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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Meaning of spin

I'm pretty astounded that I did not hear about this sooner, but in my course on QFT our professor told us that the concept of spin can be used to mean three things: Mechanical spin (apparently a ...
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1answer
129 views

nuclear physics homework

i have a homework in our nuclear physics class. the question is "An astronaut whose height in the earth is exactly 6ft is lying parallel to the axis of a spacecraft moving at a 0.9C relative to the ...
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1answer
223 views

Lorentz invariance of positive energy solutions to the Klein-Gordon equation

I am reading Arthur Jaffe's Introduction to Quantum Field Theory. (You can find it here.) There is an interesting question posed in Exercise 2.5.1: Solutions to the Klein-Gordon equation propagate ...
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1answer
139 views

The Klein–Gordon equation

As we know that the Schrödinger equation presents basis of Quantum Mechanics and analogy with Newton second law in Classical Mechanics, I thought that relativistic interpretation of Schrödinger ...
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5answers
447 views

Is special relativity an exact description of reality?

In discussing relativity with a (somewhat mathematical) friend the other day, I ran into a problem showing why special and/or general relativity could be considered as exact descriptions of reality ...
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2answers
99 views

Relativity Problem with Three Reference Frames

I'm having trouble with the understanding on this last problem from my homework set. Two cars playing demolition derby are moving towards each other with constant velocity, as measured by Marvin, ...
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3answers
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Homework - length contraction ($\gamma$ and $u$ are unknown)

I am very sorry for posting these problems in this forum, but i don't know where to post otherwise... I have a weird special relativity problem where i get a relative speed $u$ which is larger that ...
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3answers
134 views

Do you age at different rate at different speed?

This is probably answered many times, but my confusion is the following. In special relativity it is said that there is no preferred coordinate system. Does that mean that for the people at rest ...
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1answer
166 views

Is it possible to have uniform proper acceleration along a large object without breaking it?

I'm learning about accelerating reference frames (to eventually get grasp of general relativity too). I've just read about the Rindler coordinates and this one caught my eye Note that Rindler ...
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2answers
523 views

What is potential energy in special relativity?

I know what is rest energy $E_0=m_0 c^2$, total energy $E=\gamma E_0$, kinetic energy $E- E_0=(\gamma-1) E_0$, and momentum $p=\gamma m_0 c$. But what is potential energy in special relativity?
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6answers
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How large is the universe?

We know that the age of the universe (or, at least the time since the Big Bang) is roughly 13.75 billion years. I have heard that the size of the universe is much larger than what we can see, in other ...
2
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4answers
154 views

What is the process that gives mass to free relativitic particles?

When a free particle move in space with a known momentum and energy then what is the physical process that gives mass to that free (relativistic) particle? What is role does the Higgs field in that ...
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2answers
312 views

Lorentz transformations and a time dilation don't return the same result [closed]

Lets deal with a problem like this: Lets say we have a twin A in coordinate system $x'y'$ who does a round trip to a star which is $12$ light years away and he is travelling with a speed ...
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2answers
149 views

How much faster would a Clock without gravity run?

Pardon the misleading title. It is to my understanding that moving/heavy clocks run slow. The Earth itself is under gravitational influence from many sources, and is moving. Is there a way to know ...
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0answers
22 views

Does distance really exist at least for observer which moves at the speed of light? [duplicate]

To our time a light year is the distance that light travels in a vacuum but if we consider time of observer which moves at speed of light we found for light time and distance doesn't really exist. ...
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1answer
397 views

Explanation of a proper time (an add)

I have read on web that: Proper time $\tau$ is a time interval measured by a clock which at rest relative to the observer. But lets consider this problem: The plane is flying with a speed ...
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2answers
273 views

Effect of space time relativity on the age of the universe?

