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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Black holes and Time Dilation at the horizon

What is the difference between proper time and the observer time? Whilst thinking about Black holes, when we see the Schwarzschild metric $$c^2\tau ^2 = \left ( 1 - \frac{r_{s}}{r} \right )c^2t^2 - ...
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Lorentz transformation via light clocks in parallel direction

In order to derive the Lorentz transformation one can use the picture of a light clock. A Photons bounces back and forth between two mirrors. This is then observed in two different inertial systems. ...
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138 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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Spacetime Diagrams

Suppose an observer $\mathcal{O}$ uses the coordinates $t$, $x$, and that another observer $\mathcal{O}'$, with coordinates $t'$, $x'$, is moving with velocity $\mathbb{v}$ in the $x$ ...
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119 views

Electron distribution around atom when moving

I do not have much experience on this but if an atom has some electrons around nucleus and the atom itself it is moving at some speed does that affect the distribution of electrons around? I am ...
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142 views

Magnetism due to relativity?

So I have been reading in some books that magnetism does not have to be assumed a priori, but can be obtained from the electric field + special relativity. And I have seen how this leads to the common ...
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171 views

Special relativity: moving charge and twisting bar magnet

ETA: Huh. It's been more than three months since I posed this question. Is it really possible that no one knows the answer? I thought for sure someone would know. Oh well. You have a small bar ...
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2answers
312 views

Break speed of light with infinite mass

I've heard that a spacecraft could never exceed the speed of light because it's (relativistic) mass quickly approaches infinity and therefore there could never create a big enough rocket to propel it ...
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1answer
76 views

Relativistic fomulae for energy and momentum?

I know that the relativistic formulae for energy and momentum are: $E = \gamma mc^2$ and $\textbf{p} = \gamma m\textbf{v}$; Can we derive these formulae? If yes, where from?
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638 views

Mandelstam variable equality derivation for $s$-channel process

I am supposed to show that the Mandelstam variable $s=(p_1^2 + p_2^2) = 4(P_{cm}^2 + m^2)$ for an electron/positron interaction, where $p_1$ is the incident 4-momentum of the electron and $p_2$ is ...
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148 views

Reduction in gravity from photon exchange

Let's say you have two bodies at are held at rest relative to each other exchanging (real, not virtual) photons back and forth. Then we let them go (maybe push them apart slightly), so they will ...
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103 views

Why is general relativity only formulated in continuum terms?

So, when we are discussing Newtonian mechanics, we treat particles as point particles. In continuum mechanics, which I understand to be a version in which mass is continuously distributed, we have ...
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390 views

twin paradox question

I'm trying to wrap my mind around the twin paradox, but I can't figure out this one problem from my textbook. It uses the relativistic Doppler effect to demonstrate how the paradox works. The first ...
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1answer
151 views

Proper acceleration asymetry in twin paradox

In the Wikipedia article on the twin pararadox, there is an interesting chapter which calculates the difference of age for the twins, with steps of accelerated movement, and steps with constant speed, ...
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1answer
761 views

What is the meaning of Non-Relativistic theory in Condensed Matter Physics?

I an attempt to evade the Goldstone Theorem, it is argued in Gilbert and Klein and Lee's paper that in a non-relativistic field there exists a preferred direction which can be used to evade ...
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1answer
241 views

Can relativistic energy transformation be explained by time dilation and E=h f?

Can one explain the relativistic energy transformation formula: $$E = \gamma\ E',$$ where the primed frame has a velocity $v$ relative to the unprimed frame, in terms of relativistic time dilation ...
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237 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
2k views

If time stops at the speed of light is a photon 'everywhere' at once? [duplicate]

I am not a physicist so excuse my question if it's paticularly stupid. As a particle gets closer to the speed of light time slows down as for that particle as compared to a reference from the ...
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122 views

Field Tensor and classical limits

I would be very grateful if someone would kindly explain this generalization of the Lorentz force law to the special relativity domain. Please bear with me. Classically, the Lorentz force law is ...
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344 views

Relativistic kinematics of particle decay

Suppose a particle decays to three other particles. The masses of all particles are assumed to be known and we work in the rest frame of the parent particle. So there are 12 parameters for this ...
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3answers
142 views

Please explain this statement about Lorentz transformations

I'm reading Sternberg's Group Theory and Physics. I have a question about chapter 1.2 Homeomorphisms. Background: A Lorentz Metric is defined as $||{\bf x}||^2=x_0^2-x_1^2-x_2^2-x_3^2$ And a ...
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1answer
515 views

Is there a stationary frame of reference?

My understanding of relativity is at the beginner level, so please bear with me to help a beginner to understand. Something which I don't understand is consider if you travel close to the speed of ...
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1answer
100 views

Relativity exposition from the “naïve” viewpoint

A naïve observational viewpoint doesn't automatically try to correct for signal delays. In other words, the time co-ordinate is retarded. For example: In popular expositions of relativity you'll ...
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745 views

D'Alembert operator and special relativity

We are currently covering special relativity in the theoretical physics lectures where we defined: $$ \mathrm ds^2 := \mathrm dt^2 - \mathrm dx^2 - \mathrm dy^2 - \mathrm dz^2 $$ In Road to Reality, ...
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Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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654 views

Two photons of different frequencies collide to create electron and positron

A photon of frequency f, and another of frequency f' (take f' as given) collide to create an electron-positron pair. The frequency f is such that when the collision is head on, there is exactly enough ...
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303 views

How does light travel create time travel violating causality?

