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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Typical Mathematical Questions about the Lorentz-Transformation

In SR (Special Relativity) we use the Lorentztransformation (LT) to relate one frame of reference to another. Say S to S' via a LT that depends only on v where v is the relative velocity between S and ...
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Magnetic monopoles and special relativity

I was thinking about magnetism as a product of special relativity and the result of this approach to the magnetic monopoles. So if magnetism is a product of electricity(like electricity from another ...
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177 views

Nuclear fission or fusion occurring at or near the speed of light

Suppose a device or object were traveling at or near the speed of light, and fission or fusion occurred while in this state of motion, creating an enormous blast, what would occur? Would this cause an ...
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Will 1 gram of matter moving at relativistic speeds completely annihilate a larger quantity of stationary antimatter?

This is a question about the relativistic mass concept which I am having trouble understanding, mainly because of the scenario below. Simple scenario: Suppose 1 gram of matter is accelerated to 99% ...
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Two clocks along different worldlines

I have been reading and watching videos about this subject for a while now. I just can not seem to grasp the idea. Let's say we have two clocks. I leave one at home and keep one in my pocket. Then, ...
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2answers
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Speed of light and perception

So I'm reading a book called "The Elegant Universe" and here is a part of it Imagine two countries that have been at war are sitting down to sign a treaty ending hostilities while traveling aboard a ...
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288 views

Does space between objects contract?

I had a question, let us assume a coordinate system where there is 2 objects moving at relativistic speeds (at same velocity) for the observer therefore the observer will observe the length ...
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107 views

Navigating a Time Machine

Notes: The background for this question is working out details of a sci-fi story. Answers to the effect of "time travel isn't possible" or "FTL isn't possible" are therefore not helpful. I'm looking ...
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Absoluteness of Simultaneity?

Here is a very good proof that simultaneity is absolute, not relative. The question: Is this proof wrong, or is Einstein? Can you prove it? What is the mistake in the proof, if any? If there is none, ...
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Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole?

Is it possible for information (like 1 and 0s) to be transmitted faster than light? For instance, take a rigid pole of several AU in length. Now say you have a person on each end, and one of them ...
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29 views

Is a Super-luminal Laser spot possible? [duplicate]

Note:This is not the same as Is the "How to break the speed of light" minute physics video wrong? because a larger distance is used in a different direction so that the time of flight of the ...
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3answers
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Do light and sound waves have mass

I have been reading Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' and it has gotten me thinking about Einstein's theory of relativity, in that it assumes that an object must have infinite mass if it is to be ...
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96 views

Lenght contraction question

Say I have a ball at 0.999999% the speed of light going past the Sun toward Earth. Now from the ball's reference frame, the distance between Earth and Sun is the same lenght as the ball's diameter. My ...
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Does sending current upwards reduce the voltage?

I was thinking about relativistic situation of having a vertical wire on a neutron star or high-gravity environment and then say if I send current upwards (away from the ground) will the voltage be ...
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2answers
68 views

Transition from 4-potential to E and B [closed]

In my lecture notes there is a step that i cannot follow: $$\frac{i}{2}[\gamma^{\mu},\gamma^{\nu}] (\partial_{\mu}A_{\nu}-\partial_{\nu}A_{\mu})=: \sigma^{\mu\nu}F_{\mu\nu}=i\vec{\alpha} ...
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p-adic and quantum mechanics [duplicate]

In physics we call integer based quantity as “quantization”, so you have energy, momentum etc taking quantized values. But in math, this kind of situation is really the age old problem of number ...
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2answers
46 views

Rapidity and the momentum 4-vector

I'm having trouble making a conceptual leap in the Lorentz transformation of the energy-momentum 4-vector: The 4-vector in $S$ is related to $S'$ by, $$ \left( \begin{matrix} E' \\ p'_{x} ...
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3answers
92 views

Rotation in the x-t plane

I am currently studying special relativity using tensors. My lecture notes (which happen to be publicly accessible, see top of page 99) say that the standard configuration can be viewed as a rotation ...
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Is time dilation based on the formula for period of a pendulum?

The theory Albert Einstein put forward about special relativity mentions a possibility for time dilation, in which he states gravity has a considerable effect on time. And in high school physics we ...
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354 views

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates?

What is the exact mechanism by which time dilates for a fast moving object? Can the time dilation be explained by any theory other than relativity?
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70 views

What is the meaning or purpose of inertial motions

It seems to me that, except for light, inertial motion is never possible in real world where there is gravity everywhere. It is at best some kind of idealization. But why inertial motions are so ...
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66 views

Does time really differs drastically?