So we all heard about the twins paradox to explain einstein's time space relativity. Wikipedia Quote :" In physics, the twin paradox is a thought experiment in special relativity involving identical ...
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1answer
578 views

Frame of reference of the photon? [duplicate]

In the frame of photon does time stop in the meaning that past future and present all happen together? If we have something with multiple outcomes which is realized viewed from such frame? Are all ...
6
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1answer
158 views

Can we write the electromagnetic potential covariantly in terms of the four-current?

In the Lorenz gauge, we have a beautiful relation between the four-current and the four-potential: $$\Box A^{\alpha} = \mu_0 J^{\alpha}$$ To get $A$ in terms of $J$, however, we have to use a ...
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1answer
372 views

Commutator of Lorentz boost generators : visual interpretation

I have always struggled to visualize the correctness of the commutation relation for the generators of the boost in the Lorentz group. We have $$[K_i,K_j] = i \epsilon_{ijk} L_k$$ I fail to picture ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Anti-symmetric 2 particle wave function

Suppose we want to construct a wave function for 2 free (relativistic) fermions. As we are dealing with fermions the total wave function has to be antisymmetric under interchange of the coordinates, ...
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1answer
517 views

Why is the stress-energy tensor symmetric?

The relativistic stress-energy tensor $T$ is important in both special and general relativity. Why is it symmetric, with $T_{\mu\nu}=T_{\nu\mu}$? As a secondary question, how does this relate to the ...
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0answers
146 views

Solving the equation of relativistic motion

How does one solve the tensor differential equation for the relativistic motion of a partilcle of charge $e$ and mass $m$, with 4-momentum $p^a$ and electromagnetic field tensor $F_{ab}$ of a constant ...
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3answers
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Having trouble seeing the similarity between these two energy-momentum tensors

Leonard Suskind gives the following formulation of the energy-momentum tensor in his Stanford lectures on GR (#10, I believe): $$T_{\mu \nu}=\partial_{\mu}\phi \partial_{\nu}\phi-\frac{1}{2}g_{\mu ...
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2answers
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The derivation of the Belinfante-Rosenfeld tensor

It seems me that there is a "difference" (at least apparently) in how the Belinfante-Rosenfeld tensor is thought of in section 7.4 of Volume 1 of Weinberg's QFT book and in section 2.5.1 of the ...
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1answer
60 views

Wavefront emitted by bodies at traveling near the velocity of light

I studied that no body can travel with the velocity of light. But, assuming that when a body moves nearly velocity of light, will it obey length contraction law of Einstein or will it emit the same ...
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4answers
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Why proper acceleration is $du/dt$ and not $du/d\tau$?

Wikipedia says: In relativity theory, proper acceleration[1] is the physical acceleration (i.e., measurable acceleration as by an accelerometer) experienced by an object. and says: In the ...
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3answers
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Mass of particle near light speed in a medium

I am trying to get a common understanding from these two previous questions: Why does the mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light? What happens if light/particles exceeded ...
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1answer
101 views

Doppler redshift in special relativity

I came across this exercise in Elementary General Relativity by Alan MacDonald: A source of light pulses moves with speed v directly away from an observer at rest in an inertial frame. Let $ \Delta ...
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4answers
1k views

Inertial frames of reference

I'm struggling with the notion of an inertial frame of reference. I suspect my difficulty lies with the difference between Newtonian and relativistic inertial frames, but I can't see it. I've read ...
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0answers
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Calculate the acceleration of the trailing muon bunch

Two separate suitably short but intense bunches of muons, "A" and "B", are both supposed to be constantly accelerating (in an otherwise sufficiently flat region) with constant proper acceleration ...
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2answers
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reflection at speed of light when both mirror and viewer is travelling at the speed of light [duplicate]

consider me sitting on the top of a train which is travelling close to the speed of light, will I be able to see my image on a mirror which I'm holding in my hand??
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0answers
47 views

minimal proper time curves bounded on acceleration

Assuming Minkowski spacetime, we know that the longest proper time curve joining two points is the rect joinining both events, While the shortest time-like curve is not a compact set (because there ...
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1answer
64 views

