Suppose a rod is moving at speed $v$ relative to me along its length. $L_0 = {}$length of the rod in the frame in which the rod is at rest $L = {}$length of the rod in my frame Then $$L = L_0 \sqrt{1-...
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1answer
83 views

Proof of two Lorentz-algebra identities

I am currently working through the QFT introduction text by Peskin and Schroeder and try to fill in two identities that I wasn't able to prove (it should be fairly simple, but my experience with this ...
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1answer
47 views

A puzzler in induction and special relativity

Some reading I was doing jogged my memory about a puzzle in E&M that hit me back in my undergrad days, but I just let it go at the time and never found an answer. A pretty common undergrad E&...
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30 views

Can orbiting a black hole 99.99% speed of light make other object with relatively fast clock travel faster than light, relative to me?

If i orbit a black hole, 99.9% speed of light, time for me is moving slowly, relative to me, planet earth is aging fast, and i have traveled 10 years into the future(relatively) in 1 second, suppose ...
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Imagine I'm on a spacecraft that was accelerated to 1.0$c$ could I only move backwards? [duplicate]

Imagine I'm in a sapcecraft1 that is moving with 1.0$c$ or at least is so close to that speed that a few miles per hour would just be left to reach $c$. So when I'm traveling now in the direction ...
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1answer
37 views

What exactly were the “asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena” in Einstein's 1905 SR paper?

The first ¶ of Einstein's "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" says (my emphases): It is known that Maxwell's electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving ...
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3answers
108 views

Why must $v$ be $< c$ in the Lorentz transformations? Do these equations not apply to light? [duplicate]

I was trying to understand how things look from the perspective of light. Looking at the Lorentz transformations, it seems that the universe would contract along the direction of movement into a plane,...
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87 views

What is the geometric explanation for why the interior angles of a triangle sum to 180 degrees in both Euclidean space and Minkowski spacetime?

Four-dimensional Euclidean space has the same topology and affine structure as Minkowski spacetime, though the two have different metric structures. Given that the interior angles of a triangle ...
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Kinetic Energy Relativistic Correction

When trying to add relativistic corrections to the standard Schrödinger equation, the kinetic energy correction is given as $H'=-\frac{p^4}{8m^3c^2}$ (e.g. page 14 https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/people/...
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1answer
81 views

Why cannot Paul be the observer? (Questions about Twin Paradox)

Here is the explanation to the Twin Paradox in Feynman's Lecture on Physics 16–2. we consider a famous so-called “paradox” of Peter and Paul, who are supposed to be twins, born at the same time. ...
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Special Relativity - oscillator paradox

I am reading about the Special relativity and the original Einstein papers from 1905 and 1920 where he derives the Lorentz transformation and the effects of the time dilation and space contraction ...
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1answer
39 views

By special relativity, a particle can only couple to an EM field? [closed]

By special relativity, the Lagrangian for the coupling must be $$ u_i A^i . $$ Here $u_i $ is the four-velocity, and $A^i$ is the four-potential. So, a particle can only couple to an EM field? ...
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Conceptual interpretation of the left- and right-handed spinor representations of the Lorentz group

I understand mathematically that the Lorentz group's Lie algrebra $\mathfrak{so(3,1)}$ (given by eqns. (33.11)-(33.13) in Srednicki's QFT book) is isomorphic to $\mathfrak{su(2) \times su(2)}$ (given ...
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1answer
78 views

What is physical meaning of Lorentz boost?

Physical meaning of spatial part of Lorentz transform is, obviously, rotations in R-space. Does anybody have a nice physical interpretation of boosts though? I can understand to some extent off-...
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Symmetry, Space-Time interval, and Coordinate Time

I had the following question I was working from a book: Question: A physics professor runs across the hallway covering 120 ns of distance in 150 ns of time as measured in the frame of the earth....
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49 views

From gauge invariance to charge conservation in covariant electrodynamics

I tried to solve the equations of motion using the action for the electromagnetic field interacting with a current, like $$ L = F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} + A_{\nu}j^{\nu} $$ getting the right Maxwell's ...
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1answer
53 views

Speed of light when accelerating

I'm studying special relativity and saw the 2 postulates of Einstein. The most remarkable one for me is the universal speed of light. Einstein postulated that the speed of light in vacuum is the same ...
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1answer
33 views

Does increasing the energy of a relativistic particle increase thrust?

I know this particular chestnut has been asked before, but I have a specific variation on the theme: Particle accelerator space thrust. Specifically, cyclotrons to generate the thrust. They are ideal ...
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3answers
131 views

What happens to forces when a charge travels at near c?

Suppose 3 electrons are travelling at $c - 1$mm at 1 cm distance The charges are at rest relative to one another in their frame, but what happens to fundamental forces Fe and Fg? What Fe does A get ...
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Can the momentum of a system be spacelike?

For a particle, we always have $Eu=p$ where $u$ is the speed of the particle and correspondingly the momentum is always timelike. For a system of particles, if the potential energy is not considered ...
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A method of showing how mass increases with higher velocity. I don't get it

I am a high schooler interested in physics and recently started reading a book about relativity. The name of the book is "What Is Relativity" by Jeffrey Bennet. In page 54 there is a paragraph that ...
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1answer
151 views

Strange implication of the relativistic invariance of the Dirac equation

At least as normally formulated, the law of transformation of a wave function solution of the Dirac equation to another inertial frame seems to indicate that if observer 1 is certain the particle is ...
2
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1answer
64 views

Lorentz transformation of an antisymmetric tensor

I'm trying to find the infinitesimal Lorentz transformation of a rank 2 antisymmetric tensor. Looking through Peskin, all I can see is the transformation of a vector, and even there it is simply given....
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1answer
1k views

Is this the correct method for deriving E=mc^2?

So lately I tried to deriving Einstein's $$ E = mc^2$$ which later I found from this website : http://www.emc2-explained.info/Emc2/Derive.htm They use calculus based method, so I tried another way. ...