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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Would time freeze if you could travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the universal speed limit. So, if I were to travel in a spacecraft at (practically) the ...
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303 views

Exact definition of momentarily comoving reference frame (MCRF)

Consider a particle $P$ in the framework of special relativity with position $r(t)=(ct,x(t),y(t),z(t))$ respect to an inertial reference frame $\Sigma=(ct,x,y,z;O)$. I need to know if the following ...
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0answers
28 views

Extreme temperatures, relativity and kinetic theory

According to kinetic theory, average kinetic energy is proportional to temperature. Supposing $k_BT/2$ per particle, can we use relativity and kinetic theory to calculate, e.g., the temperature and ...
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0answers
51 views

2 questions on 4-velocity

Firstly 4-velocity is defined by $u^\mu=\frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau}$ let us consider the component $x_i$ of $x^\mu$ then this derivative can be written as: ...
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$E=mc^2$ what is unique about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What unique property of light, makes it the conversion factor between energy and mass? It has to be more than a coincidence that the speed of light, just happens to be the correct number number to ...
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0answers
49 views

$E=mc^2$ is incomplete? [duplicate]

So I was going through youtube and I found out these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkiCPMjpysc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnMIhxWRGNw Can anyone here explain to me (with derivation if ...
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3answers
329 views

Link between Special relativity and Newtons gravitational law

If I make the two statements: General relativity is an extension of special relativity that accounts for gravity. Newton's law of gravitation is a special case of general relativity for when the ...
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0answers
39 views

Is time dilation a mechanical slowdown only? [duplicate]

I've recently read about the time dilation occurs at very high speeds. But I'm really wondering if it is just a mechanical slowdown of the clock only? What if we use clocks that does not use moving ...
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1answer
28 views

Does spinning actually decrease the time experienced by the spinner?

In this xkcd, Megan spins around to attempt to take momentum away from the Earth to slow its spinning. I was wondering, if Megan spinned around, wouldn't this cause her relative velocity to the rest ...
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1answer
69 views

Decoherence, collpse, and WHEN does the collapse occur?

The idea that decoherence stands behind the so-called collapse (reduction) of the wave-function doesn't seem satisfactory. Consider a quantum particle whose wave-function is of the form (1) ...
2
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1answer
99 views

Electron distribution around atom when moving

I do not have much experience on this but if an atom has some electrons around nucleus and the atom itself it is moving at some speed does that affect the distribution of electrons around? I am ...
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6answers
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Double light speed

Let's say we have $2$ participles facing each other and traveling at speed of light Let's say I'm sitting on #$1$ participle so in my point of view #$2$ participle's speed is $c+c=2c$, double light ...
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3answers
716 views

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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1answer
55 views

Twin paradox…what happens to the ship?

The earth bound twin looks up and sees his travelling twin moving slower inside his spaceship because he is whizzing by at some percent speed of light. But what does the motion of the ship itself ...
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3answers
155 views

How to theoretically define a concrete operation to perform in order to measure the length of an object?

EDIT: Some answerers pointed out that the title of this question is in contrast with what is actually been asked in the body of the question, so I changed the title accordingly. The original title was ...
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1answer
91 views

Field of moving charge / Lorentz;Lienard-Wiechert

First question here. I'm really confused at the moment. An electron moves at constant velocity, no acceleration Wikipedia says here Lorentz: Which yields something like this: Wheras here, ...
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2answers
449 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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0answers
39 views

Books on special and general relativity? [duplicate]

I have idea about all the theories related to space and time and stuff. But I wanna dig deep into it and understand all the theories like special and general relativity to begin with for now. Can ...
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3answers
60 views

Center of mass of two $\gamma$ rays moving in opposite directions

Suppose there are two $\gamma$ rays with frequencies $\nu_1$ and $\nu_2$ moving in opposite directions according to a reference frame $S$. I want to find the velocity of the center of mass of this ...
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2answers
314 views

Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
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1answer
124 views

Proving Relativity of Simultaneity by contradiction

I am trying to show that the 2 governing postulates of Special Relativity imply simultaneity by doing a proof by contradiction. I just want to make sure that this is valid and that the Lorentz ...
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2answers
103 views

If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
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1answer
49 views

Passage of time on a faster-than-light (FTL) vessel [closed]

Yes, this is already wild speculation. I'll retract this question if it isn't well received. As I understand, within an event horizon, spacetime gets rotated so that the singularity is in the future, ...
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2answers
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What do physicists mean by “information”?

