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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Is Michelson-Morley experiment an axiom?

Sorry for my ignorance, but does the result of Michelson-Morley experiment have some explanation? Is there some reason why light speed in vacuum is maximum or we just find it by experiments?
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The Euler-Lagrange equation in special relativity

How can I derive the Euler-Lagrange equations valid in the field of special relativity? Specifically, consider a scalar field.
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436 views

Is there an orthogonal time dimension in Minkowski spacetime?

Space dimensions are orthogonal one to each other. But what about time in the Minkowski diagram? At first sight, time seems to be orthogonal to space. But we have to consider that each Minkowski ...
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1answer
86 views

Relative speed when approaching the speed of light [duplicate]

According to this chart of the Lorentz factor as a function of speed: If a spacecraft neared (roughly) 0.85c, would it appear to be traveling at 1.7x the speed of light from the perspective of ...
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1answer
188 views

Problem understanding sign of volume integral in Minkowski space

My professor told me that a 4-dimensional Minkowski - Space Integral I was working on can be written as the product of a metric tensor and a scalar: $\int d^4 k \frac{k^\mu ...
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4answers
661 views

Does Light Experience Length Contraction?

Lorentz length contractions states that the length of any moving object gets divided by the Lorentz factor equal to the Lorentz factor for that object (always $\geq 1$), equal to $$ ...
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69 views

Exercise Lorentz Transformations

I have 2 inertial frames, both are in relative motion along the x axis moving with constant velocity $v_x$. It is called with Standard figuration where the Lorentz transformations relate the ...
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5answers
240 views

The speed limit is with respect to what?

As I understand, an object with mass cannot reach the speed of light because its (relativistic) mass increases "exponentially" as it approaches light speed. So there is a relation between mass and ...
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1answer
93 views

Bi-vector in Minkowski space

I have a problem, I have a bi-vector that define like: $\omega^{\mu \nu}=a^{\mu}b^{\nu}-a^{\nu}b^{\mu}$ where, $a^{\mu}=(a^0,a^1,a^2,a^3)$ and $b^{\nu}=(b^0,b^1,b^2,b^3)$ I need show that ...
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69 views

Complete Energy Equation for Non-Zero Masses

The most simplified version of the energy equation (which is also the most known) is $E=mc^2$ However, I understand that this only applies to objects with non-zero mass and zero velocity. I also read ...
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Why is the space-time interval squared?

The space-time interval equation is this: $$\Delta s^2=\Delta x^2+\Delta y^2+\Delta z^2-(c\Delta t)^2$$ Where, $\Delta x, \Delta y, \Delta z$ and $\Delta t$ represent the distances along various ...
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Why is the ratio of velocity to the speed of light squared in the Lorentz factor?

Why is the ratio of velocity to the speed of light squared in the Lorentz factor? $${\left( {{v \over c}} \right)^2}$$ My only guess is the value must be positive.
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73 views

Help with Special Relativity velocity addition formula

While looking for question about speed of light I saw this Physics.SE question where I found this: $$v_\text{rel} = \frac{v_1 - v_2}{1 - \frac{v_1v_2}{c^2}}.\tag1$$ But in another answer there was ...
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1answer
134 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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Minkowski Metric Signature

When I learned about the Minkowski Space and it's coordinates, it was explained such that the metric turns out to be $$ ds^{2} = -(cdx^{0})^{2} +(dx^{1})^{2} + (dx^{2})^{2} + (dx^{3})^{2} $$ where $ ...
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Speed of light as a universal speed limit

It follows from special relativity that nothing can travel faster than light. Einstein believed this would have to hold so generally that he assumed the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox to indicate a ...
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2answers
222 views

How is time not a constant?

I am a visual person, so it's hard to imagine the information I keep getting, but shouldn't time be a constant? If you were traveling at the speed of light and your able to cover $299{,}792{,}458$ ...
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1answer
123 views

Tensor decomposition of $\partial_\mu A_\nu$

In the decomposition of a rank-2 Minkowski tensor into irreducible representations, I expect the 16 components of the tensor product $M_\mu N_\nu$ to reduce to the sum of a scalar (1), a rank-2 ...
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Is there always a frame in which spatially separated events are simultaneous?

In relativity, if two events are simultaneous in a specified frame, they cannot be simultaneous in any other frame. My question is this: given any two events, is there always a frame in which these ...
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1answer
256 views

Frequency of cosmic microwave background

Some people refer to cosmic microwave background's (CMB) frame of reference as an absolute one. If I understand correctly, we can measure 'absolute' velocity in this frame by using the Doppler effect. ...
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4answers
337 views

What does $\frac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$ mean with respect to special relativity?

What does the following mean with respect to special relativity? $$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$
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3answers
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Time travel outside of light cone without causality violation

If one is able to travel into the past but at a spatial distance that puts him outside of his own past light cone would this be considered a causality violating trip? Looking at a Minkoski diagram, it ...
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2answers
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Difference between “Lorentz transformation” and “proper orthochronous”

I'm doing an assignment and I've been given a list of $4 \times 4$ matrices and asked: Which of the following are Lorentz transformation matrices? Which are proper and orthochronous? But, as ...
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How does wind speed affect the velocity of light?

As you know, there is a maximum speed things can go called $c$, the "speed of light." Light in a vacuum goes $c$. Light in the atmosphere, however, goes a little less than $c$. My question is: what ...
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1answer
108 views

Does divergence of Taylor series for relativistic $E(p)$ for $p\ge m$ have any physical significance?

When one wants to include weak relativistic effects in classical equations, usually kinetic energy term is expanded into Taylor series about $p=0$. But the complete dispersion relation is ...
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How would one compute the angle of deflection, in a relativistic collision - underspecified system?

