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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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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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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A Subtle Connection Between Time Dilation in SR and GR - Why is this so?

I've been reading a book on General Relativity lately (Gravitation and Cosmology, Weinberg), and I was reading about the weak field approximation. It derived the time dilation in a weak gravitational ...
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Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light?

Does magnetic propagation follow the speed of light? E.g. if you had some magnet of incredible strength and attached an iron wire that is one light year long to it, would the other end of the iron ...
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Why should photons obey the rules of causality?

This may have a quick answer, but it has been on my mind so here it goes: why, if according to special relativity, do photons obey the rules of causality, if they are inherently timeless. According to ...
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Exactly how is the constant measured velocity of light deduced from Maxwell's equation?

For electromagnetic radiation the velocity of propagation is $c = 1/\sqrt{\mu_0 \epsilon_0}$. Since both $\mu_0$ and $\epsilon_0$ do not vary in any inertial frame, then $c$ must be constant in any ...
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What are the mechanics by which Time Dilation and Length Contraction occur?

What are the mechanics of time dilation and length contraction? Going beyond the mathematical equations involving light and the "speed limit of the universe", what is observed is merely a phenomenon ...
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1answer
93 views

Time dilation apeears in the both frame: Where is the problem?

Let we consider time in stationary frmae t, and respect the to stationary frame moving frame time $t^ \prime $ . According to lorentz transformation, $$t^\prime= ...
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thrust-bursting towards a destination in space

<--burst of thrust------|ME in a ship>----->>--<<--laser radar--<<---->>---||destination In the above, I imagine myself in a ship, marking my speed to a far off destination with laser ...
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325 views

What would happen if some signal could move faster than light?

The two postulates of STR doesn't say that any signal cannot move faster than light. It also doesn't assert that any signal except light cannot have velocity equals to that of light. So at the very ...
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Why is causality preserved in special relativity?

PART 1: I was reading the article Relativity of simultaneity Wikipedia. I couldn't understand this line: "if the two events are causally connected ("event A causes event B"), the causal order is ...
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Are events in this experiment simultaneous if observed in platform's frame?

In some contexts e.g. on wiki it is defined as a matter of happening . In others(e.g. as defined by Einstein in his book "Relativity the special and general theory") it is defined as a matter of ...
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45 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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Why isn't there a limit for a Euclidean rotation, as for a Minkowski rotation?

From invariance of the Minkowski scalar product, we get the Lorentz transformations. In addition, we get a constant $c$ preventing space-like and time-like intervals being rotated into one another. ...
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1answer
75 views

Exeeding the speed of light by adding velocities [duplicate]

Well you know how it's said that things can't travel at or past the speed of light? However, can't they move at speeds greater than the speed of light relative to another object? For example: What ...
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995 views

Is proper time a vector?

Proper time is identical with the spacetime interval of a timelike movement. A spacetime interval is the dot product of two vectors and thus a scalar. Proper time however is always pointing exactly ...
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Most natural tensor structure for a quantum field

A quantum field is described by a Hilbert space. In many instances, the chosen tensor structure on this Hilbert space corresponds to that of space-like separated regions of space-time. The ...
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850 views

Relativistic factor between coordinate acceleration and proper acceleration

I did a recent question about relativistic kinematics here: Generalizing a relativistic kinematics formula for spatial-acceleration dependence. I have a confusion. In the textbooks I've seen, they ...
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Time dilation all messed up!

Okay! There is a problem with my logic and i cannot seem to point out where. There's a rocket ship travelling at close-to-c speed v without any acceleration (hypothetically), and there is an observer ...
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2answers
72 views

Where did the energy of the charge go?

Suppose there is a positron and an electron, and they both collide, and we get $E=2mc^2$ of energy from the collision. Now, the charge also got vanished. Now suppose, I create neutrinos from the ...
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Time and the principle of relativity

We know that every moving clock with respect to some clock A, is running slower than A. My question is simple - why it does not contradict the principle of relativity? Why can't we say that the clock ...
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336 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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Can relativistic momentum (photons) be used as propulsion for 'free' after the initial generation?

In discussing this question about propelling a spacecraft with photons and their relativistic momentum, the author asked that I restate my comment as another question. If photons can really be used ...
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How do I actually calculate the Lorentz transformation of a field strength tensor

Say now I have an arbitrary field strength tensor $F$, and I want to boost it according to a Lorentz transformation matrix $(\Lambda)$ The transformation is given by $$ F^{'\mu \nu} = ...
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64 views

Will we feel the gravity of a star 10 light years away for the next 10 years if, somehow, it vanishes today from its position? [duplicate]

I was watching a relativity video, and although I am not sure, I felt that it was trying to tell that the effect of gravitation of a body is instantaneous, in the sense that a sudden change in the ...
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4-acceleration of rotating frame

Consider the 3-dimensional Minkowski space $$ ds^2=dt'^2-dr'^2-r'^2d\phi'^2 $$ Now we transform it into a rotating frame: $$ t'=t,r'=r,\phi'=\phi+\omega t $$ Then the metric becomes $$ ...
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Acceleration or Deacceleration. Can either be identified?

