The special theory of relativity describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

5
votes
4answers
311 views

A question abou $E=pc$ for massless particles

Since photon has no (rest)mass and $$E^2=(pc)^2+(mc^2)^2$$ we derive that $E=pc$ for particle with no (rest)mass. However, if we transform the non-relativistic formula for kinetic energy ...
1
vote
1answer
347 views

Speed of approach between image and object

A plane mirror image approaches the object at the same rate the object approaches the mirror. So the speed of approach is twice the speed at which the object approaches the mirror. If the object ...
6
votes
2answers
168 views

What axiomatizations exist for special relativity?

Einstein 1905 gives the following axiomatization of special relativity (Perrett and Jeffery's translation): The laws by which the states of physical systems undergo change are not affected, whether ...
3
votes
4answers
428 views

Is special relativity axiomatic?

Can special relativity be somewhat described by the following statement? If the speed of light is a universal constant, and if light can be placed in separate frames of motion, then time must be ...
7
votes
3answers
679 views

The reference frame of $c$

I don't have a lot of knowledge of special relativity and associated topics; some of the few things I know are that "all motion is relative" (that is, there is no 'stationary reference frame'), and ...
4
votes
2answers
684 views

The relation between electric field and magnetic potential

In every electrodynamics book there is one chapter on special relativity which includes one section about" covariant formulation of electrodynamics" which uses tensor to describe the two fields and ...
2
votes
0answers
122 views

Does light initially accelerate? [duplicate]

Light travels with a speed of $3\times10^8{m\over s}$. My question is that was the light initially accelerating or it archived the speed in an instance? If it was accelerating then why it did not ...
4
votes
1answer
690 views

Galilean invariance of a subset of Maxwell equations

I read in Feynman's proof of Maxwell equations the statement that the subset of Maxwell equations comming from the Bianchi identity: $$ \nabla \cdot {\bf B} = 0, \quad \nabla \times {\bf E} + ...
1
vote
1answer
233 views

Magnetic induction in Relativity

As we know magnetic phenomenon is a mere relativistic effect.My question is how to explain the magnetic induction in a relativistic manner?
0
votes
1answer
202 views

Classically, how can an electron orbiting a proton radiate given its relativistic energy

In classical relativistic Electrodynamics, we are often told that any accelerating point charge inherently radiates (Bremstrallung). (This is the basis for the need for a QM conception of electrons.) ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Why magnetic field lines and force are not orthogonal with magnets?

The below explanation why magnetism exists is superb in this video. The explanation about magnets is also great in this video. A magnet has atoms with unpaired electrons forming mini magnets. The ...
-1
votes
2answers
640 views

Why moving charges causes Magnetic Field (module and direction)?

Why an constant electric current in a wire produces a magnetic field, that circles that wire? I know that this question was posted before. However, all answers talk about Maxwell equations, axioms, ...
1
vote
2answers
373 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
38
votes
6answers
4k views

If I am travelling on a car at around 60 km/h, and I shine a light, does that mean that the light is travelling faster than the speed of light?

The title says it all. If I was on a bus at 60 km/h, and I started walking on the bus at a steady pace of 5 km/h, then I'd technically be moving at 65 km/h, right? So my son posed me an interesting ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Why acceleration is not relative in General Relativity?

I was thinking of it, If I say: "I'm moving at a velocity $v_1$ relative to a reference frame $M$ then the acceleration will be the derivative of $v_1$ relative to the reference frame $M$." In other ...
2
votes
2answers
228 views

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
0
votes
1answer
213 views

Why there is the requirement for derivatives no higher than second order in free quantum field equations? [duplicate]

Why there is the requirement for derivatives no higher than second order in free quantum fields equations? We can get the equations for the free fields of an arbitrary spin by using the requirements ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Finding the EOM for a charged relativistic particle

For an exercise sheet of a course in general relativity I'm asked to derive the equations of motion for a charged particle in an EM-field given by a potential $A^\mu$. I am give the action: $$S = ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Parametric equations of a hypersurface

In light-front QFT, in the Minkowski space, we define a hypersurface, $\Sigma_+ : x^3+ x^0 = 0 $. How can I write its parametric equations?
3
votes
1answer
321 views

Newton's second law invariant under law of addition of velocities

I'm currently reading Schutz' first course in general relativity, and on the second page (already) I've encountered a problem: We have the Galilean law of addition of velocities: $ v(t) = v'(t) = ...
1
vote
2answers
906 views

Derivation of relativistic uniformly accelerated motion

I'm trying to understand solution of the following problem from Landau, Lifshitz, Classical Theory Of Fields: (ending skipped). What I see when I "write out the expression for $w^iw_i$", using ...
2
votes
3answers
703 views

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 ...
16
votes
2answers
400 views

In relativity, can/should every measurement be reduced to measuring a scalar?

Different authors seem to attach different levels of importance to keeping track of the exact tensor valences of various physical quantities. In the strict-Catholic-school-nun camp, we have Burke ...
1
vote
0answers
89 views

Direct sum of the spinors and EM field tensor

EM field tensor refer to the direct sum of $(1, 0), (0, 1)$ spinor representation of the Lorentz group. How to show it? Each of these spinor representations corresponds to the symmetrical spinor ...
2
votes
2answers
363 views

Proper time for an accelerating object

As far as I have read so far, proper time is the time measured on the clock of an inertial frame moving uniformly with respect to another inertial frame. The concept and the mathematical expression ...
0
votes
1answer
200 views

The relativity of simultaneity: a classical example

Look at the following example: I have two questions: The observer $B$ is in rest respect the sources of light, so he sees the two photons emanating by the two light sources coming from the same ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What are good examples to demonstrate Einstein's mass-energy relation [duplicate]

According to Einstein's mass-energy relation mass and energy are interchangeable. Can you provide some examples where: Mass gets converted into energy. Energy gets converted into mass.
0
votes
1answer
408 views

Why is kinetic energy only “often $(1/2)mv^2$”?

