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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Why time is considered a dimension?

Why time is considered to be a dimension? And the other 7 (except the 3 dimensions of space, and the dimension of time) dimensions that string theory suggests, why can't they be realized?
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1answer
117 views

Why doesn't light travel instantly? [duplicate]

I've read that the faster you travel in space, the slower you travel in time. And when you reach the speed of light (which we won't be able to) time will stand still. So when light travels at the ...
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403 views

Special relativity and electromagnets

This Veritasium video explains how electromagnets can be explained by special relativity, and how the magnetic field surrounding a current-carrying wire can also be viewed as an electric field, if ...
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0answers
41 views

How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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32 views

Since “coordinate time” has a very specific meaning, how to call more general parametrizations?

Recently I've learned that "coordinate time" assigned to a particular time-like spacetime path is not only required (1) to be monotonous and continuous and even differentiable wrt. the "proper time" ...
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2answers
124 views

How can we measure time?

If we cannot define a proper time (or synchronize clocks in different positions) in an inertial frame (independent with the theory of relativity), there seems to be no direct way to confirm the 2 ...
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3answers
631 views

Would a craft travelling increasingly close to the speed of light appear to be decelerating?

I've been pondering the implications of time dilation. Is it right to assume that if a craft was travelling at a speed very close to the speed of light (>= 0.9999c for example), that to an external ...
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4answers
213 views

Traveling between two planets at rest to one another [duplicate]

If I travel at relativistic speed from planet A to planet B which are at rest relative to one another, I will be younger than people on A or B when I arrive. However how does this mesh with the fact ...
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1answer
48 views

Do the Maxwell equations yield the proper time of electromagnetic waves?

I apologize in advance for possible errors in my premises as I have no precise knowledge of Maxwell equations. Proposals for the correction or even abandon of my question are welcome. As Maxwell ...
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1answer
93 views

Is speed of light invariant in different inertial frame?

Don't get angry at me. I believe in special relativity just as any scientist would. But reading this article http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.2687 I realize that actually I haven't done any experiments on ...
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1answer
107 views

Can special relativity be extended such that the frame of a photon makes sense?

Suppose I want to know what the universe looks like from the perspective of a frame of reference moving at $c$ relative to my current frame. As discussed at length in various other questions on this ...
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3answers
271 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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1answer
47 views

Interpretation of space time Minkowski diagram [closed]

How to interpret the following space-time diagram in the image. I know how to interpret euclidean distance from Euclidean space diagram omit the line "whereas for Euclidean space".
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0answers
47 views

special relativity from minkowsky space-time [closed]

is there any use for learning special relativity from einstein's postulates once you understand the minkowskian structure of space-time . why isn't it straight away taught using minkowski geometry
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1answer
71 views

Tensors in special relativity [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand tensors, but I've come across the following question: Let $T^{\mu\nu}$ by a $(2,0)$ tensor. Give the definitions of $T_\mu^{\,\nu}$, $T_{\mu\nu}$, and ...
2
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1answer
62 views

Black holes and Time Dilation at the horizon

What is the difference between proper time and the observer time? Whilst thinking about Black holes, when we see the Schwarzschild metric $$c^2\tau ^2 = \left ( 1 - \frac{r_{s}}{r} \right )c^2t^2 - ...
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2answers
367 views

What is imaginary time? [duplicate]

I am not professional physicist; but I am curious about Stephen Hawking's "imaginary time". It would be better to elaborate exactly what it is. I am not confused because of the word "imaginary" but I ...
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1answer
67 views

Lorentz transformations, why $t$ and not $t'$?

In the derivation of the Lorentz tranformation you get the fromuls: $$x=k(x'-ut')$$ $$x'=k(x+ut)$$ where $k$ is a constant that is yet to be determied ($k= \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{u^2}{c^2}}}$) ...
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2answers
60 views

Moving towards a clock at .866C [duplicate]

If you set up a clock that sends out a light pulse every second, and move towards it at a speed of .866c, will the clock appear to run faster?
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4answers
70 views

How can time dilation be symmetrical? [duplicate]

I recently posted a version of the twin paradox with a twist but here I'd like to propose a new thought experiment all together. Take two clocks, A & B, and place A 1 AU away from B. Once the ...
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80 views

Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
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2answers
94 views

Is space-time a Kantian concept - just a concept of the working mind? [closed]

Is space time a Kantian concept – that is, just a concept of the mind at work? That is that there is no ‘out there’ – it’s in the ‘mind’? Relativity might work but it certainly requires a stretch of ...
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3answers
59 views

Arguments for finite speed of physical processes

When beginning a study of the special theory of relativity, one discovers that the theory of special relativity has as an axiom that the laws of physics are invariant with respect to transformations ...
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3answers
71 views

Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
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2answers
194 views

Is time subjective?

