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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Light in mass moving at high velocity

Imagine if you will, a strand of fiber optic cable 186,000 miles long. A pulse of light is sent through the stationary cable: it takes 1 second for light to travel the entire length of the cable. Now ...
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1answer
173 views

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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2answers
230 views

What exactly is $T_{\mu\nu}$?

Continuous matter is described in special relativity by the matter tensor which is the so-called stress-energy-momentum tensor. I am finding a difficulty understanding how a tensorial tool ...
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0answers
60 views

Length contraction: Is it permanent? [closed]

Lorentz contraction problem: By Bertrand Boucquillon Components of the problem: - Bob (observer) - 2 identical rods that both measure 1 meter. Let's call them rod X and rod Y - Point A - Point B ...
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5answers
488 views

Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

The principle of non-locality states "that an object is influenced directly only by its immediate surroundings." (Wikipedia) When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we ...
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2answers
151 views

What am I missing about the interaction between electromagnetism and Lorentz length contraction?

I was recently reading this short article: http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/rel_el_mag.html It explains how magnetic and electric fields are related because in one frame of reference where ...
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1answer
293 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
33 views

Available energy in centre of mass system

The problem given is "A proton of total energy 3GeV makes a head-on collision with a 5GeV electron. Calculate the available energy in the centre-of-mass system to create any new additional particles ...
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0answers
19 views

Showing $\frac{d^3\underline{k}}{2\omega_{k}(2\pi)^3}$ is Lorentz invariant [duplicate]

Show $\frac{d^3\underline{k}}{2\omega_{k}(2\pi)^3}$ is Lorentz invariant. Hint: try to evaluate $\int dk_0\delta(k_0^2 - M^2)\theta(k_0)$ where $M^2 = \underline{k} + m^2$ My attempt is as ...
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1answer
52 views

Given a current velocity and a fixed input energy, how much faster will a relativistic particle be?

The relativistic kinetic energy of a particle with mass $m$ and velocity $v_0$ is $$m c^2 (\gamma_0 - 1) \textrm{ where } \gamma_0 = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \frac{v_0^2}{c^2}}}$$ I would like to know how ...
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3answers
2k views

Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
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3answers
112 views

acceleration and its effect on the speed of light

One of Einstein's thought experiments involved a rocket and two light sensors inside the rocket, one at the top, and one at the bottom. When the rocket was at rest, a pulse of light from the bottom ...
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0answers
42 views

Requesting explanation for why dark matter evidence is not explained by special relativity [duplicate]

Good afternoon. I'm doing research for a possible hard science fiction project and was looking up information on dark matter. Wikipedia--hardly an authoritative source, I know--mentions that the ...
5
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2answers
318 views

Lorentz invariance of the Minkowski metric

As far as I understand, one requires that in order for the scalar product between two vectors to be invariant under Lorentz transformations $x^{\mu}\rightarrow ...
2
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1answer
76 views

Does momentum space have a speed limit?

In ordinary $xyz$ space, the maximum velocity of propagation for mass-energy and/or information is $c$. So, my question: Is there also a maximum velocity of propagation in momentum ${p_x}{p_y}{p_z}$ ...
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4answers
2k views

If a spaceship were to be able to travel at light speed, would it pass through objects undamaged? Would it damage/destroy objects?

We know, not just by scientific theory, but by practice (I have seen it with my own eyes), that an increase in velocity increases the mass of the given object proportionally. One day visiting a ...
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1answer
92 views

Is magnetic field due to an electric current a relativistic effect?

I was reading a paper of the same name by Oleg D. Jefimenko; here is the concerned text: [...] relativistic force transformation equations demand the presence of an electric field when the ...
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4answers
2k views

Fundamental invariants of the electromagnetic field

It is a standard exercise in relativistic electrodynamics to show that the electromagnetic field tensor $F_{\mu\nu}$, whose components equal the electric $E^i=cF^{i0}$ and magnetic ...
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5answers
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How do moving charges produce magnetic fields?

