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
631 views

Two photons of different frequencies collide to create electron and positron

A photon of frequency f, and another of frequency f' (take f' as given) collide to create an electron-positron pair. The frequency f is such that when the collision is head on, there is exactly enough ...
4
votes
1answer
245 views

Temporal part of Quantum Wavefunction

I was hoping that someone could give me the more fundamental reason that we take as the temporal part of a quantum wavefunction the function $e^{-i\omega t}$ and not $e^{+i\omega t}$? Clearly ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
4
votes
2answers
326 views

Does General Relativity encompass Special Relativity?

Can all of the predictions made in Special Relativity (SR) also be made in General Relativity (GR)?
1
vote
1answer
163 views

4-momentum and an $y$ component of momentum

I have 2 coordinate systems which move along $x,x'$ axis. I have derived a Lorentz transformation for an $x$ component of momentum, which is one part of an 4-momentum vector $p_\mu$. This is my ...
-2
votes
1answer
300 views

How to express $ds$?(when we know expression for $ds^{2}$) [closed]

We know that $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ Can you say how to calculate $ds$?
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Accelerating expansion of universe - entire universe a non-inertial frame of reference?

If the expansion of the universe is accelerating, doesn't that mean that the entire universe is a non-inertial frame of reference? And if so, what implications does this have (if any)?
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Lorentz Transformations and Aberration

Why does the azimuthal angle, $\phi$, remain unchanged between reference frames in special relativity? Edit: Here is a link from "Radiative Processes in Astrophysics": ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Help identifying an expression for the action

I found the following expression for the action of a (free, I think) relativistic particle in my notes but I can't remember from what it came from: $$ S = \int_{0}^{N} \left [ ...
0
votes
2answers
199 views

Acceleration and relativity

Usually in physics books this equation used $a=\frac {dv}{dt}$ to calculate the relativistic acceleration. It is true that speed $v=\beta c$ don't have relativistic (Lorentz) factor, But time have a ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it?

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it? For example: traveling to Alpha Centauri Based on me reading this site: ...
1
vote
2answers
521 views

deriving a Lorentz transfomation for velocity vector components

If $S'$ and $S$ are two different inertial reference frames and $S$ moves along the $x$ axis of $S$ in a standard configuration, then the Lorentz transformation will be: $$x'=\gamma(v)[x-\beta ct]$$ ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass? [duplicate]

Today, in my high school physics class, we had an introductory class on electromagnetism. My teacher explained at some point that an object with a very high speed (he said it started to get somewhat ...
1
vote
3answers
176 views

Special Relativity [closed]

Could someone explain to me how special relativity works? I know there are thousands of sources and databases of knowledge out there, but I find it difficult to understand, even after reading up on ...
2
votes
1answer
199 views

Vector transformation in special relativity

Please note that I am very new on this website so have some difficulties in writings as required here but trying really hard to learn quickly. La-Tex is the main problem but please understand me that ...
1
vote
2answers
370 views

Special relativity, spacetime, velocity and units

We all know that space and time are the fundamental units, means no mathematical expression can express their relation to other variable fundamentally. But as we know that moving rod has a contracted ...
0
votes
1answer
296 views

Time Contraction

This is my first time posting on this site. I am a computer programmer that stumbled across a physics text book and have a question on special relativity. So firstly, I understand that there is no ...
1
vote
2answers
367 views

What is the relativistic action of a massive particle?

all Lorentz observers watching a particle move will compute the same value for the quantity $$ds^2 = -(c \, dt)^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2,$$ $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ and ''ds/c'' is then ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

How does light travel create time travel violating causality?

Saw a question about faster than light travel... I still have the same question though none of the answers offered any resolution for me. It is so summarily assumed by all physicists and commentaries ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Could we have assumed the speed of light to be different in different reference frames?

Ptolemy's model of universe assumes that our earth is the static center of universe and everything else move relative to it (ref: The grand design ch:3). This model would give us a consistent picture ...
1
vote
2answers
276 views

Is there a “present state” of distant stars if simultaneity is relative?

Special relativity theory says simultaneity is relative, meaning that different observers will not agree on what happened first and what second. Does it then make sense to say that looking at distant ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is 2.5x speed of light possible between two objects?

These news are in Finnish: http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/Kaukaisin+havaittu+galaksi+et%C3%A4%C3%A4ntyy+maasta+valoa+nopeammin/a1305618680897 The main excerpt is: "Distant galaxy moves away from us as ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Noether's charge due to lorentz transformation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What conservation law corresponds to Lorentz boosts? For a relativistic free particle, What is the Noether charge generated due to Lorentz transformations? What is ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

Is there any law that prevents an object with mass to become massless?

I got into a discussion with my physics teacher about the speed of light and I asked What if an object with mass was to lose mass as it gained speed-- would that allow for an object to eventually ...
3
votes
1answer
275 views

How would an observer perceive movement on a train that's travelling near the speed of light?

Person A is on Earth and a train (or whatever you want to imagine) travels past him at near the speed of light. How would person A perceive movement on the ship? If time is slowed on the ship from the ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Relativistic momentum

I have been trying to derive why relativistic momentum is defined as $p=\gamma mv$. I set up a collision between 2 same balls ($m_1 = m_2 = m$). Before the collision these two balls travel one ...
4
votes
2answers
539 views

How do I derive the transformation law of a Weyl spinor under a Lorentz transformation?

