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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Where's the energy in a boosted capacitor?

Suppose I look at a parallel plate capacitor in its rest frame and calculate the electrostatic energy, $E$. Next, I look at the same capacitor in a primed frame boosted in the direction perpendicular ...
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1answer
381 views

Does special relativity unify the two phenomena at the base of Faraday's flux law (was Feynman wrong in this case)?

Consider Faraday's flux law for the EMF generated in a conductor loop: $$ \varepsilon = - \frac{d \phi}{dt},$$ where $\varepsilon$ is the EMF, and $\phi$ is the magnetic flux through the loop. ...
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3answers
163 views

Correct expression for D'Alembert operator in $c=1$ units

In QFT texts with $c=1$ units (most of them), D'Alembert operator is written as: $$\Box ={\partial^2 \over \partial t^2} - \nabla^2$$ For pedagogical purposes, however, some texts don't set $c=1$, ...
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1answer
467 views

Is there a stationary frame of reference?

My understanding of relativity is at the beginner level, so please bear with me to help a beginner to understand. Something which I don't understand is consider if you travel close to the speed of ...
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3answers
384 views

Setting up a local-coordinate system in space-time using only a single clock and light beams

I have a question to ask about the operationalist view of space-time. I am a mathematician who happens to be interested in physics, so if anyone thinks that my question is a silly or vague one, please ...
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0answers
32 views

Run with speed of light with a mirror in hand [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Reflection At Speed of Light Imagine you are able to run with the speed of light holding a mirror in your hand. Now will you be able to see yourself in the mirror?
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3answers
494 views

Relativistic basic question - four vector, Lorentz matrix

I have heard relativistics only very compressed during my student time. Now I looked up the definitions again and a question comes into my mind: A contravariant vector is transformed like this: ...
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2answers
96 views

Is it part of special relativity that mass possessing energy is more dense?

I was reading http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/hillis/hillis_p2.html and it says that a charged battery weighs more than a dead one or a rotating object weighs more than a stationary one (i.e. mass ...
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1answer
116 views

particle accelerator in space

I'm attempting to learn special relativity and i'm having trouble calculating velocity and momentum for each part of the system after interactions. I wanted to know how fast a linear accelerator and ...
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2answers
183 views

Where might hertz per dioptre actually be useful?

I once came across the strange, artificial unit "hertz per dioptre", which is dimensionally equivalent to "metres per second". Could this unit, by some stretch of the imagination, be used in some ...
4
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2answers
1k views

Graviton and photons interaction

If one believes in the theory of gravitons then by viewing a black hole you see gravitons affect photons. This in turn leads to the conclusion that force carrier's mass equivalences allow them to be ...
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2answers
863 views

Special Relativity: Transforming Maxwell's equations

I'm working through Einstein's original 1905 paper*, and I'm having trouble with the section on the transformation of Maxwell's equations from rest to moving frame. The paper proceeds as follows: ...
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1answer
394 views

What is the maximum time dilation between two objects, if one is standing still and the other is moving at $c$?

What is the maximum ratio in the rate of change in time in reference to object $A$ which is standing still and object $B$ which is moving at the speed of light?
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1answer
100 views

Relativity exposition from the “naïve” viewpoint

A naïve observational viewpoint doesn't automatically try to correct for signal delays. In other words, the time co-ordinate is retarded. For example: In popular expositions of relativity you'll ...
0
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1answer
81 views

reltivistic action is negative or positive number? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why lagrangian is negative number? In the special relativistic action for a massive point particle, $$\int_{t_i}^{t_f}\mathcal {L}dt,$$ where the Lagrangian $$\mathcal ...
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2answers
415 views

Why lagrangian is negative number?