I'm tutoring high school students. I've always taught them that: A charged particle moving without acceleration produces an electric as well as a magnetic field. It produces an electric field ...
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3answers
55 views

Is mass directly or inversely proportional to time? [closed]

From a Newtonian perspective: F = ma F dx = ma dx E = m (dv/dt) dx m = (E dt) / (dv dx) Mass is directly proportional to time, if time slows down then mass goes down or decreases. From a ...
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1answer
48 views

Acceleration of free particle in Minkowski space! [duplicate]

In Minkowski space, the equation of motion is $$a^c=\frac{d^2}{d\tau^2}x^c(\tau)=0.$$ How is this derived?
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1answer
137 views

What would happen in this “close to the speed of light” scenario?

Say you had a really long pole made of a super strong material, and at the you turned it through an angle of (for example) 45 degrees. Turning the pole through a small angle at the bottom would ...
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1answer
49 views

What is the physical significance of taking derivative with respect to proper time?

I would like to know if there is any physical significance associated with the derivative of a quantity with respect to proper time or is it just a mathematical trick. Since proper time is measured in ...
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1answer
40 views

What's wrong with using the 4-current to find the potential of a moving particle?

According to Feynman (Lectures on Physics, Vol. II, 21–6), the potential of a moving point charge is: $$\phi = \gamma \cdot \frac q {4\pi\epsilon_0} \cdot \frac 1 {\sqrt{ \gamma^2 \left( x-vt ...
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1answer
103 views

Does the property of being “virtual” for a particle depend on the observer?

I've read at several places that a static magnetic (and electric for that matter) field can be thought of as made by virtual photons, at least that's what I understood. Now, in Special Relativity we ...
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1answer
39 views

Is the matrix representation of the Lorentz transform the same for all 4-vectors?

If I have a four vector of the form: $$ \left( \begin{array}{ccc} T\\ \vec{X}\end{array} \right) $$ where $T$ is the analogous time component (i.e. energy, angular frequency, scalar potential, charge ...
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2answers
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Calculating threshold energy of particle reactions

{..everything that follows is in the domain of relativistic kinematics..} Say a particle A collides with a particle B at rest and produces particles C and D. What exactly is the definition of ...
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3answers
809 views

Einstein's first postulate implies the second?

Einstein's two postulates of special relativity are as follows, 1. The principle of relativity: The laws of physics are the same in all inertial systems. There is no way to detect absolute ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does time dilation cause you to age slower? And is time considered relative to the observer?

I understand that the higher your velocity the slower light will move. But how does time itself slow down while you are moving faster?
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0answers
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Confusion regarding step in Einstein's 1905 paper on the electrodynamics of moving bodies

Could someone explain this step in Einstein's 1905 paper on the electrodynamics of moving bodies. I tried differentiating both sides of the first equation and still don't arrive at the second one, ...
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4answers
521 views

How can we know, today, that there's something from 100 light-years from here?

In my understanding, to take a picture of something that is 100 light-years from here, our "camera" would have to travel 100 years at light speed, take the picture, send to us, and 100 years later we ...
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1answer
49 views

Minkowski metric: Why does it look like it does? [duplicate]

I have been searching for why would we even start with Minkowski spacetime metric as being written as: $$ds^2=-dt^2+dx^2+dy^2+dz^2.$$ No really, so why would we have a negative sign for temporal ...
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1answer
191 views

Is this statement correct or incorrect: Moving objects undergo length contraction because they appear in space-time cross-section

Why or why not? This is closely related to another question I posited here, Does it make sense to say that objects moving at relativistic velocities appear in space-time cross-section? What I mean ...
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0answers
40 views

What Would One Observe of a Calendar on Earth, Given a Round Trip to Another Star and back?