Let $\xi$ be a spinor. If $(\theta ,\phi)$ are the parameters of a rotation and pure Lorentz transformation, then how can we prove that the transformation rule for $\xi$ can be written as $$\xi ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

When moving fast Time slows down Vs speeds up

I was watching an old cartoon movie where a scientist makes a gadget, which when bound on the wrist, freezes the movement of the whole world. So, that one may do 100s of things in a single second. ...
0
votes
4answers
442 views

Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

What was Albert Einstein's proof for $E=mc^2$?

Most people know the famous equation: $$E=mc^2$$ What were his steps of thinking for this equation that helped us discover so much about our world?
15
votes
1answer
3k views

How realistic is the game “A slower speed of light”?

The game "A slower speed of light" from MIT claims to simulate effects of special relativity: Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the ...
-1
votes
1answer
108 views

What else does the fabric of space-time do?

I know that, the fabric of space is bended so there is a path for another planet to follow to cause gravity I.E. the sun and the earth ( i think) Is htere any othe rthing's the fabric of space-time ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

Special Relativity & Mirror Reflection

If you move at $5$ $ms^-$$^1$ towards a plane mirror, your reflection moves $10$ $ms^-$$^1$ towards you. But what happens if you're moving much faster, say $0.8c$? Would your reflection move at ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Minkowski diagram, hyperbola and invariant quantity of relativity

I have heard of the invariant quantity $\Delta s$ in relativity for which I have stumbled upon an equation $\Delta s^2 = \Delta x^2 - c \Delta t^2$. This reminds me of hyperbola, which has general ...
13
votes
9answers
588 views

How to explain (pedagogically) why there is 4 spacetime dimensions while we see only the 3 spatial dimesions?

I have been asked this question by a student, but I was able and in the same time incapable to give a good answer for this without equations, so do you have ideas how one can explain this in a simple ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

What equations do I use to do basic time dilation problems?

I understand the concepts of relativity, but I don't know where to go to set up equations to do any actual calculations. For example, what equations would I use to find out the following: A ship ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Violation of Newton's 3rd law and momentum conservation [closed]

Why and when does Newton's 3rd law violate in relativistic mechanics? Check this link.
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Airplane example of special relativity

I'm struggling with an introductory example of special relativity. We haven't done the math yet so I would like an explanation based only on the fact that the speed of light is the same in every ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Time dilation $t'=(1-\frac{v}{c})t$ instead of $t'=\frac{1}{\gamma} t$

Suppose we have a train moving. When the origin of train's frame coincides with the origin of observers frame; the the time is set to zero. At that very instant, a photon is emitted from train towards ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Testing covariance of an expression?

This is something I've been unsure of for a while but still don't quite get. How does one tell whether an expression (e.g. the Dirac equation) is covariant or not? I get it for a single tensor, but ...
6
votes
2answers
322 views

The notion called aether

I am trying to learn relativity theory and going through an introductory text on special relativity. I stumbled on the Michelson-Morley experiment. The book claims (accounts) that the result of this ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Relativistic mass and imaginary mass

The (relativistic) mass of an object measured by an observer in the $xyz$-frame is given by $$m = \frac{m_{rest}}{\sqrt{1 - \left(\frac{v}{c}\right)^2}}.$$ Mathematically $v$ could be greater than the ...
2
votes
2answers
279 views

Speed of Entropy change

If time in systems moving with different speed goes differently, does speed of entropy change differ in these systems? (is "speed of entropy change" a valid term? can we compare them?)
-1
votes
1answer
194 views

Faster than light due to reference position [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Travelling faster than the speed of light Please try to follow and clarify me I've been curious about this for a long time as it seems a bit paradox due to the rule that ...
4
votes
2answers
667 views

The order of seeing event in different spacetimes

Assume this question: Three events A, B, C are seen by observer O to occur in the order ABC. Another observer O$^\prime$ sees the events to occur in the order CBA. Is it possible that a third ...
1
vote
1answer
885 views

Minkowski diagram and time dilation

After i figured out how to show length contraction in this topic. I tried to use a similar way to show time dilation in Minkowski diagram. Time dilation means that time interval between two events is ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Minkowski diagram and length contraction

The length contraction means that an object is the longest in the frame in which it is at rest. Lets assume i have a meter stick with length $\Delta x$ in my rest frame which is $x,ct$ and i want to ...
0
votes
4answers
1k views

Find total energy and momentum of an moving electron in a rest frame

I have an electron moving with speed $u'$ in a frame $S'$ moving with speed $v'$ relative to a rest frame $S$. How do I find the total energy and momentum of the electron in the rest frame $S$? I ...
4
votes
1answer
264 views

What do I see if I move quickly past a charge surrounded by iron filings?

This might be a straightforward exercise, in which case I apologize. Suppose I surround a charge by iron filings initially oriented in some fixed direction, and I then move past the charge at an ...
-2
votes
1answer
68 views

Assuming collision , are there fundamental forces associated with absorbtion?

I just learned that strong and weak nuclear forces relate to decay/emission. I know absorbtion depends on Energy levels(QM) and heat(thermodynamics , kinetic energy , entropy) and E = gamma mc^2 ( ...