The special theory of relativity describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

2
votes
2answers
113 views

Does time dilation imply that events do not take place?

I take two mirrors parallel and facing each other. A light pulse is being infinitely reflected between the two mirrors $M_1,M_2$. $E_1,E_2$ are the events when the pulse is reflected by $M_1,M_2$, ...
-1
votes
1answer
56 views

Can we travel faster than the speed of light? [duplicate]

So my question is completely a theoritical question. For example i have a stick made of the strongest material and lightest material and its lenght is as long as the solar system's diameter. The end ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Einstein's characterization of “time” as “the position of the little hand of my watch” definitive and binding in the RT?

In Einstein's very first publication dealing with the Theory of Relativity, effectively as a preamble to all subsequent thought-experimental considerations and descriptions, Einsteín put the ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Tachyons and the light barrier

I read somewhere that if something breaks the light barrier, i.e. a tachyon, that it will take infinite energy to make it go slower than the speed of light. So, does that mean that the object will ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

At the speed of light [duplicate]

Is it possible to accelerate a body to the speed of light?Why is is said that at the speed of light,the mass of a body would be converted to energy?
0
votes
0answers
40 views

The Lie algebra of the Lorentz group is $su(2) \oplus su(2)$. Is there a similar relation for the algebra of the Poincare group?

It can be shown easily, by introducing new generators from the usual ones that we can think of the Lie algebra of the Lorentz group as being built up by two copies of the $SU(2)$ Lie algebra: $$ ...
-5
votes
2answers
91 views

Is it possible to travel ONLY through Time and not Space? [closed]

The question is as stated above. I although think, the most probable answer is no, but I really want to know the reason to it. If, One can travel through only space by travelling at the speed of ...
2
votes
2answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Hydrogen atom Ionization by Magnetic Field [closed]

The source of a magnetic field (it could be a magnetic dipole) is moving at relativistic speed. This magnetic field encounters a hydrogen atom at rest with respect to the source. Will this encounter ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Lorentz invariance vs. covariance

I am a bit confused whether relativistic theory is Lorentz invariant or covariant. And please explain why?
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Time changing potential gives rise to “force”?

Imagine a charged particle inside a Faraday cage (i.e. charge on outside, zero electric field inside, but non-zero electric potential on the inside). Suppose the charge distributed on the outside of ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

How length contraction will work in this case?

Observer is in a spaceship XYZ. In front of him a rod AB is travelling at velocity V. Attached to the 2 ends of the rod are light sources(Red and Green) at different heights. Now these 2 sources emit ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Poynting vector from 1st term in Lienard-Wiechert field

I start with 1st (non-radiative) term from Lienard-Wiechert fields: $$ \vec{E} = q (1-v^2) \frac{\vec{R_{t'}} - \vec{v}R_{t'}}{(R_{t'} - \vec{v}\vec{R_{t'}})^3} $$ $$ \vec{H} = - q (1-v^2) ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Indices of a Pauli matrix transformed in the Lorentz representation

When Peskin and Schroeder want to prove a Fierz identity on page 51, they make use of the identity $$(\sigma^{\mu})_{\alpha \beta} (\sigma_{\mu})_{\gamma\delta} = 2 \epsilon_{\alpha \gamma} ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

What exactly is meant by saying that two events had been “simultaneous in an inertial frame”?

In order to address my question based on a concrete example setup let the following two separate events be given: participants $A$ and $J$ encountering each other in passing (additional participants ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What's the phenomenon where it looks like more particles exist at relativistic speeds?

From the perspective of an observer moving close to the speed of light, the surrounding environment has very high energy which leads to pair production. What is the name of this phenomenon? I can't ...
-1
votes
1answer
72 views

4-momentum of massless photons

The time component of a particle's 4-momentum is $$ E'=\frac{E-up}{\sqrt{1-u^2/c^2}}\tag{1} $$ Now suppose it is photons that you are observing from a system moving at $u$ on a line towards ...
4
votes
2answers
254 views

Maxwell's equations invariant under all linear transformations?

