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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How can light have the same speed for all observers? [duplicate]

I'm a little confused on this. If you're travelling at, say, 10% of the speed of light then light is travelling at 3x10^8 ms^(-1) relative to you. If you're moving at 80% of the speed of light and ...
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Breaking the speed of light…? [duplicate]

I know the speed of light can't be broken, but I cannot figure out why the following scenario is not possible. I'm not a physicist myself but I know the basic stuff. Assume you're in a car ...
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Clock synchronazation in special relativity using signal other than light

I'm reading Taylor & Wheeler "Spacetime Physics" and have a question about possibility of correct clock synch using signal other then light. For example, we choose reference clock(A) and at ...
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89 views

Doesn't the second postulate of special relativity imply the existence of “luminiferous ether”? [closed]

Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies as: light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity $c$ which is independent of the state of ...
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81 views

How does EM radition depend on the reference frame?

In special relativity, magnetism is electrostatics in a different reference frame. This is how we explain the magnetic field being produced by moving charges (aka currents). Charges that move produce ...
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Why does “closing speed” $>c$ not violate relativity's second postulate? [closed]

Why does closing speed $>c$ of a particle and photon or photon and photon not violate relativity's second postulate? Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of ...
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Lorentz transformations an EM fields

When deriving the Lorentz transformation equations in undergraduate physics classes, teachers typically analyze the behavior of an ideal clock and a rigid bar. Once the behavior of clocks and rods is ...
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118 views

Does the Doppler effect disprove the constancy of $c$? [closed]

Why doesn't the Doppler effect disprove the relativity postulate that $c$ is constant relative to all sources or observers? It seems it does because of the following example: Suppose a ship of ...
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How can we assume that reaching the speed of light slows down time? [duplicate]

How can we assume that gaining the speed of light slows down time?
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Does a moving object really shrink due to length contraction? [duplicate]

Is length contraction an optical illusion? Does object really shrink? Though measurements say yes, does it really happen? Or I have to say object is really measured to shrink?
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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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New Supersymmetry Algebra

We know that SUSY generators commute with translation $$ [P_\mu,Q_\alpha]=0 $$ I have some questions: What is this equation physical meaning? Is it possible to make "SUSY-like" generators that do ...
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A simple coordinate transformation

I'm currently taking my first shot at reading Einstein's 'On The Electrodynamics' (with plenty of mathematical background). With a few pictures, everything has been crystal clear to my intuition, up ...
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Transformation to a uniformly rotating frame

I'm midway through a problem at the beginning of a GR course, my question is simply this: If $$ x=x'\cos\Omega t-y'\sin\Omega t $$ where $x'$ and $y'$ indicate the rotated frame of reference. What ...
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Do photons have relativistic mass?

I am conducting research on photons and was wondering if they have relativistic mass. I already know that they they have zero rest mass. Any answers are welcome!
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Can time pass for a photon if it's moving in a medium? [duplicate]

If time does not pass for a photon traveling at the speed of light, which can only occur when traveling in a vacuum, what happens when it is slowed down by traveling through non vacuum space like ...
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Special Relativity: Finding the Euler Lagrange of a massive particle

Knowing that $$\tag{1} L= -mc\sqrt{-\eta_{ab}\frac{d\xi^a}{d\lambda}\frac{d\xi^b}{d\lambda}}$$ we get $$\tag{2} p_a=\frac{\partial L}{\partial(d\xi^a/d\lambda)} = m\eta_{ab}u^b.$$ How come? If I ...
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If rest mass does not change with $v$ then why is infinite energy required to accelerate an object to the speed of light?

I know that as the velocity increases, the mass of the object also increases so it becomes tougher and tougher to move the object which ultimately leads to a requirement of infinite energy to ...
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why does a change in velocity cause length contraction, mass gain and the slow down of time? [duplicate]

How did the universe 'know' to do that? Or is there an intuitive explanation for it?
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Why isn't time axis vertical? [closed]

Why isn't time axis vertical? I don't find any reason behind it. This graph is drawn in tree frame. Though the tree isn't moving the time axis isn't vertical. Please help me to understand it. This ...
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What does traveling close to speed of light mean?

This has been bugging me for a while. We all know in relativity that if you travel close to speed of light, all sorts of crazy things happen. But what does it mean to travel close to speed of light? ...
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Relative time/space - Two clock thought experiment [duplicate]

Please pardon my english. Here is my simple thought experiment. ...
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why do we use the equation we do for special relativity when there is a shorter, more intuitive one?

$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$ is the equation physicists use to calculate time dilation.Why don't they use $\sqrt{1+v^2/c^2}$ which is faster and also more intuitive (for me at least) Although now I ...
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Velocity in relativity

We just started learning about 4-vectors in my physics class, and I'm a little confused about the relationship between the 4-velocity $U=\gamma(c,\vec{v}),$ and the velocity transformations given by ...
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The pole and the barn paradox (stretching the pole)

The basic variant of this paradox makes sense to me but I have problems in proving mathematically variation of this non-paradox. So lets imagine that we have barn and pole which is stationary to the ...
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Lorentz Transformation at t=0

Suppose I have two reference frames $S$ and $S'$, where $S'$ is moving with velocity $v$ with respect to $S$. The Lorentz transformation equation for time in reference frame $S$ is given by: ...
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What does a relativistically moving capacitor “look” like? [duplicate]

Suppose I have a parallel plate capacitor with a vacuum between the plates, a voltage $V$ across them and a capacitance of $C$. What will this arrangement look like to an observer in a uniformly ...
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Are 2 time intervals the same only for same speeds?