As I heard/read time moves slower and slower for me as I speed up, but does it change drastically? Our current formulas say, If I go at a speed very close to light's, time almost stops. I've seen ...
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55 views

Can we make a particle travel faster than $c$ in this way? [duplicate]

In my sixth grade science class our teacher asked us, for homework, if it was possible to have anything travel faster than light. Thinking about this, I came up with a rough idea of a way to make ...
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Do 2-body elliptic orbits precess in special relativity?

Einstein famously explained the anomalous precession of Mercury by showing that in general relativity elliptic orbits precess even in the 2-body problem. But apparently in the early days of quantum ...
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Special relativity paradox and gravitation/acceleration equivalence

One of the features of the black hole complementarity is the following : According to an external observer, the infinite time dilation at the horizon itself makes it appear as if it takes an ...
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120 views

What would a nuclear explosion look like at relativistic speeds where time dilation and length contraction become significant?

Suppose a rocket carrying a nuclear weapon is moving past our planet at very near the speed of light while a stationary observer watches from here on Earth. As the rocket passes directly overhead, an ...
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161 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 ...
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104 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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82 views

Doppler shift and special relativity

I have been listening to an audio course on Special Relativity. In the course the teacher repeatedly says that the "laws of physics are equally valid for all uniformly moving frames of reference". ...
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107 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
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1answer
73 views

General construction of equations of motion for free particles

I've got a question regarding the different Symmetrie-Lie-Groups of Newtonian Mechanics and special realtivity. Is there a canonical way to obtain the equations of motion for a free particle only by ...
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3answers
128 views

Is it true that all particles that have a speed less than the speed of light must also have mass?

I've previously learned that massive particles cannot achieve the speed of light. But recently I read that, concerning the gels that refract and bounce light within around enough that it can travel ...
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319 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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50 views

Is there a spacelike curve connection two events in Minkowski space?

Assume two events in Minkowski Space (signature $(-,+,+,+)$) $p_1$ and $p_2$. One claims that there is a spacelike curve which connects these two points in Minkowski space. I have some trouble to ...
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33 views

Force on a moving charge in relative frame

Consider a particle of charge $q$ moving at velocity, $v$, enters a magnetic field $B$ which is perpendicular to its motion. Now consider two observers, one stationary and the other moving at the ...
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Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
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561 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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3answers
456 views

What is a body's momentum really equal to?

I know a body's momentum is equal to the product of its velocity and mass. But what kind of mass? Relativistic mass or rest mass?
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How to add together non-parallel rapidities?

How to add together non-parallel rapidities? The Lorentz transformation is essentially a hyperbolic rotation, which rotation can be described by a hyperbolic angle, which is called the rapidity. I ...
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Derivation of proper acceleration in terms of rapidity

In the Wikipedia page for proper acceleration, an equation for proper acceleration in terms of rapidity is given as $\alpha = \frac{\Delta \eta}{\Delta \tau}$, where $\eta$ is the rapidity of the ...
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70 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
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258 views

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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149 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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Is Twin Paradox solved in Special Relativity or General Relativity? [duplicate]

I'm getting pretty frustrated about finding the true solution to the Twin Paradox. If I open 10 relativity books, they all tell that they have the correct solution and the other books are wrong. So I ...
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1answer
51 views

How to determine which object in a special relativity physics problem has proper time?

I'm having some difficulty determining which object/location should have proper time applied to it in relativity physics problems. Example: If an electron travels at 40% the speed of light then ...
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2answers
93 views

where is the logical hole in this reasoning? (special relativity)

I cannot see the problem in the following reasoning, so I'd be glad if you could help me out. The problem is defining a notion of "length" that is consistent with the constancy of the speed of light ...
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27 views

Polarization of light for a fast moving observer

For a fast moving observer the frequency of light becomes shifted due to the (relativistic) Doppler effect. But what about the polarization of the light? Could it be, that e.g. circular polarized ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms?

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms when walking? due to special relativity I guess Thanks
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1answer
34 views

Is there serious research on superluminal travel? [closed]

I was wondering if there are any serious attempts, or any ideas for loopholes in the current theories, that would enable us humans to travel with a speed greater than the speed of light?
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Perpendicular doppler effect photons

If I have a photon with frequency f in the lab frame and the observe it in a inertial frame moving perpendicular to the photon. The direction of the velocity of the photon must change but does this ...