I want to ask a clarifying series of questions on what I think is a relatively simple scenario. It's a long one but I've tried to word it as simply as I can manage while trying to do the question ...
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1answer
45 views

Lorentz covariant completeness relation

Let be $$ P^\mu |p> = p^\mu |p> $$ i.e. $|p>$ is the eigen-vector of the 4-momentum operator. Where does the following Lorentz-covariant completeness relation come from? $$ \int d^4p ...
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0answers
36 views

The Ehrenfest Paradox and Euclidian Assumptions [duplicate]

As a result of the Ehrenfest Paradox, the geometry of a rotating disc is non-Euclidean. However, while reaching this conclusion, we assumed that "the radius doesn't undergo Lorentz contraction", ...
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2answers
375 views

Does the pilot of a rocket ship experience an asymptotic approach to the speed of light?

A question has recently come up that goes beyond my knowledge of special relativity. Suppose a pilot has his foot on the gas pedal of a rocket ship and keeps it applied to achieve a constant ...
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1answer
51 views

Relativistic Scattering

When we work out the relativistic general two-body scattering in the CM frame (like two elementary particles producing two other P1 +P2 -P3 -P4) , the cross section is proportional to absolute final ...
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1answer
157 views

What is the intuitive meaning of $Q^2$?

In particle physics, $-Q^2$ is defined by the four momentum transfer squared: $$Q^2 = -(p_i - p_f)^2 = (\vec{p}_i-\vec{p}_f)^2-(E_i-E_f)^2$$ For elastic scattering, the meaning of $Q^2$ is clear - it ...
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1answer
1k views

Generators of Poincare Groups

How can I determine the generators of the Poincare Group, $P(1,3)$ explicitly? Here $P(1,3)$ means a matrix Lie group.
2
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1answer
94 views

Does scale invariance imply massless or continuous mass distribution?

$\newcommand{\ket}[1]{\lvert #1 \rangle}\newcommand{\bra}[1]{\langle #1 \rvert}\newcommand{\scp}[2]{\langle #1 \vert #2 \rangle}$ In his 2008 slides (PDF), Tzu-Chiang Yuan mentions the following on p. ...
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1answer
346 views

Finding the total energy in centre of mass frame

I'm working through a problem in a special relativity textbook (Woodhouse) and I'm having some difficulty. I have to show that if I have a particle of rest mass $M$, total energy $E$ colliding with a ...
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1answer
2k views

Deriving the Electromagnetic Tensor

The electromagnetic tensor is given as: \begin{equation} F_{\mu \nu} = \partial_\mu A_\nu - \partial_\nu A_\mu \end{equation} How do you derive this? And how come there is a partial derivative in ...
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0answers
11 views

Relativistic particle decay in ZMF [closed]

This is a problem that I feel is harder than I am making it but say you have: A particle at rest of mass $M$ decays into two smaller particles of masses $m_1, m_2$ where $m_1 \neq m_2$ and $M > ...
3
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2answers
126 views

Why time slows only for moving object and not stationary observer? How the “stationary” & “moving” are decided? [duplicate]

Explanation for the questions in the title: According to the the (special theory of) Relativity, if an observer is stationary and sees a fast moving object then time runs faster for the observer ...
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0answers
22 views

Momentarily Comoving Reference Frame Question

Consider a reference frame $S'$ moving with constant velocity $\vec{V}$ relative to a second nonrotating reference frame $S$. Also consider a particle moving along a trajectory $\vec{r}$ with perhaps ...
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0answers
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Spin of a gauge field

I was wondering what is the simplest way to understand the reduction of the Wigner's little group from $SO(d-1)$ to $SO(d-2)$ when one considers massive and massless fields respectively (in a $d$ ...
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2answers
77 views

Frustrated by the light clock special relativity thought experiment [closed]

Here is this age old thought experiment being told by a professor on Sixty Symbols: https://youtu.be/Cxqjyl74iu4 This explaination using the light clock is extremely frustrating. How can one use a ...
28
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1answer
1k views

Status of experimental searches for tachyons?

Now that the dust has settled on the 2011 superluminal neutrino debacle at OPERA, I'm interested in understanding the current status of experimental searches for neutrinos. Although the OPERA claim ...
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2answers
57 views

Conservation of linear momentum (classical mechanics and special relativity)

How did Newton deduce the law of conservation of linear momentum? Can it be derived only by Newton's laws, or does it follow from practical experiments? If the law of conservation of linear momentum ...