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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Will Earth clock be slower than aeroplane clock when viewed from another planet?

I know that a clock placed on an aeroplane will have slowed with respect to a clock placed on earth because the more our velocities are, compared to the speed of light, the more the time slows down. ...
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37 views

Relativistic aberration - half-sky radius

With relativistic aberration, a sky full of stars gets concentrated in the direction of motion. As a rough measure of the degree of concentration, one could use the radius of a small circle, centered ...
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448 views

Is it only the Higgs field that stops me from getting to $c$?

Is it only the higgs field that stops me from accelerating up to the speed of light or is there other restriction concerning the increase in mass? In other words if I had a Higgs field shield on my ...
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75 views

Relativistic Black Hole? [duplicate]

So recently, looking at high energy particles through the lens of General and Special Relativity has peaked my interest. One thing I was considering, using the electron as the first example, is as ...
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313 views

Relativistic equivalent of a spring-force?

Usually what helps me understand a concept better in physics is to write a simulation of it. I've got to the point where I'm competent in the basics of special relativity, but, I can't figure out how ...
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55 views

How is the universe is experienced at light speed? [duplicate]

When moving faster, we experience time dilation and space contraction. We often state that a photon does not travel through time, i.e. if it where capable of observation, it would not experience time. ...
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108 views

Relationship between mass preserving four-fources and proper acceleration

Background I studied Rindler's book on Relativity. Relevant information from this book is available on-line here: http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Special_relativity:_mechanics Given that we ...
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160 views

Definition of Lorentz transformations as transformations of the universe?

Following Arnold's [1] definition of the universe as an affine space $ A ^4$ with the group $\mathbb R ^4$ acting on it, we may define a galilean transformation as an affine map $g:A^4 \to A^4$ which ...
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283 views

Lorentz boost matrix in terms of four-velocity

As I understand it, the value of a 4-vector $x$ in another reference frame ($x'$) with the same orientation can be derived using the Lorentz boost matrix $\bf{\lambda}$ by $x'=\lambda x$. More ...
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48 views

Space as a function of time? [duplicate]

So - a little bit of background. Obviously from Einstein's equations it's shown that energy can be converted to matter and vice versa; in essence, energy and matter are different manifestations of the ...
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57 views

Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
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1answer
119 views

Nuclear fission or fusion occurring at or near the speed of light

Suppose a device or object were traveling at or near the speed of light, and fission or fusion occurred while in this state of motion, creating an enormous blast, what would occur? Would this cause an ...
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150 views

Showing the Poincare invariance of a term

I know that this is a simple question! But I would like to know the details. How we can show that the term $$A_\mu(x)\dot{x}^\mu$$ is global and local Poincare invariant? Where $A_\mu(x)$ is ...
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225 views

Proving invariance of $ds^2$ from the invariance of the speed of light

I've started today the book of Landau and Lifshitz Vol.2: The Classical Theory of Fields $\S 2$. They start from the invariance of the speed of light, express it as the fact that $$c^2(\Delta ...
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192 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
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1answer
115 views

Equation for relativistic electron and two-component spinor

Recently I heard that there is some "alternate" equation for the Dirac one. It can be introduced if we refuse some properties of the theory describes the electron, which Dirac used in his original ...
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1answer
206 views

What do subatomic particles look like for a 'speed of light - observer'?

Let's say that an observer is moving with the speed of light relatively to an atom that he wants to look into. He has equipment that precise that he can observe the atom and what is inside. From ...
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1answer
44 views

Su­per­lu­mi­nal in­ter­ac­tions

The fact that photons emitted from an electric-dipole active atom cannot be spatially localized better than to the near-field zone of the atom is seen as the origin of genuine superluminality. ...
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510 views

Fermi Walker vs. Fermi transport

A vector field $f^\mu$ is said to be Fermi-Walker transported along a curve $\gamma$ parametrized with $\tau$ if the following holds $$\frac{\mathrm{D}}{\mathrm{d}\tau}f^\mu = -(a^\mu v^\nu - a^\nu ...
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If two ultra-relativistic billiard balls just miss, will they still form a black hole?

This forum seems to agree that a billiard ball accellerated to ultra-relativistic speeds does not turn into a black hole. (See recent question "If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of ...
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1answer
1k views

Darwin term and Zitterbewegung

I've noticed that in the discussion of the fine structure of Hydrogen atom standard QM texts claim that the Darwin term, which corrects energy of $\ell=0$ (or $s$-) states only, is related to the ...
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1answer
207 views

What really happens with Time Dilation? [duplicate]

I know if you move your time moves slower than someone who is stationary, by Lorentz's transformation. However, I don't get how this happens. What does it mean when time moves slower? How does it ...
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1answer
79 views

Gravitational field of a particle in SR

According to special relativity, what is the gravitational field due to a particle moving with a constant velocity v? Would it be correct to assume that the particle has a stronger gravitational field ...
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70 views

Muons Internal Clocks and Time Dilation? [closed]

I don't get how time dilation affects the half-life of muons? Time is just a tool that is used by humans how does that affect the internal clocks of elementary particles?
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175 views

Does length contraction affect travel time?

If an astronaut leaves planet $A$ for planet $B$ at speed $v$, will the time (measured by the astronaut's clock) that it takes for the astronaut to reach planet $B$ be less than the distance between ...
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191 views

Velocity of the photon

As far as I know photon travels in a wave pattern, that means it has $x$ and $y$ axis velocity components. If photon travels along $x$ axis, then what is it's maximum $y$ axis velocity?
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Is a photon “fixed in spacetime”?