I'm only amateur in modern phsyics having read some about relativity theory and time measurements depending on relative movement. Is it true that 2 clocks measure time the same only if the relative ...
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Change in line density of electrons

We're proving that electricity and magnetism are essentially two manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon by using the toy example of a positive charge moving parallel to an infinitely long ...
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I am looking for a good primer on Special relativity [duplicate]

I am starting a course in Gravity and Quantum Field Theory this year, and I have all of the prerequisites except for a few topics in Special Relativity. I have had some SR, but only the 1-dimensional ...
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Special relativity and missing factors of $c$

I am doing problems in a textbook called 'Introduction to Classical Mechanics' by David Morin. In one of the questions it says the following: In the lab frame, two particles move with speed $v$ ...
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Vector fields and tensors in E&M

I'm confused by a very basic property of electric fields. The electric field is a vector field. Vectors are tensors. Wikipedia has the following statement in the article about the electromagnetic ...
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How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?

A clock c1 is situated at a distance $L$ from an observer carrying a clock c1. How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?
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Is there a simple explanation for the fact that the Lorentz transformation must be linear? [duplicate]

In my physics class, for deriving the Lorentz transformatuons my professor assumed that there is a linearity relatioin between the coordinates of the two systems. But why is that?? Can anyone please ...
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Why do we write the lengths in the following way? Question about Lorentz transformation

Yesterday we have studied the Lorentz transformation in school. So we have two frames of reference, $S$ and $S'$ . $S$ is stationary and $S'$. $S'$ has a constant velocity $v$, relative to the $S$ ...
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A confusion regarding absolute motion in SRT

Suppose i am inside a uniformly moving spaceship and I send a light beam perpendicular to the direction of motion towards the opposite wall.Since the spaceship is moving and according to special ...
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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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Spaceship Doppler frequency

A spaceship starts falling under gravity with an acceleration $g$ as measured by an observer Barry at rest on Earth. At the instant that the ship starts to fall, an astronaut Harry at the base of the ...
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Spacetime - Fact, Hypothesis, or Working Model? [closed]

Are the concepts of spacetime an accepted fact or something less? I have a limited background in modern physics and just finished a great book by Andrew Thomas that explains in very common language ...
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Force exerted by light on a moving mirror

Consider a light with energy density E shining uniformly over a mirror. The mirror has an area A. The mirror is moving at with a velocity β. Calculate the force that the photons exert on the ...
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Four-momentum, four-velocity, energy

If given the four-momentum of any particle monitored by an observer as: p = $p^\hat{α}e_\hat{α}$ using unit vectors in observer’s reference frame and u = $e_\hat{0}$ then I get I'm just ...
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Maxwell's equation for non inertial observer

Applying Maxwell's equation we can prove that light will move at the speed of light for every inertial frame, is it true as well for non-inertial frames? How light moves slowly near a black hole??
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A neutrino has rest-mass and travels at (near) $c$, why isn't its mass/ energy (nearly) infinite?

If the total energy of all three types of neutrinos exceeded an average of 50 eV per neutrino, there would be so much mass in the universe that it would collapse. This limit can be circumvented ...
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Importance of Powers of Velocity in Classical Mechanics

Is there any general significance to calculated quantities that depend purely on general powers of the velocity of a particle/system/etc? The first power being momentum and the second being kinetic ...
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Special relativity; spaceship moving towards a planet [closed]

A spacecraft starts travelling from Earth, moving at constant speed, towards a yet-to-be-discovered planet, which is $20$ light hours away from Earth. It takes $25$ hours (according to an ...
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Why Lorentz group for fields and Poincaré group for particles?

Wigner treatment associates to particles the irreps of the universal covering of the Poincaré group $$\mathbb{R}(1,3)\rtimes SL(2,\mathbb{C}).$$ Why don't we consider finite dimensional ...
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Special relativity; rocket moving towards a mirror [closed]

An observer in a rocket moves toward a mirror at speed $v$ relative to the reference frame in which the mirror is stationary - call this frame $S$. A light pulse emitted by the rocket travels ...
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4answers
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If a spaceship were to be able to travel at light speed, would it pass through objects undamaged? Would it damage/destroy objects?

We know, not just by scientific theory, but by practice (I have seen it with my own eyes), that an increase in velocity increases the mass of the given object proportionally. One day visiting a ...
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Why don't clocks on a train read the same time?

Two clocks are positioned at the ends of a train of length $L$ (as measured in its own frame). They are synchronized in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out ...
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Handedness of Reference Frames?

I am developing a new derivation of the Lorentz transformation which I think and hope is more attractive to students than those I have seen in currently available texts. I am carefully defining and ...