Dynamic equation

I'm asked to give the dynamic equations of a charged particle moving on a potential, under relativistic considerations, basically $dp/dt$, with $p$ the 4-momentum vector. The question for the three ...
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1answer
1k views

How to derive the Time Dilation formula given: [closed]

Since I do not have 10 reputation I will fit this all in one image: If you have any questions please dont hesitate to ask. EDIT: http://img16.imageshack.us/img16/8604/myquestion2.png
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1answer
215 views

Neumann boundary condition and the open string

In string theory, If an open string obeys the Neumann boundary condition, then in the static gauge, one can show that the end points move at the speed of light. The derivation is straightforward, but ...
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3answers
157 views

Question about negative mass [duplicate]

How is it possible to have negative mass for negative mass means something that has less mass even than nothing ? Does nothing has mass? And how is nothing a reference.
3
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1answer
89 views

Nonlinear combination of velocities implies no absolute time?

Landau 1961 begins with a brief presentation of special relativity. This question is about the validity of a certain argument that they use in building up the foundations of the subject from scratch, ...
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3answers
251 views

Does it matter in which direction I travel in relativity theory?

I'm not a physicist, but I'm still very interested in the relativity theory, especially in how the twin paradox is explained. Actually, it does not make sense to me and I hope you can answer my ...
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3answers
316 views

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? And what is proper acceleration?

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? Geometrically, four-acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line. Therefore, the magnitude of the ...
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2answers
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How to compute the speed of sound in relativistic hydrodynamic?

In Weinberg: Gravitation and Cosmology chapter 2.10 (Relativistic Hydrodynamics) the speed of sound is derived as $v_s^2 = \left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial \rho}\right)$ and the equation of state ...
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3answers
148 views

Measurements and simultaneity [duplicate]

Picture a situation where we have two observers, $A$ and $B$, and a system in a certain quantum state. If $B$ makes a measurement of some observable, say energy for example, the state will collapse to ...
5
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2answers
108 views

Which causal structures are absent from any “nice” patch of Minkowski space?

Which "causal separation structures" (or "interval structures") can not be found among the events in "any nice patch ($P$) of Minkowski space"?, where "causal separation structure" ($s$) should be ...
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1answer
117 views

What's the relativistic energy of a moving strained spring as $k\to\infty$ [closed]

Suppose a spring with stiffness $k$, is strained by constant forces on each end. In a frame where the strained spring moves at a constant velocity, what's the total relativistic energy of the moving ...
4
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5answers
458 views

Why define four-vectors to be quantities that transform only like the position vector transforms?

A four-vector is defined to be a four component quantity $A^\nu$ which transforms under a Lorentz transformation as $A^{\mu'} = L_\nu^{\mu'} A^\nu$, where $L_\nu^{\mu'}$ is the Lorentz transformation ...
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2answers
844 views

Deriving the action and the Lagrangian for a free point particle in Special Relativity

My question relates to Landau & Lifshitz, Classical Theory of Field, Chapter 2: Relativistic Mechanics, Paragraph 8: The principle of least action. As stated there, to determine the action ...
3
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1answer
158 views

The Speed of Light [duplicate]

I know that the speed of light is constant for some reason. But why is it that when shining light from a spacecraft that is moving at (almost) the speed of this light, the speed of this light ...
5
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2answers
152 views

Generalizing a relativistic kinematics formula for spatial-acceleration dependence

I'm starting from this expression $$ \alpha dt = \gamma^3 dv $$ where $\alpha$ is proper acceleration of a point particle, $dv$ and $dt$ are coordinate differentials of velocity and time, and ...
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2answers
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Velocity of an object undergoing homogenous acceleration

So I was considering the following problem within the context of Special Relativity: Given an object O, with initial velocity v, undergoing constant acceleration at a rate of a, I want to express the ...
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2answers
125 views

Relative to the speed of light

Einstein's relativity tells us that light always travels at the speed of light relative to me, no matter how fast I'm going. Right? This really confuses me though. If light travels from A to B in one ...