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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Rocket propelled by a giant monochromatic laser

I am preparing for my quals and stumbled across the following problem, and although it only requires undergraduate-level physics, I feel I can't piece everything together. "A rocket of mass $m_0$ is ...
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If a photon is a boson and has spin 1, shouldn't it have 3 spin orientations since spin 1 is a triplet? [duplicate]

I've gotten used to the fact that a spin can be described by its total spin and its $z$-component. And I've learned that a particle (really, anything) with spin 1 forms a triplet with three possible ...
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Fate of largest scale structures?

In $\Lambda\mathrm{CDM}$, structures form "bottom up" with larger structures forming later. Structures are generally speaking supported by the velocity dispersion of their constituent objects (e.g. ...
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Observers in Special Relativity

Suppose I am an observer in Minkowski space, observing a particle traveling with a constant velocity $v$. If I want to calculate the particle's Lorentz factor, given that the particle is traveling at ...
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Is there a fourth component to the electric field and magnetic field?

The Question If the three vector electric and magnetic fields come from the four component four-potential, then is there a fourth component to the electric and magnetic field? Related Question I ...
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Special Relativity Textbooks Request [duplicate]

I have a copy of David Bohm's Special Theory of Relativity and also a copy of T.M. Helliwell's Special Relativity. I was wondering if anyone has used these texts and if they're sufficient in providing ...
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Do particles have different spins in different frames of reference?

Let's say we have two photons, whose momentum vectors point to opposite directions. Also spin angular momentum vectors of the photons point to opposite directions. (Sum of spins is zero) Now we ...
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1answer
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What is the formula for determining time dilation (as the object in motion)? [duplicate]

The formula for calculating how much time passes for a still observer is T=TO/(1-v^2/c^2)^1/2. How do I calculate what TO is?
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Derivation of the general Lorentz transformation

The standard Lorentz transformation or boost with velocity $u$ is given by $$\left(\begin{matrix} ct \\ x \\ y \\ z \end{matrix}\right) = \left(\begin{matrix} \gamma & \gamma u/c & 0 & 0 ...
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Weird case for relative velocities and special relativity

This has bothered me for a while. I've been taught that the formula for determining the perceived velocity on an object from another moving object's reference frame under special relativity is: $$v = ...
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Including special relativistic effects in momentum in Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle

I've been told that an electron is somewhere within the space of $10^{-10}m$ and am supposed to find the uncertainty in its velocity. Simply applying $m\Delta x \Delta v \geq \frac{h}{4\pi}$ results ...
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What is the role of the speed of light in mass-energy equivalency? [duplicate]

Where does $c$ squared come into play in the equation $E=mc^2$. Multiplication obviously but how does energy equal mass times the speed of light?
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Can a revolving body self-gravitate?

If a body is revolving around a point at radius R with tangential velocity V, does General Relativity predict that at some tangential speed, the body will revolve around the point without any external ...
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All possible electromagnetic Lorentz invariants that can be built into the electromagnetic Lagrangian?

Given the electromagnetic Lagrangian density $$ \mathcal{L}~=~-\frac{1}{4}F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu}~=~\frac{1}{2}(E^2-B^2) $$ is a Lorentz invariant, how many other electromagnetic invariants exists that ...
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Local EPR-experiments with photons in vacuum?

When two entangled particles are measured in an EPR experiment, we consider these events as non-local. Generally I agree. But does this also apply to a pair of photons in vacuum? (and if so, why?) ...
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Special relativity: how to prove that $g = L^t g L$?

We have $$X^\textrm{t}gX = 0 \iff X^\textrm{t}L^\textrm{t}gLX = 0,$$ where $X$ is a column vector of length four, $L$ is a non-singular $4 \times 4$ matrix, 't' denotes matrix transpose, and $$g = ...
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Does the light speed change in media? [duplicate]

Does the light speed change? The Theory of Relativity says that the speed of light in vacuum is the same and unchangeable, while I read that the speed of light in glass is lower than in air, and that ...
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What happens if a body free-falls at a certain speed?

It is known that a body falling to the ground is affected by gravity, and its velocity increases by 9.8 m/s per second. But when this body is falling, and it reaches the speed of 340 m/s (the speed of ...
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Breaking the simultaneity

I have expressed my self in a detailed way. I've labeled the points to which I want an answer. I have doubt in the Einstein's rail experiments which he mentioned in his book. In this experiment ...
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Aim of the Michelson Morley Experimetn [duplicate]

What was the aim of the MM experiment? Many sources say that it was to measure the relativity velocity of the Earth through the aether. But I'm trying to understand what this exactly means, and why ...
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Criticism of the Thomas precession literature

From an earlier version of the Wikipedia article on Thomas precession concerning TP and LP=Larmor precession, regarding the paper: G B Malykin, "Thomas precession: correct and incorrect solutions", ...
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4answers
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Challenge: Answer this gedanken (PFP - Perpendicularly Fired Photon)

I'm challenging anyone who can answer the following question objectively: As usual, imagine a railway station and trains which are equipped with single photon sources (one each in the platform and ...
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1answer
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The choice of measurement basis on one half of an entangled state affects the other half. Can this be used to communicate faster than light?

It is often stated, particularly in popular physics articles and videos, that if one measures a particle A that is entangled with some other particle B, then this measurement will immediately affect ...
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60 views

How does time dilation work in this situation?