Maxwell's equations in tensor notation read: \begin{align} \partial_\mu F^{\mu\nu} &= J^\nu \\ \partial_{[\lambda}F_{\mu\nu]} &= 0 \end{align} Consider doing a general coordinate ...
0
votes
4answers
141 views

What is the proper time interval for simultaneous events?

Let us take a rod of length L and the two ends A and B have two photon guns. A----------------------B Let the end A fire a pulse (event ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Relativistic Momentum in One Frame

(I) What is the momentum of a proton traveling at v = 0.75c? This problem requires a simple substitution. Using the equation $\ p_{rel} = m*u * (1/\sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2))$, where $v$ is the speed of a ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Is there any evidence for the increase of mass due to time dilation also causing a strengthening in said mass' gravity? [duplicate]

Logically it make sense that gravity would strengthen with an increase of mass but I want to know if there is evidence for this.
0
votes
1answer
61 views

Derivation of four-velocity using proper time?

Let us say we have an accelerating particle. 4-velocity is given by the derivative of 4-position with respect to proper time. Derivations that I have seen say that: $$d\tau=\frac{dt}{\gamma}$$ But why ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Electric fields and magnetic fields [closed]

I would love to know if this is roughly correct with regards magnetic fields. I recently heard someone say that there are people still looking for monopoles. I said I don't think that can be true as ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Lorentz contraction in continuously accelerating rod

I was having a little thought experiment about Lorentz contraction, and I couldn't really figure out what would actually happen. Note that I'm not looking for a answer 'this effect is barely ...
5
votes
4answers
254 views

Causality principle and Entropy (Second Law)

I was reading about the light cone in relativity and I got to the point where in order to avoid paradoxes one can introduce the causality principle: Causality Principle: For every inertial ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Matrix dimensions in the spacetime interval equation don't seem to agree? (Possible notation misunderstanding)

The spacetime interval in flat space can be expressed as $(\Delta s)^2 = g_{\alpha \beta} \Delta x^\alpha \Delta x^\beta$. I understand covariant, $x_a$, and contravariant, $x^a$, vectors to be row ...
7
votes
6answers
786 views

Is (rest) mass conserved in special relativity?

I don't understand why it is said that the (rest) mass of a system is not conserved in relativity. I mean, the momentum of a system is conserved (i.e.: it remains constant in a frame of reference ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

In special relativity, is it correct to say the speed of a body B relative to A is the same as measured by every observer?

Here, two objects A and B are moving relative to each other. I use the Einstein velocity addition formula $v = {v_1 + v_2\over 1 + {v_1 v_2\over c^2}}$ to calculate the relative speed between A and ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Dimensionless numbers in relativistic theory

Dimensionless numbers allow physicists and engineers to extend the physical modeling landscape by reducing otherwise complex mathematics to a simple proportional relationship. For example by assuming ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Proof that spacetime interval is invariant

I'm trying to understand the proof that spacetime interval is invariant under for any two inertial observers. I know it's easy to arrive at the result using Lorentz transformation but I'm trying to ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

Relativistic Momentum and Energy - Lorentz Transformations [closed]

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is colliding fully ionized gold (Au) nuclei accelerated to an energy of 200 GeV per nucleon. Each Au Nucleus contains 197 ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

A spin on relativity's twin paradox?

What if a twin is in a rocket in a synchronous orbit with the equator of the Earth while the second twin is standing at the equator watching his twin in space. If we use 0.87c for ease of calculation ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Theory of relativity. Relative to what? [duplicate]

If I properly understand relativity, time ticks faster for an object sitting still than for an object passing by. So, in a universe with only two objects which have the same "age", object A is ...
-1
votes
1answer
129 views

Stone vs. Atomic Bomb

What would do more damage, a B53, a 9 megaton uranium bomb, or a medium sized stone (2 kg) stone throw at 90% the speed of light. One thing that I know that will have to be considered is that fact ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Dark matter: Will Special Relativity hold?