I am reading the first few pages of Nakahara and refreshing my memory on physics I learned a while ago as a physics math undergrad. Nakahara defines a field $F$ to be conservative if it's the gradient ...
2
votes
2answers
137 views

Distinguish between Past and Future

When writing the metric in Minkowski space, how can we distinguish between the past and the future? I understand the answer after drawing the light cone but I want to know how we get that by just ...
2
votes
4answers
269 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? ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Do Maxwell's equations independently impose constraints on the speed of light?

My question is about the relations and equations that makes us to impose constraints on the velocity at which electromagnetic waves propagate. Do Maxwell's equations independently impose constraints ...
2
votes
1answer
481 views

Lightcone coordinates

The Light cone coordinates are defined as $$x^+ = x^0 + x^3$$ $$x^- = x^0 - x^3$$ Then in the light cone coordinates the position 4-vector becomes: $(x^+, x^-, x^1, x^2)$ . Zwiebach in his A First ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How the Lorentz transformation affects the metric tensor?

After performing a Lorentz transformation, the orthogonal coordinates will become askew, as in the following figure: and in such coordinate system, according to this Wikipedia article, the metric ...
0
votes
2answers
107 views

What would a person *unmoving* look like on a Minkowski diagram?

If you were to draw a person on a Minkowski diagram, that was unmoving (though time was still passing) what would that look like? (As a light cone and ignore the observer.) Also what would it look ...
2
votes
3answers
246 views

Proper Time for Deceleration in Special Relativity

As stated here: http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/rocket.html A rocket which accelerates to some point, then decelerates back to 0 over the same distance will measure a proper time ...
1
vote
5answers
736 views

Light-like Interval

In SR, the interval $I$ between two spacetime events is called light-like if $I=0$. Griffiths in his Introduction to Electrodynamics book says that [page 503], If $I=0$ we call the interval ...
1
vote
1answer
180 views

About Pauli-Lubanski 4-vector

I saw you answered someone else about the Pauli-Lubanski 4-vector properties. I was doing some simple analysis of polarized leptons, started with the canonical convention of the spin operator wich is ...
6
votes
1answer
286 views

Is an alpha particle's curvature in a magnetic field visible with a homemade cloud chamber?

I'm trying to do some calculations to see just how strong a magnet you'd have to have, in order for curvature to be noticeable in a rudimentary cloud chamber, with lead-210 as an alpha particle ...
6
votes
3answers
406 views

Uncertainty principle and the energy-momentum 4-vector

In each of the uncertainty relations $$\Delta p_x \Delta x \geq \hbar/2$$ $$\Delta p_y \Delta y \geq \hbar/2$$$$\Delta p_z \Delta z \geq \hbar/2$$$$\Delta E \Delta t \geq \hbar/2$$ the second term on ...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

Gravitational Behavior of Rotating Body

Consider a stick with a (ball-shaped) weight at the end of it. Let's say this stick is in a state of rotation (it's floating in vacuum) and is also in a state of translational motion. Consider a ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Four vector manipulation

I have started doing Relativistic Quantum Mechanics from Greiner. I'm having difficulty understanding the following derivation for commutation relations (page 4): $$[\hat{p}^\mu, x^\nu] = ...
3
votes
5answers
304 views

Can light travel slower than the maximum?

First of all, I know that light does indeed travel slower in a medium like air or water, but that's because the photons are bouncing off of the medium's particles and in different directions so the ...
0
votes
3answers
115 views

Please explain me this relativistic occurrence [duplicate]

So, for example, we have the planet, a spaceship (cylinder shaped) and a ball in it (spaceship is like transparent so we can see the ball). We are on the planet looking at the ship. The spaceship ...
2
votes
1answer
146 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
423 views

What is the geometry behind special relativity?

Many books on special relativity eventually mention that the geometry of spacetime is special because the metric has a signature $(-,+,+,+)$ which is non-Euclidean. I have encountered many ways this ...
3
votes
2answers
182 views

Proper Time with a non-zero Initial Velocity

I have a question regarding how to find the proper time for a body with an initial velocity to slow down to 0. For example, the equation I have been working with looks like: $$\int^\tau_0 ...
1
vote
1answer
261 views

Spinor formalism in QFT

We can describe fields by two formalisms: vector and spinor. This is the result of possibility of representation of the Lorentz's group irreducible rep as straight cross product of two $SU(2)$ or two ...
1
vote
2answers
283 views

Energy transfer using quantum entanglement

Can we transfer energy from one place to another separated by arbitrarily large distances without any time lag? For instance, if Alice and Bob are two observers making measurements having a singlet ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

If I travel close to the speed of light and come back, why is everyone else dead, and not me? [duplicate]

Consider the following scenario: I get in a spaceship, and travel really close to the speed of light for a while, and then come back. A lot of time has passed on the Earth, but since I was traveling ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Is it possible to derive the invariant spacetime interval from Einstein's two postulates for SR? [duplicate]

In many textbooks, the interval $$ I = -(c\Delta t)^2 + (\Delta x)^2 + (\Delta y)^2 + (\Delta z)^2 $$ is taken for granted as the same for two events in any reference frame. Is it possible to ...