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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Explicit Symmetry Breaking: Where do the additional d.o.f. come from?

Massless vector bosons have only two independent degrees of freedom, while massive ones have three. In spontaneous symmetry breaking, the massless vector belonging to the broken group becomes massive ...
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Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
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Formal definition of an observer?

What is the formal definition of an observer in special relativity? I have seen a few: The actual coordinate system. The collection of synchronised clocks that cover the coordinate system. A well ...
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Moving coil contradiction of Faraday Induction

In Faraday's Induction Experiment, the e.m.f. induced in the induction coil becomes zero when the relative velocity of the coil and the magnet becomes zero. But one can also argue from a stationary ...
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Why does the existence of an aether go against Maxwell's equations

I am trying to determine why there is a conflict between Maxwell's equations and Galilean relativity. The standard way I have seen it explained is: The Galilean world model says velocities transform ...
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What does a relativistically moving capacitor “look” like? [duplicate]

Suppose I have a parallel plate capacitor with a vacuum between the plates, a voltage $V$ across them and a capacitance of $C$. What will this arrangement look like to an observer in a uniformly ...
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The definition of transpose of Lorentz transformation (as a mixed tensor)

In the appendix of the textbook of Group Theory in Physics by Wu-Ki Tung, the transpose of a matrix is defined as the following, Eq.(I.3-1) $${{A^T}_i}^j~=~{A^j}_i.$$ This is extremely confusing for ...
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Misuse of $\mathbf J^2$ in classifying Poincare reps

$SO(1,3)$ has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $p^2$. $SO(3)$ also has an infinite number of representations, classified by the Casimir invariant $\mathbf ...
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Shouldn't we use a Hamiltonian that doesn't give special treatment to time? [duplicate]

If we have a Lagrangian $\mathcal L$ that depends on some scalar field $\phi$, we define the momentum as $\pi \doteqdot {\partial \mathcal L \over \partial \dot \phi}$. The Hamiltonian then is ...
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Importance of Powers of Velocity in Classical Mechanics

Is there any general significance to calculated quantities that depend purely on general powers of the velocity of a particle/system/etc? The first power being momentum and the second being kinetic ...
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Good reference on Lorentz aether theory

Can anyone recommend me a good treatment of Lorentz aether theory? I am looking for something that includes some discussion on equivalence to SRT and derivations for typical SRT effects.
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Doppler shift for a uniformly accelerating observer

This was given in textbook as an example. An observer on a spaceship with a four velocity $u$ is approaching from $x = +\infty$ a star at rest in the reference frame $S$ while undergoing constant ...
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When talking about atomic mass, how is $E=mc^2$ factored in? [duplicate]

When talking about atomic mass in the periodic table of elements, is this number the mass of the element at rest? If I understand correctly, the (relativistic) mass of an element will increase as the ...
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Electromagnetism in flat space

I want to get a deeper understanding of how Electric and Magnetic fields transform under Lorentz transformation. That is how to start from gauge transformation of Electric and Magnetic fields $$E= ...
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Can a relativistic quantum particle be completely confined into a finite hole?

If we write the Klein-Gordon equation in this form \begin{equation*} c^2 \hbar^2 \nabla^2 \Psi = \hbar^2 \ddot{\Psi} + 2i\hbar (U - mc^2) \dot{\Psi} + U (2mc^2 - U) \Psi \end{equation*} we have a ...
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Mathematical Definition of Locality

What is the mathematically precise definition of principle of locality in physics for a continuous space-time in the sense that an object is only directly influenced by its immediate surroundings?
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Magnetic force as a relativistic effect?

There is something I am confused about when it comes to the force between two parallel wires carrying current, specifically why when they carry current in the same direction the wires are always ...
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Does a mass gain inertia against movement in all directions as it approaches the speed of light?

If a mass moves along the x axis at near the speed of light, does it take as much energy to additionally accelerate the mass along the y axis as it does to accelerate it along the x axis by the same ...
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Is $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ correct, or is $E=mc^2$ the correct one?

I have been having trouble distinguishing these two equations and figuring out which one is correct. I have watched a video that says that $E^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$ is correct, but I do not know why. It ...
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Plane curve transform to moving inertial system coordinates

As a non-phycisist I hope my question makes sense and is understandable. It deals with special relativity. I suppose there is a e.g. plane curve ( e.g. a circle ) given in the x-y plane of of an ...
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What is the derivation of $E=mc^2$? [duplicate]

How did Einstein derive his most famous equation: $$E=mc^2$$ Is the above equation a special case of $$E^2=m^2c^4+p^2c^2$$ Its derivation? What is the difference between them?
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Light angles measured in moving reference fame (SR, homework)

I've managed to get through all of this question without trouble until part d). The full question is given here: I've calculated the "true" angles of Star A and Star B as 71.57 degrees and 45 ...
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Is it a postulate or a well proven fact that speed of light remains constant w.r.t any observer?

We usually heard that speed of light in vacuum $c$ remains same no matter how observer is moving? I am wondering whether is it taken as a postulate or a proven phenomenon that $c$ is constant ...
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Why are we not able to move at the speed of light again? [duplicate]

In many many answers here and papers everywhere, it's often stated that no object can move faster than light. Why is that again?
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Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
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Is reflection instantaneous?