Consider the simplistic case of two identical mass particles colliding elastically with the second particle initially stationary and the first particle travelling with energy $E$. By conservation of ...
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Field interaction betweeen two point charges?

[SOLVED] Consider two particles A and B having equal charges and placed at some distance. The particle A is slightly displaced towards B.So, Does the EM force on B increase(+/-) as soon as the ...
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1answer
76 views

Construction of Observer Coordinates in General Relativity

In A First Course in General Relativity, Second Edition, by Bernard Schutz, on the bottom of Page 8, he is expanding on the spacetime diagrams in Figure 1.5. He states "[...] the four angles are ...
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1answer
85 views

Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
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11answers
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Why does the (relativistic) mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light?

I'm reading Nano: The Essentials by T. Pradeep and I came upon this statement in the section explaining the basics of scanning electron microscopy. However, the equation breaks down when the ...
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4answers
266 views

Is there an upper limit on the radius of a rotating wheel?

Is there an upper limit on the radius of a real wheel which is rotating at an Angular frequency of $\,\omega \,$ along its axis, such that we just require a finite amount of energy to rotate it? ...
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0answers
41 views

How do you determine who is moving “faster” in relativity? [duplicate]

I suspect this question has a simple answer, but I can't get my head around it. The classic example of a person in orbit around the Earth at high speed experiencing a slower passage of time than the ...
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2answers
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What is the relative speed of two near-light speed particles headed towards each other?

I understand that nothing can move faster than light due to time dilation. I want to build upon my understanding of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, so I came up with this hypothetical problem ...
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Velocity in frame $S$ and $S'$

If I take the Lorentz position transforms between two inertial frames, $S$ and $S'$ moving with relative velocity $u$ along a common axis (say $x-x'$), then: $$x'=\gamma(x- ut)$$ $$y'=y$$ $$z'=z$$ ...
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Special Relativity Second Postulate

That the speed of light is constant for all inertial frames is the second postulate of special relativity but this does not means that nothing can travel faster than light. so is it possible the ...
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1answer
246 views

4-velocity and 4-acceleration in instantaneous rest frames

I am trying to solve this problem: Consider a rocket moving relative to an inertial frame $\mathcal{F}$ , such that its worldline is given by ...
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0answers
56 views

Confused about time dilation/length contraction [duplicate]

I have a following problem: A meson is generated $h$ meters above the earth's surface and begins to move towards the earth with velocity $v$. Its (proper) lifetime is $t_m$. What is $v$ if the meson ...
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2answers
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Person in a special relativistic frame observes light refract on a passing ship

The speed of light is the same in all frames of reference. But imagine a scenario in which you passed by a ship which had (B=.78), while your ship had (B=.94). While somehow being able to look through ...
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4answers
551 views

What will I see in this scenario? Will this be faster than the speed of light?

Let say there's a particle that is travelling very near the speed of light. Lets say I have a camera capable of filming this high velocity particle and I film the particle on my camera then I fast ...
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Special Relativity Problem [closed]

I am having trouble with the following problem: Fry travels in a rocket ship towards Leela, at constant relative speed $v$: Fry is delivering a pizza, which in its rest frame stays hot for ...
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0answers
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Derivation of proper acceleration in terms of rapidity

In the Wikipedia page for proper acceleration, an equation for proper acceleration in terms of rapidity is given as $\alpha = \frac{\Delta \eta}{\Delta \tau}$, where $\eta$ is the rapidity of the ...
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Everything is a Photon

If we accept $E=\hbar \omega$, $p=\hbar k$, and $E^2-(pc)^2=(m_0 c^2)^2$, then we find $$(m_0 c^2)^2 = (\hbar \omega)^2-(\hbar kc)^2 = \hbar (\omega^2 - (kc)^2)=0$$i.e. the rest mass of any particle ...
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1answer
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I think only x and t need obey Lorentz transform rule, other 4 vectors not necessarily true

Lorentz transformation aims at an invariant speed of light for all reference frames. Speed only involves x and t. Therefore it's reasonable to understand the Lorentz transform can act on spacetime ...
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2answers
391 views

The wave equation in general relativity, special relativity, and Cartesian coordinates

The relativistic wave equation is $$\square\varphi=\rho$$ where $\varphi$ is the field, $\rho$ is the source, and $\square$ is the D'Alembert operator, defined by ...
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3answers
470 views

How to do calculation in relativity of simultaneity

I have great trouble in understanding simultaneity in special relativity. Let me illustrate it with a concrete example. Assuming there is a train, its two end points are $A$ and $B$, the length of ...
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3answers
114 views

Metric signature conventions: minus sign for $x^a$ or $x_a$?

Say I use the metric signature $(-+++)$. Then $\partial_a=(\partial_0,\partial_i)=(-\partial^0,\partial^i)$, but $\partial^a=(\partial^0,\partial^i)=(-\partial_0,\partial_i)$. The same goes for $p^a$ ...
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Question on energy mass conversion

I have a question regarding the energy-mass conversion. Well, when a particle starts moving with a speed comparable to that of light, its (relativistic) mass increases that means some matter is ...
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Relative Motion

I read the following: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_15.html#Ch15-S4 "Now let us see what happens to the moving clock. Before the man took it aboard, he agreed that it was a nice, ...
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Dingle vs. Bondi: Twin Paradox Debate on BBC radio?

Herbert Dingle and H. Bondi debated the twin paradox on BBC radio before 1971. Does anyone have a link to the audio of this debate? thanks
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What does a sphere moving close to the speed of light look like?

What shape does the viewer in a reference frame with $v=0$ perceive? I suppose that since the sphere moves in one direction only (oX only, not oY) its section would change into an ellipse, where the ...