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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Does light accelerate when it meets a surface? [duplicate]

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface like mirror, we know that light changes path when it meets a surface like mirror.If light changes path,even if travelling at c,this means light has ...
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18 views

Why does time stand still for light? [duplicate]

The source for this is the book "Einstein for Dummies", page 330, chapter 10.
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How to decide which is the proper time?

I want to deduce Length Contraction using Time Dilation(which has already been deduced), but I encountered a problem that I feel tough. I first assume two observers, $A$ and $B$ are in two frames ...
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Light photon direction in movement

I recently watched a couple science videos on YouTube and left me with a doubt. If a spaceship goes to a really fast speed in the (horizontal) $x$-direction, what would happen if it shoots a light ...
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Does light ever experiences acceleration? [duplicate]

Till now I have learned that light has fastest speed. But I have also noticed that wherever it travels it only experiences retardation. So I wanted to know if light ever felt acceleration naturally in ...
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3answers
89 views

Why is this method valid in special relativity

Here is the question Two clocks are positioned at the ends of train of proper length $L$. They are synchronised in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out that if ...
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The derivation of the irreducible representations of the Lorentz group

I took the way of classification of Lorentz group representations from Sexl, Urbantke, Relativity, groups and particles (Germ. ed. 1975). But I don't understand it as I outline in the following: In ...
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25 views

Traveling near the speed of light? [duplicate]

Suppose we can travel on a spacecraft near the speed of light, how long it would take for the person on the spacecraft to travel one light year, not to a person observing him/her from Earth, if there ...
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Isn't the aether existent?

Before you say I'm wrong consider this, Einstein is supposedly the first person to get completely get rid of the various aether models that were proposed. But didn't Einstein actually prove them right ...
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1answer
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Will two clocks moving in opposite directions measure the same time as one at rest?

A rocket passes the earth and synchronises its clock with the earth. Years later, a rocket passes it going to the earth and synchronises its clock with the first rocket. When it reached the earth, ...
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4answers
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Travelling near the speed of light, will radar give me sufficient warning of approaching debris?

If I’m travelling in space near the speed of light, I would like to use radar to give me advance warning of approaching hazards. However, will I have enough time to be able to react? From a ...
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2answers
173 views

I am confused about the idea that the speed of light is independent of the speed of the source of light

Imagine that a mast of a sailboat is 186,000 miles long, and the sailboat is moving to the right at a constant 10 miles per second. If you drop a ball from the top of the mast, the ball will land ...
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62 views

The returning light beam that is perpendicular to Earth’s motion

How did Michelson and Morley compensate for the fact that the returning light beam that is perpendicular to Earth’s motion would not arrive at the same point that it left the half-silvered mirror? ...
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What does the ratio (x-ct)/(x'-ct') signify?

$(x,t)$ being coordinates of any event in an inertial frame $A$ and $(x',t')$ being the coordinates of the same event in another frame moving with uniform velocity $v$ along the same direction in ...
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1answer
49 views

A question about the physics involved in tracking satellites such as those used in the GPS system [duplicate]

I know that besides the effects of Newton's theory of Gravitation on the satellite's motion, one has to take account of the retardation of the satellite's clocks when compared to earth-fixed clocks. ...
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2answers
109 views

“If the astronaut found that light slowed down relative to his motion, he would have detected the very ether wind that Michelson failed to detect”?

The following extract is from Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner (Amazon link): Consider an astronaut in a spaceship that is racing alongside a light beam. The ship is traveling with ...
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2answers
49 views

Is causality a necessary and sufficient condition for special relativity?

Is there a way to "build" special relativity by using causality as one of the axioms? Or is it just a consequence of a fact that the speed of light is same in all reference frames?
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1answer
78 views

A pendulum clock vs. an atomic clock

A pendulum clock ticks slower on top of a mountain and ticks faster at ground level, but an atomic clock ticks faster on top of a mountain and ticks slower at ground level. Gravity affects pendulum ...
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4answers
86 views

Does a ticking watch have more mass? [duplicate]

In the video on YouTube, The Real Meaning of E=mc² | PBS| Space Time Studios, it claims that a ticking watch has more mass then a non ticking watch due to the intrinsic KE, PE and thermal energy of ...
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2answers
101 views

Twin paradox modified for a periodic universe [closed]

I had received a homework problem by my professor. Please consider part (b) of the problem. Can part (b) be solved only using special relativity? And how can you solve this? I think that Alice will ...
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Is momentum an invariant? [closed]

Is the value of momentum an invariant?, specificly for instance the momentum value $\mathbf p_{\text{lab}}[~\Lambda^0~]$ of a $\Lambda^0$ baryon (drifting from the (actual) interaction point of a ...
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20 views

Inelastic cross section derivation

I am trying to derive the inelastic cross section (the mass changes). I looked up the elastic derivation on Peskin's book (are there any alternatives?): $$d \sigma = \frac{1}{2 E_a 2 E_b \left| ...
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110 views

How is relativity related to anti-particles?

I have heard that a positron is like an electron moving backward through time. Can someone elucidate this statement for me. I would like to hear a deeper explanation of what we believe anti-matter to ...
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2answers
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Where does the equation $p=\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$ come from?