Part 1: It’s been said that dark matter makes up about 26 % of the universe. The restart of LHC would be dealing with the existence of dark matter also. Consider a situation that the results are ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Exactly which components of special relativity are contained in Minkowski spacetime?

In other words, which components or concepts in special relativity are reflected in Minkowski spacetime? If I'm not mistaken, Lorentz covariance is one of these concepts, correct? I'm trying to ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Invariance of Maxwell equations [closed]

Is there an easy way to show that the Maxwell equations $$ \partial_\alpha F_{\beta\gamma} + \partial_\gamma F_{\alpha\beta} + \partial_\beta F_{\gamma\alpha} = 0 $$ are invariant under a Lorentz ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Would Special Relativity Predict Time Dilation of a Geostationary Satellite Compared to an Observer on Earth?

Consider a geostationary satellite at some arbitrary distance above the Earth's equator and consider a person directly below it, standing on the Earth's equator. Both satellite and person exist on the ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Composition of Lorentz Transformations

If a particle is moving in the $x$-direction with velocity $c/2$, then the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda = \begin{pmatrix}\gamma & -\beta \gamma & 0 & 0 \\ -\beta \gamma & \gamma ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Special Relativity - Distance Not Increased?

I just watched the movie Interstellar and the question was asked of why/how high-speed travel would slow time within an area. Curious as I am, I watched several YouTube videos to quickly 'educate' ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Intrinsic CPT phase

Under charge conjugation C, spatial inversion P and time reversal T transformations, there are possible intrinsic phases (more for this on Chapter 9, The Quantum Theory of Field v1 by S. Weinberg): ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Relativistic Kinematics - 2-Body Particle Decay

Consider the scenario where a particle of mass $M$ decays into two lighter particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$. In the center of mass frame (i.e. $\mathbf{p}_1$ and $\mathbf{p}_2$, the momenta of the ...
3
votes
1answer
192 views

Charged particle under a uniform electric field

Suppose a charge particle $q$ starts to move without initial velocity under the influence of a uniform electric field $E$ pointing in the positive $x$ direction. Express its position vector in ...
-4
votes
2answers
68 views

Speed of light yes or no? [closed]

First off I am not a physics student: I am more of a science enthusiast. My question pertains to time and the speed of light: According to Einstein, no mass can travel at the speed of light. Now, ...
0
votes
5answers
198 views

What is the significance of the “squared” in $E =mc^2$? [duplicate]

If $c$ is just an arbitrary constant, why don't we say $E=mc$ and define the value of $c$ to be $\sqrt{299 792 458} \approx 17314$ meters per second? Or, why not use $E=mc^3$?
6
votes
2answers
138 views

Why does the minus sign in the Minkowski metric mean that nothing can move backwards in time?

I just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkCWywO93b8#t=27 and there Mr. Cox states that because of the minus sign in the Minkowski metric nothing can move backwards in time. It's ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

SR: constant acceleration wordline simultaneity

A worldline $W$ with constant acceleration $a$ is given parametrically by $$t=\frac{c}{a} \sinh(\frac{a \tau}{c}), \quad x=\frac{c^2}{a} \cosh(\frac{a \tau}{c}).$$ Let $E=(0,0,0,0)$. I showed that for ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding circular polarization vectors ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Could any object have zero mass? [duplicate]

Energy and mass are interrelated. As everything has energy could any object be massless? For example a photon is a packet of energy but still it is considered to be a massless particle. Why is it so?
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Would you be able to see yourself in a mirror in front of you as you two are in a room traveling at the speed of light? [duplicate]

Veritasium talked about this in one video. If you are in a room or a train, plane, car or whatever just a closed space traveling at the speed of light and you put a mirror in front of you, could you ...