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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Does a photon in vacuum have a rest frame?

Quite a few of the questions given on this site mention a photon in vacuum having a rest frame such as it having a zero mass in its rest frame. I find this contradictory since photons must travel at ...
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Energy-Momentum Tensor under Lorentz Transformation

In relativity, the symmetric energy-momentum tensor is given by $$ T^{ij}, $$ where $T^{00}$ is the energy density and $\frac{1}{c}T^{10}$ is the momentum density. Thus: $$ \left(\frac{1}{c}T^{00}dV, ...
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If a neutrino has a rest frame, why can't a photon have a rest frame as well?

Concerning Rest Frame Wikipedia states: For example, in the rest frame of a neutrino particle travelling from the Crab Nebula supernova to Earth the supernova occurred in the 11th Century AD ...
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Is time not a universal parameter, really, in special relativity?

I want to check that I get it right. The way that I have it in my mind is that, in my frame of reference and from my point of view, SR associates only one time parameter for the whole space, and not ...
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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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Do the effects of special relativity occur instantaneously?

Imagine a second earth one lightyear away from our earth. Now imagine a bunch of scientists with a plane and some atomic clocks who are living on this second earth and who perform the Hafele-Keating ...
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What is pseudo tensor?

What is the pseudo tensor in relativity? How do we transform tensor and pseudo tensor under parity?
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Does special relativity make magnetic fields irrelevant?

I've heard that special relativity makes the concept of magnetic fields irrelevant, replacing them with relativistic effects between charges moving in different velocity frames. Is this true? If so, ...
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Special Relativity - Reconciling 3 different frames

A Space Station S has two ships parked at it: P - PuttPutt and Q - Quick. S, P and Q synchronize their clocks. At noon P and Q take off in the same direction. P quickly accelerates to $c/4$ and Q ...
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Relativity of simultaneity example in Resnick

My question is a follow-up to this question about simultaneity. I would have posted it as a comment to the replies for that question, but I wasn't allowed to. When Resnick introduces relativity of ...
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Relativity and photon interactions

A particle's interaction (with anything it can interact with) can be thought of as it making a measurement of the physical quantity associated with the interaction, (e.g. electric field in case of the ...
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1answer
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Notation for Translation Group Generators

The generators of the translation group $T(4)$ are given below: $P_0 \equiv -i \begin{pmatrix} 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 \\ 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 & 0 \\ 0 ...
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What are the linear maps which preserve the time-like cone?

I'm looking at the set of time-like vectors: $\mathcal{T}_+ = \{ x \in \mathbb{R}^4 \mbox{ s.t. } x^T \eta x \geq 0 \:, x^0\geq 0\} $, where $\eta = \mbox{diag}(1, -1, -1, -1)$. I want to be able to ...
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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 ...
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329 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 ...
3
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139 views

Is there a graphical representation of the Lorentz transformation equations?

I always loved theoretical physics as a kid and when I came upon this site while seeking computer advice via superuser I had to stick my silly little head into an oasis of intelligence. I have often ...
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Why does GPS depend on relativity?

I am reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, and in it he mentions that without compensating for relativity, GPS devices would be out by miles. Why is this? (I am not sure which relativity ...
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How to show isotropy of $SU(2)$ Yang Mills stress energy tensor?

When I vary the action of the YM Lagrangian density $$L = -\frac{1}{4} F^a_{\mu \nu}F^{\mu \nu}_a + J_a^\mu A^a_\mu$$ with respect to the metric, I obtain: $$T_{\mu \nu} = \frac{-2}{\sqrt{|g|}} ...
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Why is binding energy $\Delta mc^2$?

As we know the mass-energy equivalence relation $E=mc^2$ originally came from special relativity. And the binding energy is $\Delta mc^2$. How do we know that the extra mass coming from theoretical ...
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1answer
33 views

Time difference in clocks of an accelerated frame [closed]

If we have two inertial frames $S$ and $S'$ and $S'$ is moving to the right w.r.t. $S$ with a velocity $v$. Suddenly $S$ undergoes negative acceleration (no longer being inertial) and after some time ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the speed of light from a star moving towards a observer.? [duplicate]

We can say that in vacuum speed of light is constant. But if the star is moving with a certain velocity does it add that velocity to the velocity of photons emitted out of that star?
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2answers
55 views

Why is radiation for an ultrarelativistic charge zero on axis?

I attribute it to the fact that for an ultrarelativistic charge the field is contracted and essentially there are only fields in the transverse direction and nothing longitudinally (wrt the charges ...
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Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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1answer
56 views

Length Contraction in a Particle Accelerator

Consider $N$ particles equally spaced on a circle which are uniformly accelerated to $99\%$ the speed of light. In Newtonian mechanics, the distance between the particles would be $2\pi r/N$ (for ...
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3answers
750 views

Dirac spinor and Weyl spinor

How can it be shown that the Dirac spinor is the direct sum of a right handed Weyl spinor and a left handed Weyl spinor? EDIT:- Let $\psi_L$ and $\psi_R$ be 2 component left-handed and right-handed ...
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Is the concept of rest mass correct?

