# Tagged Questions

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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### $F=ma$ can only be used if the relativistic mass of the object is known, true?

I have received this question "Einstein's ideas on mass mean in essence the equation $F=ma$ can only be used if the relativistic mass of the object is known. Describe in your own words to what ...
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### In $1$-dimensional space, how would the gravity generated by an electron affect a photon moving away from the electron if the photon can’t slow down?

Suppose we had a universe obeying the same physical laws as our own. But it had only one spatial dimension (represented by the $x$ axis) and it was totally empty. There are just two point-like ...
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### Jacobian, Lorentz and Fourier Transformation

Jacobian, Lorentz and Fourier Transformation. I am confused with the physical interpretation/meaning of all these transformations. As far as I understood, Jacobian transforms from one coordinate ...
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### How does time dilation work without a privileged reference frame?

As I understand special relativity, light travels at the same speed in all reference frames. What I fail to understand is why time dilation would occur in one reference frame, but not by an equal ...
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### Time dilation derivation of special relativity

In almost all of the derivations using the postulates of special relativity (SR), we use experiments involving light signals. For example, we make a clock using a light signal or measure lengths using ...
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### A problem with $E = mc^2$

(Rest) mass of proton = (rest) mass of neutron (approximately) = $1.67 \times 10^{-27}$ kg. let $m$ be the mass of nitrogen atom then $m = 2.32 \times 10^{-26}$ kg. $c = 3 \times 10^8$ m/s (approx). ...
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### What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates?

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates for a fast moving object? Can the time dilation be explained by any theory other than relativity?
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### If it turns out that neutrinos do travel at faster than lightspeed, how will the success of special relativity be explained?

As per in the title. If it turns out that neutrinos do travel faster than the speed of light, how will the success of special relativity be explained? My apologies if this has been asked before; I've ...
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### What do physicists mean when they say “speed of light”?

Does it make sense to say, "The speed of light varies?" Some may say right off the bat "Yes, it changes as a wave passes through a different medium." However, I'd like to say no, because when I hear ...
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### Are length contractions limited by Planck length?

While we are getting closer to speed of light our length in the direction of the movement is according to Lorentz transformation getting shorter. But we can not (even theoretically) consider length ...
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### A neutrino has rest-mass and travels at (near) $c$, why isn't its mass/ energy (nearly) infinite?

If the total energy of all three types of neutrinos exceeded an average of 50 eV per neutrino, there would be so much mass in the universe that it would collapse. This limit can be circumvented by ...
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### How is relativity equation approximated

What is the technique with which I can approximate the equation $$\frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1-(\frac{v}{c})^2}}-mc^2$$ when $v\ll c$? Any hint would be much appreciated
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### Sign convention for basic Dirac equation

The dirac equation;$$(i\gamma^\mu\partial_{\mu} - m)\psi=0$$ is just; $$(i\gamma^{0}\partial_{0} - i\gamma^{i}\partial_{i} - m)\psi=0$$ in a (+,---) metric right?
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### Is This The Answer To Artificial Gravity?

Einstein teaches that as an object gets faster, its relativistic mass increases... Newton teaches that as an object's mass increases, so does it's gravitational pull... So... if you a tethered some ...
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### How come the concept of an instant of time is such a controversial topic with relativity, but with entanglement it's completely acceptable?

When talking about relativity most people say that a universal instant of time doesn't exist, but when talking about entanglement most will say that the particles are both measured instantaneously. ...
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### What is a body's momentum really equal to?

I know a body's momentum is equal to the product of its velocity and mass. But what kind of mass? Relativistic mass or rest mass?
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### Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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### Reducing General Relativity to Special Relativity in limiting case

I understand that general relativity is applicable to gravitational fields and special relativity is applicable to case when there is no gravity. But is there a derivation on how to reduce General ...
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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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### Twin Paradox, calculating spacetime intervals from both perspectives

I've very recently started to try to understand special relativity. I'm want to get a decent understanding of the twin paradox. I'll post what I've done so far and highlight what's gone wrong for me. ...
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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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### Why is ${\partial^i}{\partial_i\phi}$ = ${\partial^i {\phi}}{\partial_i{\phi}}$?

This notation can be found on page 254 of Victor Stenger's Comprehensible Cosmos and in David Tong's Lectures on QFT (Equation 2.4 http://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/tong/qft/two.pdf), and in EDIT: on ...
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### Is there a subtlety to the Lorentz transformations one needs to be aware of?

Playing around with the four acceleration $$\left(\gamma^4_u \frac{\vec a\cdot\vec u}{c^2}\vec u +\gamma^2_u\vec a,\, \gamma^4_u\frac{\vec a\cdot\vec u}{c}\right)$$ I found the time part for frame' ...
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### Inference of relativistic time dilation wrong?

One popular example of relativistic time dilation uses the idea of a Light clock where time is measured in terms of cycles the light between the two mirrors (which are at distance L from each other) ...
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### How do I describe the order of events in spacetime?

In Newtonian mechanics, we have 3-space and time. Time allows us to order events. For example, I hold a ball in the air at time $t_0$. Then I drop it at some later time $t_1 > t_0$. Finally it hits ...
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### Muon demonstration of time dilation

Looking at the second paragraph of page 120 here. Is the half life given measured in the rest frame of the muon? Then the calculation shows that the time to reach sea level from the muon's perspective ...
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### What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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### Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
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### How do we know that photons are exactly massless and travel exactly with speed $c$ in vacuum?

I know that this question may sound stupid, but what I mean is that photons have some energy and no mass, yet the mass and energy are said to be equivalent (or maybe I got that part wrong). In an ...
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### Why does a Lorentz scalar field transform as $U^{-1}(\Lambda)\phi(x)U(\Lambda) = \phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)$?

This problem is from Srednicki page 19. Why $U^{-1}(\Lambda)\phi(x)U(\Lambda) = \phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)$? Can anyone derive this? $\phi$ is a scalar and $\Lambda$ Lorentz transformation.
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### Deriving the Electromagnetic Tensor

The electromagnetic tensor is given as: $$F_{\mu \nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu$$ How do you derive this? And how come there is a partial derivative in ...
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### Does an accelerating spaceship move backwards due to length contraction?

Let's assume I have a spaceship in front of me let's say at 1000000km distance. Now let's assume I have also a stationary wall just behind the spaceship at 999999km. Initially the spaceship's speed is ...
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### A relative time dilation paradox.

Let us assume that there are two astronauts A and B who are floating in space. A sees B passing by and vice versa. A sends signals to B every minute. According to A since B is moving his clock will be ...