In the special relativistic action for a massive point particle, $$\int_{t_i}^{t_f}\mathcal {L}dt,$$ why is the Lagrangian $$\mathcal {L}=-E_o\gamma^{-1}$$ a negative number?
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1answer
212 views

Confusion about time shift in special relativity

I have never really found a way to comfortably comprehend the idea of time shift even though I know its not the hard part of relativity theory. In that light, can someone point out what is wrong or ...
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1answer
111 views

what is use of relativistic action?

this is relativistic action: $$S=\int_C \mathcal {L}dt$$ where the $\mathcal{L}$ is $-m_oc^2\gamma^{-1}$ what is use of relativistic action!?
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2answers
285 views

Proof for $p=\gamma_Pmu$

As I'm reading about Relativistic Momentum, my book states the following: $$p=m \frac{\Delta x}{\Delta t}=m\frac{\Delta x}{\sqrt{(1-u^2/c^2)}\Delta t}=\frac{mu}{\sqrt{1-u^2/c^2}}=\gamma_Pmu$$ ...
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2answers
259 views

Does the mass of a falling body decrease?

Let's say a body with m=2kg falls from 100 meters. Obviously it's speed would be far lower than the speed of light so the change in mass (if it exists) would be very tiny. However, I know that if the ...
3
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1answer
75 views

Single electron non-perturbing detector

I am designing an experiment where I need to trigger the release of an electron by a radioactive source (Sr-90). The easy way to do it is to use a thin scintillator right after the source collimator. ...
0
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1answer
62 views

Speed of light and lorentzian factors [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can a photon have no mass and still travel at the speed of light? If light travels at the speed of light, and anything with rest mass will experience relativistic ...
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3answers
483 views

where the proper time is invariant why $d\tau$ is not zero?

where the proper time is invariant why change (differential) in proper time $d\tau$ is not zero? $\Delta \tau=\tau_f-\tau_i$ as i know. $d(invariant)=0$ note to comment: action $S=-m_oc^2\int_C d\tau$ ...
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1answer
134 views

Can the zeroth-component of a 4-velocity be negative?

Is it allowed to have the zeroth-component of a four-velocity be negative? I presume the answer is yes, but I just want to make sure. Many thanks. This is referring to $V^0$ for a curved space ...
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1answer
1k views

Does the increase of (relativistic) mass, while flying near speed of light, has any impact on astronauts? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology? I am asking myself this question for a few day. What is the answer on: Does the increase of ...
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2answers
108 views

Why does isotropy principle require existence of inertial transformation when axes are reversed?

Assuming one spatial and one termporal dimension, let's assume an intertial transformation $A(v)$ as follows: $$ \begin{pmatrix} t' \\ x' \\ \end{pmatrix} = A(v) \begin{pmatrix} t \\ x \\ ...
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3answers
973 views

Does quantum mechanics allow faster than light (FTL) travel?

Let's suppose I initially have a particle with a nice and narrow wave function[1] (I will leave these unnormed): $$e^{-\frac{x^2}{a}}$$ where $a$ is some small number (to make it narrow). Let's also ...
6
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1answer
537 views

Is there any uncertainty between mass and proper length or time?

I was trying to naively draw a parallel between special relativity and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I try to understand uncertainty principle as a consequence of 4-position and 4-momentum ...
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2answers
625 views

What is 'past null infinity'?

For example, in the sentence "there is no incoming radiation at past null infinity".
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1answer
326 views

Can the overall sign of the Minkowski metric be changed?

If we take the Minkowski metric, $\eta_{\mu\nu}=(1,-1,-1,-1)$, instead of the usual $(-1,1,1,1)$, does this change the form of the Lorentz Transform? I think the standard Lorentz Transform looks like: ...
10
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2answers
568 views

What are the consequences of relativistic angular velocities?

If I take a rod of some radius $r$ and length $L$, and I spin this rod with angular velocity $\omega$. How would the geometry of the rod appear to an observer as one converges to $c$? What are the ...
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5answers
2k views

How a spacecraft travelling near light speed avoid asteroids?

How would a spacecraft traveling near light speed avoid a (relatively dense group of) asteroids? Or suppose such spacecraft is designed, how would the physics work for steering it inside such a ...
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4answers
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How is the speed of light constant in all directions for all observers?

