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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What should I call an n>4 dimensional Minkowski metric?

I am manipulating an $nxn$ metric where $n$ is often $> 4$, depending on the model. The $00$ component is always tau*constant, as in the Minkowski metric, but the signs on all components might be ...
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193 views

quantum curvature

If a state can be a superposition of energy states, and mass equals energy (special relativity), and mass curves space-time (general relativity), then could we say that space-time around a quantum ...
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482 views

Hamiltonian mechanics and special relativity?

Is there a relativistic version of Hamiltonian mechanics? If so, how is it formulated (what are the main equations and the form of Hamiltonian)? Is it a common framework, if not then why? It would be ...
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What is the proper time used in relativistic non equilibrium statistical physics?

In the literature one often finds covariant relativistic generalizations of classical non equilibrium statistical equations (Boltzmann, Vlasov, Landau, fokker-planck, etc...) but I wonder what is the ...
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126 views

maximum distance between accelerating objects started at different times [closed]

Let there be two objects that have zero relative velocity with respect to each other in an inertial frame. If they both undergo identical accelerations, but one starts the acceleration at t = T1 and ...
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710 views

Is 4-volume element a scalar or a pseudoscalar in special relativity?

In general relativity 4-volume element $\mathrm{d}^4 x = \mathrm{d} x^0\mathrm{d} x^1 \mathrm{d} x^2\mathrm{d} x^3$ is clearly a pseudoscalar (or scalar density) of weight 1 since it transforms as ...
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417 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 ...
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477 views

Is the potential energy in a compressed spring a Lorentz invariant?

The total energy of an object comes from the time part of the four-momentum, and so isn't a Lorentz invariant. On the other hand, is the potential energy of a compressed spring a Lorentz invariant?
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246 views

Does the Lorentz transformation not apply to light?

Since you would know that light always travels at the constant velocity with respect to all frame of reference ....according to relativity whenever we are traveling at speed of light our time with ...
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402 views

Designing a plausible faster than light drive: the Space Skip Drive [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is the Portal feasible in real life? I'm designing a plausible faster-than-light (FTL) drive for a SF universe. Here's what I have so far. I'm aware of existing ...
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370 views

Speed of light is not fixed? [closed]

In my research, I found that the speed of light is not fixed. IS it true? Namely, We know that light refracts when the medium it travels through changes. Actually, light travels in the same medium ...
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“Relativistic Baseball”

On Randall Munroe’s new blog “what if”, he answers the question: “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?” http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/ He concludes: ...
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Simple Experiment to Demonstrate Special Relativity

I am trying to think of a good experiment that can be done for under $250 or so that would demonstrate some aspect of Special Relativity. Ideally this will be done in a few years with my kids when ...
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Phase space volume and relativity

Much of statistical mechanics is derived from Liouville's theorem, which can be stated as "the phase space volume occupied by an ensemble of isolated systems is conserved over time." (I'm mostly ...
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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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How do photons travel at a speed that should be impossible to attain?

If it requires infinite amount of energy to travel at the speed of light then how photon attains this speed? Its source is never infinitely sourced.
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760 views

Why did we need relativity to derive $E=mc^2$?

Okay, so the way I understand one of the "derivations" of $E=mc^2$ is roughly as follows: We observe a light bulb floating in space. It appears motionless. It gives off a brief flash of light. We ...
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322 views

Lorentz transformations of the polarization vector

Let $\bf{n}'$ be a unit vector in the direction of a wavevector in the plasma rest frame and $\bf{B'}$ be a unit vector along the magnetic field in the plasma rest frame. The electric field of a ...
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72 views

Tower redshift paradox

If photons are emitted at intervals a, from the top of a tower of height $h$, down to earth, is this formula correct for the intervals b in which they are received at earth? $b=a(1-gh/c^2)$ If so, how ...
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How to calculate speed difference between objects close to the speed of light?

If two different objects (for example two rockets) move in opposite direction at close to the speed of light (for example 0.8c and 0.9c), how do I calculate the difference in speed between the two ...
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In what subfields and how far can the naive limit $c\rightarrow\infty$ of special relativity be carried?

Even if many interesting similarities between the classical and the quantum mechanical framework have been worked out, e.g. in the subject of deformation quantization, in general, there are some ...
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303 views

How to connect Einstein's Special Relativity(SR) with General Relativity(GR)?

How Einstein's SR becomes GR? $$ds^2=dr^2-c^2dt^2,$$ $$ds^2=g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu}.$$ When the $s$ is constant $ds^2=0$, isn't it true? How to connect Einstein's SR with GR? What is the ...
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What kinds of inconsistencies would one get if one starts with Lorentz noninvariant Lagrangian of QFT?

What kinds of inconsistencies would one get if one starts with Lorentz noninvariant Lagrangian of QFT? The question is motivated by this preprint arXiv:1203.0609 by Murayama and Watanabe. Also, what ...
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Are there any known potentially useful nontrivial irreducible representations of the Lorentz Group $O(3,1)$ of dimension bigger than 4? Examples?

Are there any known potentially useful, nontrivial, irreducible representations of the Lorentz Group $O(3,1)$ of dimension more than $4$? Examples? A $5$-dimensional representation? EDIT: Is there ...
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Does $p=mc$ hold for photons?

Known that $E=hf$, $p=hf/c=h/\lambda$, then if $p=mc$, where $m$ is the (relativistic) mass, then $E=mc^2$ follows directly as an algebraic fact. Is this the case?
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Are the higher-order terms in the series for energy really negligible?