An accelerated clock will measure a smaller elapsed time between two events than that measured by a non-accelerated (inertial) clock between the same two events. . Experiment #1 Imagine that ...
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Space distance between observers and Lorentz transformation

I'm not a specialist of Lorentz transformation. I would like to know if the Lorentz transformation from one observer to another preserves the space distance between these two observers. Example ...
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47 views

Conditions that the coordinate must satisfy in order to become local inertial

Consider the coordinate transformation $$ \tilde x^a=x^a+\frac{1}{2}\Gamma^a_{bc}x^bx^c $$ I have shown that at the origin $O=(0,0,0,0)$, $$ \frac{\partial\tilde g_{ab}}{\partial\tilde x^c}=0 $$ ...
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(Special Relativity) Points that can be seen by an observer

Let the metric be $$ ds^2=(1+gz)^2dt^2-dx^2-dy^2-dz^2 $$ where $g$ is a positive constant. Let an observer be stationary at $x=y=0$ on the surface $z=0$ and look upwards at an angle $\theta$, how ...
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73 views

Hyperbolic geometry in SR

I'm having trouble understanding just what the hyperbolas on a space-time diagram actually signify. From what I understand, these hyperbolas trace out the equation $S^2=x^2-(ct)^2$, which is the ...
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2answers
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Is Michelson-Morley experiment an axiom?

Sorry for my ignorance, but does the result of Michelson-Morley experiment have some explanation? Is there some reason why light speed in vacuum is maximum or we just find it by experiments?
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The Euler-Lagrange equation in special relativity

How can I derive the Euler-Lagrange equations valid in the field of special relativity? Specifically, consider a scalar field.
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Is there an orthogonal time dimension in Minkowski spacetime?

Space dimensions are orthogonal one to each other. But what about time in the Minkowski diagram? At first sight, time seems to be orthogonal to space. But we have to consider that each Minkowski ...
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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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If photons have no mass, how can they have momentum?

As an explanation of why a large gravitational field (such as a black hole) can bend light, I have heard that light has momentum. This is given as a solution to the problem of only massive objects ...
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Photons have no mass. So, why does $E = pc$ hold? [duplicate]

It's a somewhat theoretical question. In special relativity, The energy of a photon is given by $E = pc$. But, my argument is that, since photons have no mass, how can they have a momentum $p$? The ...
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1answer
66 views

Relative speed when approaching the speed of light [duplicate]

According to this chart of the Lorentz factor as a function of speed: If a spacecraft neared (roughly) 0.85c, would it appear to be traveling at 1.7x the speed of light from the perspective of ...
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1answer
120 views

Problem understanding sign of volume integral in Minkowski space

My professor told me that a 4-dimensional Minkowski - Space Integral I was working on can be written as the product of a metric tensor and a scalar: $\int d^4 k \frac{k^\mu ...
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333 views

Does Light Experience Length Contraction?

Lorentz length contractions states that the length of any moving object gets divided by the Lorentz factor equal to the Lorentz factor for that object (always $\geq 1$), equal to $$ ...
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Exercise Lorentz Transformations

I have 2 inertial frames, both are in relative motion along the x axis moving with constant velocity $v_x$. It is called with Standard figuration where the Lorentz transformations relate the ...
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5answers
189 views

The speed limit is with respect to what?

As I understand, an object with mass cannot reach the speed of light because its (relativistic) mass increases "exponentially" as it approaches light speed. So there is a relation between mass and ...
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1answer
84 views

Bi-vector in Minkowski space

I have a problem, I have a bi-vector that define like: $\omega^{\mu \nu}=a^{\mu}b^{\nu}-a^{\nu}b^{\mu}$ where, $a^{\mu}=(a^0,a^1,a^2,a^3)$ and $b^{\nu}=(b^0,b^1,b^2,b^3)$ I need show that ...
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52 views

Complete Energy Equation for Non-Zero Masses

The most simplified version of the energy equation (which is also the most known) is $E=mc^2$ However, I understand that this only applies to objects with non-zero mass and zero velocity. I also read ...
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Why is the space-time interval squared?

The space-time interval equation is this: $$\Delta s^2=\Delta x^2+\Delta y^2+\Delta z^2-(c\Delta t)^2$$ Where, $\Delta x, \Delta y, \Delta z$ and $\Delta t$ represent the distances along various ...
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Why is the ratio of velocity to the speed of light squared in the Lorentz factor?

Why is the ratio of velocity to the speed of light squared in the Lorentz factor? $${\left( {{v \over c}} \right)^2}$$ My only guess is the value must be positive.
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Help with Special Relativity velocity addition formula

While looking for question about speed of light I saw this Physics.SE question where I found this: $$v_\text{rel} = \frac{v_1 - v_2}{1 - \frac{v_1v_2}{c^2}}.\tag1$$ But in another answer there was ...
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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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Infinitesimal transformations for a relativistic particle

The action of a free relativistic particles can be given by $$S=\frac{1}{2}\int d\tau \left(e^{-1}(\tau)g_{\mu\nu}(X)X^\mu(\tau)X^\nu(\tau)-e(\tau)m^2\right).$$ If we then make an infinitesimal ...
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Minkowski Metric Signature

When I learned about the Minkowski Space and it's coordinates, it was explained such that the metric turns out to be $$ ds^{2} = -(cdx^{0})^{2} +(dx^{1})^{2} + (dx^{2})^{2} + (dx^{3})^{2} $$ where $ ...