In Minkowski spacetime time is subjective [or more precisely: time is different for every particle/ reference frame]. It is the coordinate time of an observer whose reference frame travels up the ...
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1answer
46 views

what if the time is zero in one reference frame

Consider measuring the length of an object in another frame of reference. Of course this should happen at the same instance in the frame of reference the measurement takes place in. but using Lorentz ...
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A question on an exercise from Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler

My question is on problem 4.1 of Gravitation. In a generic case of electric field and magnetic field(i.e not $E=0$ or $B=0$ or $E$ and $B$ perpendicular), define the direction $\hat{n}$ unit vector , ...
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2answers
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Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
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21 views

Existence and uniqueness of solutions to $\nabla^a T_{ab}$ in general (or special) relativity

The equation in the title of this question can be a relativistic analogue of the Navier-Stokes equation (in the sense that, in the low-velocity limit, it reduces to Euler's equation when $T_{ab}$ is ...
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1answer
192 views

Relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation

What exactly is the relationship between the continuity equation and the wave equation? Suppose $J^\mu$ is a contravariant vector that satisfies the continuity equation $\partial_\mu J^\mu=0$. Let ...
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2answers
42 views

Equilibrium: Inertia & Applied Force

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am lay and will understand if the question is closed. My understanding is that in a vacuum, a constant force of $n$ applied to an object of mass $m$, ...
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4answers
483 views

Time dilation derivation of special relativity

In almost all of the derivations using the postulates of special relativity (SR), we use experiments involving light signals. For example, we make a clock using a light signal or measure lengths using ...
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3answers
75 views

Is proper time an intrinsic value of Minkowski space?

What is proper time? Is it a part of Minkowski space (that is a mere spacetime interval)? Or is it an intrinsic characteristic of massive particles (a sort of "aging")? Example: In the following ...
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1answer
21 views

Application of special relativity on sound waves

What is the difference between an electromagnetic wave and other waves that amounts to the EM wave following the Special Relativity. I have been reading about the Special Relativity for some time, and ...
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1answer
55 views

Deriving Lorentz transformation - Serway

in Serway, the derivation of Lorentz transformation started from these two equations $$x′=\gamma(x−ut),$$ $$x=\gamma(x′+ut′).$$ The book derived the first equation and then deduced the second. Is ...
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1answer
91 views

How can Lorentz contraction be “directly” measured?

If one is watching a relativistic object of e.g. spherical shape, which emits enough light to be detectable, it will, despite being Lorentz contracted, appear of its natural shape, although rotated. ...
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21 views

Explain polarization in RF in which the conductor is stationary

Consider a metal rod parallel to $x$-axis moving with velocity $\vec v =(0,v,0)$ perpendicular to magnetic field $\vec B=(0,0,B)$. Lorentz force will give rise to the electric field $\vec E = - ...
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1answer
63 views

Driving car with (almost) the speed of the light and switch the headlights on [duplicate]

I'm curious what will happen if we 'drive' a car with (almost) the speed of light, and all of sudden we switch the car headlights on? Will the car headlights ray have double speed (speed of ...
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2answers
91 views

“Vectors” (i.e. 1-tensors) their definition and motivation for relativity

I'm reading Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell (by Zee) and here he defines a vector as an object which is invariant under coordinate representation; concretely, if in one coordinate representation, $V$, ...
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1answer
57 views

How much time passed for the passenger traveling with at speed-of-light spaceship? [duplicate]

Let's suppose we have a spaceship with the exact speed of light. If a traveller takes this spaceship to go to proxima centauri (approximately 4 years light away from Earth) and come back, we (as ...
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2answers
76 views

Is it ok to have two events $A$ and $B$ so that for one person $A$ occurs before $B$ but for another $B$ preceds $A$

Imagine two laser beams A and B are released at the same moment to bounce between two mirrors, A was moving and B was at rest, doing the calculations I found that for a person at rest B would reach ...
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0answers
63 views

One question about derivation of Maxwell equations

I saw the following way of derivation of Maxwell equations: author starts from Lorentz transformations for the 3-vector of force, then he applies them for the Coulomb law, after that gets the Lorentz ...
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29 views

what about doing the laser beam in a moving reference frame but with a ball

I realize the situation where a laser beam moves vertically in a moving vehicle but what if the laser beam was a normal ball If we do the same steps of the proof considering that the velocity of the ...
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2answers
299 views

Is it possible to derive Lorentz transformation equation without Einstein's postulates?

Overview Einstein's proof for the Lorentz transformation is given here: From $O$'s view point, $x^2+y^2+z^2 = (ct)^2$. Form $O'$'s view point, $x'^2+y'^2+z'^2 = (ct')^2$. We find that Einstein ...
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89 views

Relativity and the Higgs field

We know very well that as the velocity of an object increases, its relativistic mass also increases because of an increase in its energy which is directly equivalent to mass. We also know that the ...
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2answers
85 views

Dragon Ball Z: Hyperbolic Time Chamber *(also increased gravity training) [closed]

Firstly, I am sorry if this seems like a joke. It is not. I have always loved the Dragon Ball series, so this question has been on my mind for a while. Can ...
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2answers
55 views

Why does the light intensity increase as I approach a distance light source?

Analogy: assume that I have constant rain fall and I have a water bucket to collect this rain. If I am rest relative to the earth, I will catch a certain amount of rain. However, if I now move towards ...
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Energy carried by photon not conserved?

In an imaginary frame of reference traveling with a photon, the length of the path traveled is 0. If the length of the path is 0, isn't it similar to say that the photon is either at the source or at ...
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1answer
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What invariant counting process derives the Minkowski metric?

Starting with Euclidean space, suppose I make a number of copies of a coordinate system all coincident at the origin, together with copies of a standard unit length. For any space interval common to ...
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Understanding the “$\pi$” of a rotating disk

Let us say you are in an inertial reference frame with a circular planar disk. If you take your meter measuring rods (or perhaps tape measure) you can find the diameter and circumference of the disk. ...