It is my understanding that when moving near the speed of light, time slows down relative to other things not moving so fast. Based on this principle, would it be theoretically possible to travel a ...
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Simple question about the tidal force (Leibniz's notation confuses me)

I started going through Taylor and Wheeler's Spacetime physics (standard textbook on special relativity). This is from exercise 2.8. Basically we're dropping a bearing ball from a 315 m height above ...
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How does time dilation work without a privileged reference frame?

As I understand special relativity, light travels at the same speed in all reference frames. What I fail to understand is why time dilation would occur in one reference frame, but not by an equal ...
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does an object travelling close to the speed of light in an inertial frame of reference behave Relativistically

The two tenants of Special Relativity are: The laws of physics are the same in all inertial frames of reference. The speed of light in free space has the same value $c$ in all inertial frames of ...
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Is there a strong force analog to magnetic fields?

In special relativity, magnetism can be re-interpreted as an aspect of how electric charges interact when viewed from different inertial frames. Color charge is more complex than electric charge, but ...
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The real meaning of time dilation

Is this true or false: If A and B have clocks and are traveling at relative velocity to each other, then to B it APPEARS that A's clock moving slower, but A sees his own clock moving at normal speed. ...
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How can a photon have no mass and still travel at the speed of light?

I've read a number of the helpful Q&As on photons that mention the mass/mass-less issue. Do I understand correctly that the idea of mass-less (a rest mass of 0) may be just a convention to make ...
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Is time dilation an illusion?

It is said that we can verify time dilation by flying a very accurate clock on a fast jet or spaceship and prove that it registers less time than the clocks on earth. However, the clocks on earth ...
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The definition of an inertial reference frame in Einstein's relativity

I'm reading Sean Carroll's book on general relativity, and I have a question about the definition of an inertial reference frame. In the first chapter that's dedicated to special relativity, the ...
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Confused about length contraction and aberration [duplicate]

Einstein states that a moving object's shape changes due to the length contraction. But people had done such an experiment: Taking photos to a moving object, but they didn't find Lorentz contraction, ...
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Idea of Covering Group

$SU(2)$ is the covering group of $SO(3)$. What does it mean and does it have a physical consequence? I heard that this fact is related to the description of bosons and fermions. But how does it ...
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Is time dilation an illusion? Variation on the twins paradox [duplicate]

Consider the twins paradox with a slight variation: Twins A and B are in separate space ships both capable of going at the speed of light instantly (i.e. without any acceleration). Both ships are ...
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Inertial Frames in Special Relativity

According to the postulates of special relativity, all inertial frames are equal in all respects. Then how does it follow from this, that the space is isotropic and homogenous for an inertial frame ...
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Can we travel faster than light? [duplicate]

Consider two cars going in opposite direction one at speed $c/2$ and other just greater than $c/2$, then one bus will appear to other moving at speed more than $c$. How can an object travel at speed ...
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Can special/general relativity be derived from the standard model?

Can special/general relativity be derived from the standard model? For example the time dilatation in strong gravitation? My feeling is yes, but I am not quite sure.
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Why did Einstein get credit for formulating the theory of special relativity?

See The Principle of Relativity here: The Principles of Mathematical Physics. This was written by Poincaré in 1904, a year before Einstein published his theory of relativity. It appears from this and ...
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Theoretically if you passed the speed of light, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. Despite this if it were possible, would there be some sort of ...
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Is there a universal rest frame of reference?

I am still struggling with C being a constant and what that implies. So can an experiment be done to find the resting state for the universe? Take a device with an observer and a light source and two ...
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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 ...
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Pole and Barn Paradox

I'm having trouble reconciling two different versions of the Pole and Barn paradox. Version 1: Consider a pole 10 m long and a barn 5 m long with a front and rear door. A runner carrying the pole ...
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The question about MTW 4-momentum integral expression and lorentz nature

In section 5.8 of Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler's "Gravitation" there is a proof that 4-momentum determined as $$ \tag 1 p^{\mu} = \int T^{\mu 0}\,\mathrm{d}^{3}\mathbf r , \quad \partial^{\mu}T_{\mu ...
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Why is radiation at the relativistic limit characterized by 1/gamma angle?

Trying to think of a reason as to why? Also, the factor that radiation is zero on axis? I haven't been able to resolve these two fundamental principles in my head :(
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Is Einstein's Special Relativity completely inclusive of Newton's 3 laws of motion?

Relativity has always been explained to me (in books I've read, etc) as a superset of newton's laws - that is; it encapsulates all of Newton's mechanics in addition to other effects (observer effect, ...
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Why in the relativistic quantum mechanics $ \gamma_4$ name is not used instead of $ \gamma_5$?

I have seen in the in the Dirac equation $$\gamma_0,\gamma_1,\gamma_2,\gamma_3.$$ Then I have seen the definition of a new matrix $$\gamma_5=i\gamma_0\gamma_1\gamma_2\gamma_3.$$ Now my question is why ...
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Length contraction and angle change

I am new to special theory of relativity and it puzzles me at some points. For example, if we have a rod of length 1 meter, tilted at angle of 45 degrees ( x axis) and it moves at the speed of ...
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A problem with $E = mc^2$

(Rest) mass of proton = (rest) mass of neutron (approximately) = $1.67 \times 10^{-27}$ kg. let $m$ be the mass of nitrogen atom then $m = 2.32 \times 10^{-26}$ kg. $c = 3 \times 10^8$ m/s (approx). ...
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Integral of energy-momentum tensor

On Weinberg's Gravitation and Cosmology section 8 chapter 2, he introduced the energy-momentum tensor of a system of $n$ particals: $$ ...