Please imagine the following thought-experiment: Order of Events: Pulse - A single pulse of light is emitted from the light towards the mirror Reflect - The pulse hits the mirror and is ...
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2answers
727 views

D'Alembert operator and special relativity

We are currently covering special relativity in the theoretical physics lectures where we defined: $$ \mathrm ds^2 := \mathrm dt^2 - \mathrm dx^2 - \mathrm dy^2 - \mathrm dz^2 $$ In Road to Reality, ...
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2answers
561 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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2answers
157 views

Speed astronauts measure moving at the speed of light

Lets suppose a spaceship travels with v = 0.9c relative to the Earth. The time inside the spaceship would pass slower than on Earth. Would the astronauts measure a different speed (that means, a ...
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1answer
178 views

Does photon possesses no time to cover any arbitrary distance?

Photon travel 8 minutes (with speed $c$) from the sun to reach the earth. Any particle (or space-ship) with velocity $0.99 c$ covers the same distance (93 millions km) within less than 2 minutes ...
3
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1answer
174 views

What's wrong with this reactionless drive?

I think this is analogues for the Woodward effect, but macroscopic: We assume a spacecraft consisting of a broomstick, a donut and lots of gear for storing and transfering mechanical energy. Take the ...
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6answers
312 views

What can $E=mc^2$ do? [closed]

In the famous equation $E=mc^2$, the variables stand for: $E$ is energy, $m$ is mass, and $c$ is the speed of light (in vacuum). And I understand the equation fairly but limited in knowing in ...
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1answer
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Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology?

If a person was sitting on a craft that has accelerated to near light speed speed from Earth (e.g. 99.999% of light speed) would there be any impact on his or her human biology due to relativistic ...
8
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4answers
913 views

Potential energy in $E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$?

Let's consider $$E_f^2=(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2$$ where the $mc^2$ is the rest energy due to the rest mass -- in Finnish "lepomassa". $$ \sqrt{(mc^2)^2+(pc)^2} - mc^2~=~(\gamma-1)mc^2$$ is the kinetic ...
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0answers
224 views

Matrix manipulation for Dirac matrices

From the Dirac equation in gamma matrices, we know that $$\gamma^i=\begin{pmatrix} 0 & \sigma^i \\ -\sigma^i & 0 \end{pmatrix}$$ and $$\gamma^0=\begin{pmatrix} I & 0 \\ 0 & -I ...
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2answers
86 views

If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and not the ground,

If airplanes' highest speed depends directly on the air it is moving through and not the ground, does it mean we can build a time machine if only the air moves near the speed of light?
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3answers
996 views

Extended Rigid Bodies in Special Relativity

I was reading Landau & Lifshitz's Classical Theory of Fields and I noticed that they mention that an extended rigid body isn't "relativistically correct". For example, if you consider a rigid ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Charge conjugation in Dirac equation

According to Dirac equation we can write, \begin{equation} \left(i\gamma^\mu( \partial_\mu +ie A_\mu)- m \right)\psi(x,t) = 0 \end{equation} We seek an equation where $e\rightarrow -e $ and which ...
3
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3answers
364 views

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? And what is proper acceleration?

Why geometrically four acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line? Geometrically, four-acceleration is a curvature vector of a world line. Therefore, the magnitude of the ...
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2answers
4k views

Is the “How to break the speed of light” minute physics video wrong?

I am referring to this video, on YouTube, by minutephysics, which has quite a lot of views. In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the ...
4
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1answer
200 views

Intervals as infinitesimals of same order (Landau & Lifshitz)

I don't understand the following statement in Landau & Lifshitz, Classical Theory of Fields, p.5: $ds$ and $ds'$ are infinitesimals of same order. [...] It follows that $ds^2$ and $ds'^2$ must ...
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2answers
208 views

Can time dilation be explained by limitations on computing power?

Are there any ideas of explaining the time dilatation as limits in "computing power"? What I mean is basically that the greater is a concentrated mass, the harder is to "compute" what happens in such ...
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0answers
230 views

I need to understand the Lorentz transformation [closed]

Two observers A and B, in different initial system describe the same physical event with their particular, different space time coordinates . Let the coordinate of the event be $x^\mu$ for observer A ...