To show that energy in special relativity reduces to $E=m+mv^2/2$ for low velocities, if we make a Taylor expansion of $m\gamma$ around $v=0$ we get $$E=m+mv^2/2+3mv^4/8+\cdots$$ But why can we cutoff ...
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290 views

Here's a way to transmit data faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole? Assume there is a long rod or a string connecting two points separated by a ...
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2answers
241 views

why is there only one inertial frame that $ct$ and $x$ are orthogonal?

It is very long time ago that I took a physics lesson, so I want to refresh my memory. I think I learned that there is only one inertial frame in Minkowski spacetime (or special relativity time) that ...
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1answer
207 views

Why can't this speed be measured?

Superman and Supergirl were playing catch. When Superman is moving with a speed of 0.800c relative to Supergirl, he threw a ball to Supergirl with a speed of 0.600c relative to him. a. ...
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318 views

length contraction question

we know from eintein's theory of relativity that lets say, a ruler is travelling to a speed if light, then we can say that the ruler (from our view as observers) has shorten. but why, lets say we have ...
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181 views

Using Einstein's Relativity: Who is younger?

Suppose we have a person A and a person B. Person B travels very close to speed of light and never returns. He's constant in speed. Then, we can say two things: B is younger than A. A is younger ...
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In relativity, what is the difference between a rod that is perpendicular to direction of motion and a rod parallel to the direction of motion?

In Feynman's Lectures on Physics , chapter 15, page 6 he writes about 2 identical, synchronized light signal clocks. These are clocks that consist of a rod (meter stick) with a mirror at each end, and ...
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What is a Lorentz boost and how to calculate it?

I know very little special relativity. I never leaned it properly, but every time I read someone saying: "if you boost in the x-direction, you get such and such" my mind goes blank! I tried ...
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What's the purpose of the arbitary additive constants in Einstein's Inertia of Energy Paper?

In Einstein's paper: Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy content? he introduces arbitary additive constants whose purpose I'm confused about. The paper has a frame $(x,y,z)$ where a ...
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Why isn't the symmetric twin paradox a paradox?

Two twin sisters synchronize their watches and simultaneously (from the earth frame) depart earth in different directions. Following a predetermined flight plan, each sister accelerates identically to ...
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Two identical rockets, time dilation, and possible weirdness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why isn't the symmetric twin paradox a paradox? Suppose there are two identical rockets, each carrying one of two identical clocks and one of two identical ...
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2k views

Why/how does an electron emit a photon when decelerating?

I've had two special relativity courses so far but none really gave me a clear description of the process.
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Applying $\nabla\times\mathbf{B} = \mu_0\mathbf{J}$ in the presence of magnetic shielding

2012-06-13 - Revised question in experimental format (This is a thought experiment for which RF experts may have an immediate answer.) I'll assume (I could be wrong) the possibility of creating a ...
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216 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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336 views

How fast do you need to travel to go 35 light-years in 2 (apparent) years?

Time slows the faster you go, so perhaps going 35 light-years in "2 years" is actually do-able, but how fast would you actually be going? If $$t' = \frac{t}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}\\ $$ If we say ...
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181 views

Why doesn't relativistic momentum appear conserved in this frame?

Suppose I have an inelastic head on collision between two idential particles of mass $m$ that come to rest in the centre of momentum frame where relativistic momentum is obviously conserved. If I now ...
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220 views

Hamiltonians and Lagrangians, Euclidean and Hyperbolic: Are they related?

The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between its kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $V$, and is relativistically invariant: $L = T - V$ The Hamiltonian of the same system is the sum ...
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Relativistic Mass including exponential decay

So from what I gather, relativistic mass = $m_0\gamma$ where $\gamma$ is the lorentz factor. So if i have a mass that is .5 at rest then it is safe to say that the relativistic mass will be 1 if it ...
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198 views

The temperature in space

We know that cosmic microwave background temperature is about 2.7K. But what temperature we will measure in space using a simple Kelvin thermometer in the shadow? Can it be lower than 2.7K? Suppose a ...
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What are the increasingly sophisticated ways to perform a Lorentz transformation?

Since Einstein first derived the Lorentz transformations, their generalisation and execution has changed over the century. So starting with those first derived by Einstein: What are the main, ...
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How can be proved that one-way speed of light is equal to two-way speed?

Using Special relativity theory, of course. Can Lorentz transformations to "tell" something about it? "Wikipedia's" article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_speed_of_light .
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Energy conservation and center-of-mass inertial frames

For a given set of fast-moving objects in empty space, the maximum mass-energy that can be extracted by using only interactions between objects in the set (e.g., colliding all of them together) is ...
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Time dilation at the speed of light

Does a massless particle travelling at the speed on light in a vacuum (c) experience an infinite time dilation effect? i.e. Would the time dilation extend from the perspective of the massless ...
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309 views

Four momentum of a photon squared, trouble with combining wave-particle duality and energy-frequency relation

Since $p^2=E^2-\vec{p}^2=m^2$ and $E=h\nu=\frac{hc}{\lambda}$ and $|\vec{p}|=\frac{h}{\lambda}$ we have that $p^2=\frac{h^2c^2}{\lambda^2}-\frac{h^2}{\lambda ^2}$ If I go to Planck-units ...
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Would time freeze if you can travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the speed limit for anything with mass. So, if I were ...