From what I've read, according to relativity, a photon does not "experience" the passage of time. (Can we say there is no past/present/future for a photon?) Would it be better to say a photon is ...
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181 views

Proper time in Nordstrom gravity

This wikipedia article claims that there are two interpretations of Nordstrom's scalar theory of gravity: 1) A scalar field theory on flat space. The reason why an apple falls is that its mass is ...
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1answer
250 views

Trying to rhyme Peskin and Schroeder with Weinberg

This is a follow up question of this one. In the Vol 1, Weinberg derives how a unitary operator $U(\Lambda)$ acts on one-particle states, which is given by equation (2.5.2): \begin{equation} ...
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86 views

Majorana equation and non-invariance of spinor representation under discrete Lorentz transformations

Here I asked about getting an equation for two-component spinor as the alternative for Dirac equation. It was found that it is called Majorana equation. It may be easily derived by using historical ...
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1answer
98 views

Space and Time Equality and information transfer between particles existing at different time

Since space and time are the same is it that whatever happens at different positions in space should take place at different time? If what I think is correct consider an electric dipole, the charges ...
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2answers
206 views

Twin Paradox in case of two twins that don't meet

If there are two twins. such that one of them goes on a space voyage maintaining a constant velocity, and that one never returns to earth, and the twins decide to never meet but send information about ...
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Can we show that time is orthogonal to space?

It's easy to show that the time we measure is "in a different direction" from the space directions we measure. However, it's not immediately obvious to me that these directions are orthogonal. How do ...
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261 views

Peskin and Schroeder Equation 3.23

I've been trying (for a while) to prove that $S^{\mu\nu}:=\frac{i}{4}\left[\gamma^\mu,\,\gamma^\nu\right]$ is a representation of the Lorentz Lie algebra, that is, to prove that it satisfies the ...
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Speed of light, lasers and mass

Hopefully this isn't a bad question. Light travels at the speed it does and nothing else can travel that fast because things have mass, correct? Or at least correct on an elementary level. And if ...
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267 views

Unitary Lorentz transformation on quantized Dirac spinor

I am stuck again on page 59 of Peskin and Schroeder. In particular, I do not know how they get equation (3.110). Let me first give some background in the way that I understand it (but I might be ...
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1answer
131 views

Question about Weinberg's derivation of a one-particle states under the Poincare group

I'm reading QFT: Vol 1 by Weinberg and I have a (perhaps trivial) question about a statement he makes on page 63. I can follow him to his derivation of equation (2.5.2): \begin{equation} P^\mu ...
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1answer
180 views

Combining relativistic velocities in the same direction using Lorentz transformation matrices

It is known that when combining the Lorentz Transforms of two frames with velocities $v_{1}$ and $v_{2}$ in the same direction it is equivalent of computing a Lorentz Transform of a single frame with ...
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879 views

Infinitesimal Lorentz transformation is antisymmetric

The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as \begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*} I want to show that ...
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420 views

Do photons age in a medium?

According to special relativity, time starts to slow down as we increase our speed and eventually stops once we get to the speed of light. By that logic, photons don't age in a vacuum state as, to us, ...
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2answers
174 views

Time Slowing Down [duplicate]

I'd like to ask a question if I may about the relativity. When travelling at the speed of light(which is impossible for particles with masses) or very close to it, would it be me, myself, seeing my ...
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3answers
270 views

If space and time are equivalent, what's Spin in time dimension

This troubles me: We are talking about time and space being equivalent, but still only consider Spin in the $x$, $y$ or $z$-direction. What's Spin in time dimension? Is it distinction between ...
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4answers
515 views

Why is the Dirac equation not used for calculations?

From what I understand the Dirac equation is supposed to be an improvement on the Schrödinger equation in that it is consistent with relativity theory. Yet all methods I have encountered for doing ...
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1answer
339 views

Peskin & Schroeder Chapter 3.1 EoM Lorentz Invariant under Lorentz Invariant Lagrangian

From Peskin & Schroeder QFT page 35: The Lagrangian formulation of field theory makes it especially easy to discuss Lorentz invariance. And equation of motion is automatically Lorentz ...
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500 views

Understanding the time dilation calculation in Brian Cox's Doctor Who lecture

Background My son has just watched Brian Cox's fascinating "The Science of Doctor Who" lecture on space-time and was particularly intrigued by the part (at 22m:22s) where he said: Let us say that ...
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2answers
238 views

Does the pilot of a rocket ship experience an asymptotic approach to the speed of light?

A question has recently come up that goes beyond my knowledge of special relativity. Suppose a pilot has his foot on the gas pedal of a rocket ship and keeps it applied to achieve a constant ...
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What “time” is it for or on Voyager 1? If you could be “still” in the Universe who fast would time be? [duplicate]

I just sent this to JPL but am not putting all my eggs in one basket so thought I would try some other clever people. :-) I think about physics and space quite a lot but I'm not a maths genius so do ...
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Potential energy in $E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$?

Let's consider $$E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$$ where the $mc^2$ is the rest energy due to the rest mass -- in Finnish "lepomassa". $$ \sqrt{(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2} - mc^2~=~(\gamma-1)mc^2$$ is the kinetic ...
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Lorentz and Galilean transformation

I read about Lorentz and Galilean transformation in a book of modern physics some days back, but couldn't clearly understand the difference between the two? Also it was stated there that maxwell's ...