Where does the relativistic formula $$p~=~\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$$ come from? What is the derivation from Einstein's formula? $T$ is the kinetic energy $m$ is the mass $p$ is the momentum.
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97 views

How many days it takes to travel to Cygnus? [duplicate]

BACKSTORY I read today newspaper and made discovery of planet Cygnus (in news paper of course :v) that human can live there! The distance is 1400 Lightyear. Assuming I travel with the world fastest ...
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40 views

Constancy of speed of light $c$ with perpendicular motion [duplicate]

Suppose light is travelling in a straight line parallel to $y$-axis takes time $t$ to reach from $y_1$ to $y_2$ in a reference frame $S$. Let there be another frame, $S'$, which is travelling parallel ...
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1answer
79 views

Does an object traveling near the speed of light create a gravitaional field? [duplicate]

Does a particle traveling near the speed of light create an observable/measureable gravitational field around it? I know most elementary particles travel near the speed of light and have no ...
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1answer
62 views

Relativistic flashlight and mirror

Say Alice is on on one end of a train moving at c/2 and there is a mirror at the other end. If she turns on a flashlight aimed at the mirror, from her perspective it takes the same time for the light ...
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Do chemical bonds have mass?

When an exothermic reaction occurs, the energy in the chemical bonds of the reactants is partially transferred to the chemical bonds of the products. The remaining energy is released as heat. For ...
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1answer
132 views

Klein-Gordon equation and wave velocity

It looks like solutions of the KG eqn travel faster than light, because if $$\omega^2 - k^2 = m^2$$ then $$\mid\ \omega\mid \ > \ \mid k\ \mid$$ and I thought the wave velocity was $\omega / k$. ...
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67 views

Regarding the Weyl spinor and its transformation properties

I am trying to prove the Lorentz invariance of the (left-handed) Weyl Lagrangian: $$\mathcal L=i\psi^\dagger\bar\sigma^\mu\partial_\mu\psi$$ A Lorentz transformation is realized as $\psi\to M\psi$, ...
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Coincidence of spacetime events & Lorentz invariance

Am I correct in thinking that if two spacetime events are coincident in one frame of reference, then they are coincident in all frames of reference, i.e. coincidence of spacetime events is a Lorentz ...
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Inertia on relativistic mass when particle is near speed of light

Inertia is directly proportional to mass but what happens when something travel to speed near to light. Its relativistic mass tends to infinity but that is false mass so I want to know if inertia is ...
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69 views

How are photons effected by gravity? [duplicate]

If we use E²=m²c⁴+p²c², and we know mass of photon is zero, and they have momentum but why aren't they affected by gravity.
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Inverse Lorentz transformation of four-velocity

Consider two frames. In the first frame $K'$ a particle executes uniform circular motion. Frame $K'$ travels with constant velocity along the axis of the circle (take z-axis) w.r.t. the observer's ...
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Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
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Is the speed of light in vacuum always the same value?

The escape velocity of different planets and stars vary. If they vary, the velocities of bodies escaping from the respective stars or planets should also vary. Like, if I want a ball to reach 10 ...
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1answer
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The relativity of gravity: If mass is relative how much gravity do I experience?

Now let's say the I am on a spaceship. The spaceship is not accelerating, i.e., it is not firing its rockets. Most of the ship's mass is in the back of the ship. Let's say it is moving arbitrarily ...
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Is the scale factor Lorentz invariant?

Given that the Minkowski metric does not change under a Lorentz transformation, the scale factor does not change in the special case when it is equal to 1. Is this result true in general? i.e. is the ...
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Prove that $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$, and $T_{11}$ are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$ at $(ct, x, 0, 0)$ for star of constant luminosity $L$

We have a star of constant luminosity $L$. We want to prove that the components $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$ and $T_{11}$ are all the same for the event $(ct,x,0,0)$ and they are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$. ...
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Dirac Eqn: why separate operators

At some point Dirac writes: (OpA)(OpB)Y = 0 where OpA and OpB are those two brackets that differ only in the sign of m, then he deduces: (OpA)Y = 0 OR (OpB)Y = 0 (or is that AND). I don't get ...
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Amplitude for a string to propagate from one point to another

In Zwiebach’s book sections 12.6 and 12.7 interesting aspects of the wave function of the string are discussed. In order to introduce my question first recall what happens with the relativistic ...
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Relativistic probability amplitude of a particle to be in certain position

In the book “The story of spin” by Tomonaga on page 110, it says They insisted that a concept like "the probability of a particle to be at $x$ in space" is meaningless for relativistic ...
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Is this a Lorentz-scalar? How do I tell?

I'm struggling to identify whether a scalar is a Lorentz-scalar. E.g: $$\partial_i A^i \quad i \in {1,2,3}.$$ How do I determine if this is a Lorentz-scalar or not? If got the same problem with ...
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2answers
78 views

Postulates of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

I have been reading this Phys.SE answer in order to clarify my doubts. It seems to me that he claims that the postulates are the same no matter if it is QFT, QM or whatever. But some books tell us ...
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If traveling at the speed of lights stops time, why does it take light 8 minutes to reach Earth?

I just learned that, according to Einstein's relativity theory, time reaches zero for an observer (light) when traveling at the speed of light, so everything is supposed to be at the same place in the ...
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Would time-dependent wave-functions be constrained by relativity?

Please pardon my beginners understanding. I was thinking about the wave function of a "free particle", $\psi(x,t)$, where $\psi(x,0)$ is the initial condition. Writing $\psi (x,t)$ as $\sum\limits_n ...
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Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
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99 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) ...
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Does special relativity explains working of an electromagnet?

I heard that special relativity could be used to explain the working of electromagnet, but couldn't dig anything out of it. Can somebody give some explanation of the above? I also heard that it is ...