I was wondering while reading "On the Electrodynamics of moving bodies" by Albert Einstein (1905) (Translated to English). In the paper, he describes the time as being: by definition that the ...
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Time dilation: faster or slower?

I was wondering about Time-dilation in Special Relativity. I am still a middle school student who wonders so please excuse me if I missed any important aspects. Let us assume we have a system of ...
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Why do we write the lengths in the following way? Question about Lorentz transformation

Yesterday we have studied the Lorentz transformation in school. So we have two frames of reference, $S$ and $S'$ . $S$ is stationary and $S'$. $S'$ has a constant velocity $v$, relative to the $S$ ...
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A vertical variation of modern versions of Michelson-Morley

For almost a year now, I have been in the uncomfortable position of having an idea. However, there is one nice thing about this idea. It makes a concrete, exact and relatively easy to test physical ...
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What's so special about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What's so special about the speed of light? Why do many equations in physics include the speed of light in vacuum $c$? Why do so many thing depend upon it? Why can't it be the speed of sound? ...
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Recommended books for a “relativity for poets” class?

I teach physics at a community college and have developed a new course titled "Relativity for Poets," which I will be teaching for the first time in spring 2015. As implied by the title, it's a ...
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What would an observer see if he/she flew toward a clock at relativistic speeds?

If an observer approaches a clock at a significant fraction of the speed of light, would they see the clock's hands moving at a faster or slower than usual rate? I figure there are two competing ...
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How to derive addition of velocities without the Lorentz transformation?

Lorentz contraction and time dilatation can be deduced without Lorentz transformation. Can you deduce also the theorem of addition of velocities $$w~=~\dfrac{u+v}{1+uv/c^2}$$ without Lorentz ...
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When a body accelerates, it gains (relativistic) mass; after stopping, is the (relativistic) mass different from before it started accelerating?

When a body accelerates, it gains (relativistic) mass $m$ according to the relation $$m=\frac{m_0}{\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}},$$ where $m_0$ is the (rest) mass. But after it stops is the gained (relativistic) ...
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Are events in this experiment simultaneous if observed in platform's frame?

In some contexts e.g. on Wikipedia it is defined as a matter of happening . In others(e.g. as defined by Einstein in his book "Relativity the special and general theory") it is defined as a matter of ...
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Precession of relativistic orbit in pure inverse-square force [closed]

PROBLEM: Show that Special Relativity predicts a precession of $\pi (GMm/cl)^2$ radians per orbit for any elliptic orbit under a pure inverse-square force. Where $G$ is gravitational ...
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Center-of-mass frame for massless particles

Given a scattering event where a photon and electron go in and a photon and electron come out, what is the center of mass frame? I'd say, since the photon has no mass, it's the rest frame of the ...
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Exactly how is the constant measured velocity of light deduced from Maxwell's equation?

For electromagnetic radiation the velocity of propagation is $c = 1/\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}$. Since both $\mu_0$ and $\epsilon_0$ do not vary in any inertial frame, then $c$ must be constant in any ...
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Why should photons obey the rules of causality? [closed]

This may have a quick answer, but it has been on my mind so here it goes: why, if according to special relativity, do photons obey the rules of causality, if they are inherently timeless. According to ...
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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 ...
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What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
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What conditions should be met to notice a Doppler effect on light?

What relativistic conditions should an observer meet to notice the Doppler effect on a sample light wave, and is it even possible for one?
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If something is not moving in space, is it moving on the time axis at the speed of light? [duplicate]

I heard this theory yesterday: If something is not moving in space, then it is moving on the time axis at the speed of light. I realize that in essence there is no object which can be considered as ...
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Why are objects at rest in motion through spacetime at the speed of light?

I read that an object at rest has such a stupendous amount of energy, $E=mc^2$ because it's effectively in motion through space-time at the speed of light and it's traveling through the time dimension ...
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What problems with Electromagnetism led Einstein to the Special Theory of Relativity?

I have often heard it said that several problems in the theory of electromagnetism as described by Maxwell's equations led Einstein to his theory of Special Relativity. What exactly were these ...
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What's wrong with this application of Thomas Precession to circular motion velocity measurements?

If you happen to have the Third Edition of Classical Electrodynamics by John David Jackson, turn to section 11.8, as that's where I'm getting all this from. If not, you should still be able to follow ...
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How can Lorentz contraction be “directly” measured?

If one is watching a relativistic object of e.g. spherical shape, which emits enough light to be detectable, it will, despite being Lorentz contracted, appear of its natural shape, although rotated. ...
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No length contraction!

Suppose a person standing on a platform were to observe and measure the length of a train passing by. Instead of the usual approach involving a clock and knowing the speed of the train, the person ...
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What wilI I observe when travelling at almost the speed of light? [duplicate]

If I and a group of friends are travelling at or just below the speed of light - can I see myself, can I see them, or they me? Would we see anything at all?
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How are light and time related?

So, from what I understand: Special Relativity says that light is always observed moving at the speed of light (c). If some object had a velocity of (3/4)c, and the object had some sort of clock ...