Is the concept of rest mass correct? All these years, we (me, and my classmates of Undergraduate 1st Year) have been accustomed to the concept of rest-mass, and the relativistic transformation of ...
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1answer
43 views

Concerning a previous possible tachyon observation? [duplicate]

A few years ago there was a story about the Large Hadron Collider where a possible tachyon was supposedly observed. It was later shown it didn't occur yet the incident made me think. If a large ...
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Moon's orbit period as seen from a spaceship traveling at 0.8c

I am studying special relativity and I am trying to figure out the following small problem which occurred to me: An observer, the pilot of a spaceship flying to or from earth at v = 0.8c, is ...
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$F=ma$ calculation taking relativity into account?

Newton's second law of motion states that $f = ma$. However, in this equation, theoretically there could be a value of $f$ and $m$ that results in an acceleration that is enough to push an object past ...
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1answer
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Verification of the Poincare Algebra

The generators of the Poincare group $P(1;3)$ are supposed to obey the following commutation relation to be verified: $$\left[ M^{\mu\nu}, P^{\rho} \right] = i \left(g^{\nu\rho} P^{\mu} - g^{\mu\rho} ...
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62 views

Can speed be defined in the complex plane?

This question cropped up while I was playing with the equation for time dilation. If I set the speed to be $i$ (imaginary unit) the answer from the equation still makes sense, but does that matter if ...
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1answer
70 views

Showing Dirac equation's Lorentz invariance and use of unitary matrix $U$

Dirac equation is $i \hbar \gamma^\mu \partial_\mu \psi - m c \psi = 0 $ To show its Lorentz invariance, we convert spacetime into $x'$ and $t'$ from $x$ and $t$ and then $( iU^\dagger \gamma^\mu ...
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How to derive equation for probability current density in relativistic quantum mechanics [closed]

How does one derive equation for probability current density in relativistic quantum mechanics? I am asking for textbook-styled explicit derivation. No need for any other background knowledge.
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If two events separated by a spacetime interval of zero, can they both be said to be happening “now”?

Can the concept of c be validly expressed as "the rate at which an event propagates through space"? There was a television program last year featuring Prof Brian Cox. The presenter asked him "Is it ...
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1answer
62 views

Bug riding on a ball moving at almost the speed of light [closed]

A ball with a bug on it is thrown at almost the speed of light. The bug looks back and observes the thrower throwing the ball. In the context of special relativity, what is the weight and the height ...
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1answer
55 views

Definition of causality relation

It seems to me that special relativity has a weird definition of the causality relation. In that theory, the only thing that matters is the space-time distance between events. But I don't think this ...
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Length contraction and simultaneous length measurements

I am just working through an argument from Halliday Resnick to derive the Lorentz contraction (see quote below). Some paragraphs before this, the authors note that: If the rod is moving, ...
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1answer
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Massless particles and the speed of light - New? Theories of existence [closed]

"The best understanding we have is that it [light] is a disturbance in the electromagnetic fields of charged bodies." http://einstein.stanford.edu/content/relativity/q212.html This is a link to the ...
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5answers
355 views

Why Light and Observers have different laws of physics [closed]

Special relativity states: The speed of light in a vacuum is always $c$, regardless of the velocity of the observer. The laws of physics are the same for all observers in uniform motion. These two ...
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1answer
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How does it seem to be that space/time always equals c?

Given the way objects move, they seem to be going all the same "velocity" so to speak, that velocity being the speed of light. Except, velocity is displacement/time, so if something goes faster, the ...
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How much could one slow down aging using existing spacecraft?

Imagine that I board a spacecraft and head away from the Earth at top speed until I've aged twenty years, then I turn around and come back. How much younger will I be than the unexciting folk who hung ...
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Derivation of force law in special relativity

I've seen force defined in special relativity as the rate of change of 4-momentum $$ {\bf{F}} = \frac{d {\bf{p}}}{dt} $$ Can anyone comment on the following derivation of that relation? Take one ...
4
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4answers
214 views

What will be the relative speed of a photon in a light ray to another photon of opposite direction light ray?

If two light rays start simultaneously in the space from exactly opposite ends in opposite direction that is separated by a distance of 600000 km in a way they meet at the mid point (300000 km from ...
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2answers
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Frame dragging — is there a “non-tiny” example?

Now. As I understand it, in fact, the earth (10^25 kg) creates a very small, very tiny, frame dragging effect. Indeed, we have measured this using satellite experiments. So, the Earth (10^25 kg) ...
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180 views

Metric tensor in special and general relativity

I'm having trouble understanding the metric tensor in general relativity. What I've understood so far has come from my course lecture notes used in conjunction with "The Road to Reality" by Roger ...
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1answer
100 views

Special relativity: moving charge and twisting bar magnet

ETA: Huh. It's been more than three months since I posed this question. Is it really possible that no one knows the answer? I thought for sure someone would know. Oh well. You have a small bar ...
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Twice the speed of light [duplicate]

If you were able to ride along a photon and a second photon passed you in the opposite direction, would what you observe be twice the speed of light? And would that change what you would see of the ...
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Special relativity allows arbitrarily low travel times between two locations [duplicate]

I wish I had a good way of illustrating this, but anyway, doesn't the following travel strategy allow you to get anywhere in arbitrarily little time? You're at rest at the origin of space-time, and ...
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Do the laws of physics that apply to all observers also apply to a non-observer? [closed]

The Timelessness of a photon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ELA3ReWQJY An observer's laws of physics are time based. "When you're traveling at the speed of light, time does not exist" - Neil ...
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Relativity of Simultaniety

In the first figure, A and B are two equidistant points from the observer O in S. In the second figure (reference frame S') the corresponding points are A'and B' such that A'O'=O'B', where O' is the ...