On the question why certain velocities (i.e. phase velocity) can be greater than the speed of light, people will say something like: since no matter or "information" is transferred, therefore the ...
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2answers
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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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4answers
107 views

Twin paradox where the twins start at different locations

Suppose we have this scenario with twins A and B: 1) Instead of the twins starting at the same location, let's say the twins start out some distance apart, in the same reference frame. 2) The ...
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0answers
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Recommendation for contra-variant and contra-variant vectors in the context of special relativity [duplicate]

I have just started studying covariant and contra-variant vectors in special relativity. I am finding difficulty understanding this topic. Can anyone recommend a book (with a detailed chapter) or ...
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2answers
93 views

Bound electrons don't move, right?

I've never been satisfied with the explanation that electrons have a “speed” and move close to the speed of light, thus incurring relativistic effects that make gold pretty and mercury wet. I learned ...
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3answers
584 views
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4answers
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How, in practice, could instantaneous signalling violate causality?

I know that instantaneous signalling can result in different observers not agreeing on the order of events, but how can that result in causality violation in practice? In other words, if one had two ...
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10answers
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Why and how is the speed of light in vacuum constant, i.e., independent of reference frame?

I was told that the Galilean relative velocity rule does not apply to the speed of light. No matter how fast two objects are moving, the speed of light will remain same for both of them. How and why ...
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1answer
80 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
70 views

Applying Lorentz Transformations and Time Dilation

My question is based on a popular question, usually posed in introductory courses on the special theory of relativity. Two rockets are on a collision course. Rocket 1 is traveling at the speed ...
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5answers
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Help understanding Bell's Spaceship paradox

The problem statement of Bell's Spaceship paradox is this: Two spaceships float in space and are at rest relative to each other. They are connected by a string. The string is strong, but it ...
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2answers
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How to identify a “measuring rod”, and how to compare separated “measuring rods” with each other?

The notion of "measuring rod" has appeared in PSE here and there, and outside PSE as well. As far as I understand (and as perhaps all who refer to this notion do agree on), important constituents of ...
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2answers
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Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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4answers
294 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
113 views

Does rotation increase mass?

If an object is rotated on its axis near the speed of light would its mass increase? Normally if the object was moving (in relationship to the Earth for example) I would agree that its mass would ...
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4answers
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Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
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2answers
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Is it possible to propagate a relativistic system of particles in time using Verlet?

The Verlet algorithm and its derivations are very popular methods to integrate Newton's equations of motion in time and obtain a trajectory for a system with $N$ particles. I work with classical ...
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3answers
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Is it really possible to create some mass only from equivalent energy? [duplicate]

From Special theory of relativity we know that $E=m_0 c^2$, which says about mass energy equivalency. But my question : **Is there any real experiment where some mass is created purely from energy? ...
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6answers
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Measuring speed of the moving train, if I'm inside it

So I am inside a coach in a train that is fully sealed (with no windows and a locked door). I have a torch, photo & time sensor and a scale with me. So, I place the sensor at one of the walls and ...
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0answers
27 views

$2\to3$ Phase space Integration

I have a $2\to3$ process ($P=p_1+p_2 \to p_3+p_4+p_5$) where all particles in the initial state and one of the particles in the final state ($p_3$) are massless. The other two ($p_4$ and $p_5$) have ...
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4answers
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How does the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu}$ transform?

For example the Four-velocity transforms as $$U^{a'}=\Lambda^{a'}{}_{\nu}U^{\nu},$$ the Faradaytensor as $$F^{a'b'}=\Lambda_{\,\,\mu}^{a'}\Lambda_{\,\,\nu}^{b'}F^{\mu\nu}$$ or in Matrixnotation: ...
3
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3answers
76 views

Circumference of a circle in a co-rotating frame of reference

According to Einstein it should be greater than $2 \pi R$ for a co-rotating observer, i.e. $L' = \gamma L$ where $L = 2 \pi R$ in a non-rotating frame and $\gamma$ is the usual Lorentz factor, which ...
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2answers
103 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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3answers
157 views

Can length contraction really be derived from time dilation? Does speed equal speed?

I am referring to Wikipedia: "Length contraction can also be derived from time dilation." with the following proof which seems to be the result of a circular reasoning. The proof uses only one and ...
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How to describe arbitrary accelerations in special relativity

Describing acceleration in special relativity is in principle straightforward, and for simple cases the resulting transformations are simple. Examples include circular motion and constant acceleration ...
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2answers
79 views

A simple quantum mechanics question [closed]

Here is the problem: Find the energy of neutron, electron and electromagnetic waves of wavelength 0.1nm. English is my second language, so I am kind of confused about the meaning of problem ...
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2answers
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Does a Michelson-Morley experiment uphold mass-energy equivalence and special relativity?

If there is an experiment that best supports $E=mc^2$, is it the Michelson-Morley experiment?