Saw a question about faster than light travel... I still have the same question though none of the answers offered any resolution for me. It is so summarily assumed by all physicists and commentaries ...
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299 views

Speed of Entropy change

If time in systems moving with different speed goes differently, does speed of entropy change differ in these systems? (is "speed of entropy change" a valid term? can we compare them?)
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509 views

Explanation of equation that shows a failed approach to relativize Schrodinger equation

I'm reading the Wikipedia page for the Dirac equation: $\rho=\phi^*\phi\,$ ...... $J = -\frac{i\hbar}{2m}(\phi^*\nabla\phi - \phi\nabla\phi^*)$ with the conservation of probability ...
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2answers
146 views

Stroboscope-and-telegraph problem

Narrative: Consider, in a suitably flat region, two straight lines which don't necessarily intersect. Let vector $\mathbf{x}$ point along one line, and vector $\mathbf{y}$ point along the other. Let ...
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1answer
601 views

Derivation of the Lorentz transformation

I have been reading Young's book called: University physics with modern physics and on page 1284 author states that we can derive Lorenz time transformation by eliminating two equations for Lorentz ...
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1answer
559 views

Relative Speed vs speed of light [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Travelling faster than the speed of light Someting almost faster than light traveling on something else almost faster than light I've got two questions which are ...
2
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2answers
313 views

How do particle scattering cross sections scale with energy in colliders?

How do particle scattering cross sections scale with energy in colliders? Particularly photons, electrons, protons, and gold or lead nucleii? (If necessary, break this into four separate questions.) ...
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1answer
181 views

Is the classical Doopler Effect, for light shift, $1-v/c$, exact? What is it an approximation of?

Is the classical doopler effect for light shift equal to $1-v/c$ exact or an approximation of a classical formula? I know that it is an approximation of the relativistic formula, but what was the ...
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631 views

Conservation of Energy in Special Relativity

In classical Newtonian mechanics, from what I understand, conservation of energy stems from the fact that all known forces are conservative forces, and vector calculus tells us that they can be ...
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760 views

What is the displacement of an accelerated and relativistic object?

Displacement in an accelerated classical object is: $$s=ut+\frac {at^2}{2}$$ What is the displacement of an accelerated relativistic object? In Newtonian mechanics there are two types of ...
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1answer
322 views

Can Mirror box simulate long light travel?

Imagine that there is a cube box that has mirrors all 6 faces in . If we use a strong laser and enter in the box from a small hole on the box. The laser light travels in the box long time that we can ...
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729 views

How are fundamental forces transmitted?

How are the fundamental forces transmitted? In particular I wonder, are all "processes" local, i.e. without superluminal distant interactions? But if they are local, then particles would have to ...
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1answer
303 views

What is the mass of a photon in non-empty spaces?

It is a well known result of the special theory of relativity that the photon has no rest mass, because for a particle to attain the speed of light, it must have zero rest-mass. I will not dig into ...
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180 views

Violation of Lorentz symmetry on cosmological distances

This question is about the domain of validity of Lorentz symmetry. As far as I know, general relativity is a generalization of special relativity. Does that mean that Lorentz symmetry is violated on ...
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4answers
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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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1answer
31 views

Derivation of relativistic mean free path

I am working through a short derivation found in Abramowicz 1991 regarding the mean free path of a photon. We have a fluid moving in a particular direction with velocity $v$ and in an inertial rest ...
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Gauge transformation and Special relativity

While explaining gauge theories, a book makes a comment that the U(1) transformation definition, $ U= e^{i q \lambda(x)}$ is analogous to a special relativity transformation in freely falling ...
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56 views

Black Hole - Between event horizon and singularity

Dear Physics Board Users What is between the singularity and the event horizon? If the gravitation gets bigger and bigger coming nearer to a black hole, is then the gravition inside even bigger that ...
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2answers
50 views

Geometric definition of the Lorentz inner product

In Euclidean space one can define the dot product as projecting one vector to the other and multiply the length of the projected vector with the length of the other vector. This definition doesn't ...
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1answer
84 views

Is there a reason why a relativistic quantum theory of a single fermion exists, but of a single scalar not?

When we try to construct the relativistic generalization of non-relativistic time dependent Schroedinger equation, there are at least two possible completions - Klein-Gordon equation and Dirac ...
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Doppler-shift of AC-electricity

A tram is powered by overhead wire, the wire has alternating voltage of 1000 V RMS, the frequency of the alternating voltage is 50 Hz. The rails are the other wire. The tram is moving at speed 100 ...
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4answers
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Does a ticking watch have more mass? [duplicate]

In the video on YouTube, The Real Meaning of E=mc² | PBS| Space Time Studios, it claims that a ticking watch has more mass then a non ticking watch due to the intrinsic KE, PE and thermal energy of ...
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0answers
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Amplitude for a string to propagate from one point to another

In Zwiebach’s book sections 12.6 and 12.7 interesting aspects of the wave function of the string are discussed. In order to introduce my question first recall what happens with the relativistic ...
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Does special relativity explains working of an electromagnet?

I heard that special relativity could be used to explain the working of electromagnet, but couldn't dig anything out of it. Can somebody give some explanation of the above? I also heard that it is ...