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)

3
votes
1answer
213 views

Definition of Lorentz transformations as transformations of the universe?

Following Arnold's [1] definition of the universe as an affine space $ A ^4$ with the group $\mathbb R ^4$ acting on it, we may define a galilean transformation as an affine map $g:A^4 \to A^4$ which ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Space as a function of time? [duplicate]

So - a little bit of background. Obviously from Einstein's equations it's shown that energy can be converted to matter and vice versa; in essence, energy and matter are different manifestations of the ...
1
vote
1answer
444 views

Lorentz boost matrix in terms of four-velocity

As I understand it, the value of a 4-vector $x$ in another reference frame ($x'$) with the same orientation can be derived using the Lorentz boost matrix $\bf{\lambda}$ by $x'=\lambda x$. More ...
1
vote
0answers
73 views

Clocks tick steadily, so why is there no photon time? [duplicate]

Consider a photon bouncing left and right between two mirrors in a photon clock. Seen from inside the clock, the photon bounces at a constant frequency. Time ticks regularly. No matter whether the ...
0
votes
1answer
244 views

Nuclear fission or fusion occurring at or near the speed of light

Suppose a device or object were traveling at or near the speed of light, and fission or fusion occurred while in this state of motion, creating an enormous blast, what would occur? Would this cause an ...
0
votes
1answer
317 views

What is the significance of Einsteins postulate on speed of light?

Einstein postulated that the speed of light in free space is the same for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the light source, where we may think of an observer as an imaginary ...
11
votes
2answers
320 views

Proving invariance of $ds^2$ from the invariance of the speed of light

I've started today the book of Landau and Lifshitz Vol.2: The Classical Theory of Fields $\S 2$. They start from the invariance of the speed of light, express it as the fact that $$c^2(\Delta ...
5
votes
1answer
206 views

What is the theoretical upper limit on the rigidity of a material?

Take a perfectly rigid metal rod of length $2\ell$ and some uniform linear density. Place one end (‘south’) at $(0,-\ell)$ and the other (‘north’) at $(0, \ell)$. Over some reasonably short time ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Einstein know about Michelson-Morley experiment?

The second postulate of special relativity deals with constancy of light in inertial reference frames. But, how did Einstein came to this conclusion? Did he knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment? ...
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Showing the Poincare invariance of a term

I know that this is a simple question! But I would like to know the details. How we can show that the term $$A_\mu(x)\dot{x}^\mu$$ is global and local Poincare invariant? Where $A_\mu(x)$ is ...
0
votes
0answers
151 views

At near light speeds, are small objects in your path a problem?

A mental exercise: A space ship is accelerating toward me from far away. As it approaches me, I can observe its acceleration. This high speed ship keeps accelerating faster toward the speed of light. ...
0
votes
3answers
214 views

Question on energy mass conversion

I have a question regarding the energy-mass conversion. Well, when a particle starts moving with a speed comparable to that of light, its (relativistic) mass increases that means some matter is ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Su­per­lu­mi­nal in­ter­ac­tions

The fact that photons emitted from an electric-dipole active atom cannot be spatially localized better than to the near-field zone of the atom is seen as the origin of genuine superluminality. ...
1
vote
3answers
262 views

Relativity and photon interactions

A particle's interaction (with anything it can interact with) can be thought of as it making a measurement of the physical quantity associated with the interaction, (e.g. electric field in case of the ...
1
vote
2answers
662 views

Will Earth clock be slower than aeroplane clock when viewed from another planet?

I know that a clock placed on an aeroplane will have slowed with respect to a clock placed on earth because the more our velocities are, compared to the speed of light, the more the time slows down. ...
0
votes
1answer
380 views

What really happens with Time Dilation? [duplicate]

I know if you move your time moves slower than someone who is stationary, by Lorentz's transformation. However, I don't get how this happens. What does it mean when time moves slower? How does it ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Muons Internal Clocks and Time Dilation? [closed]

I don't get how time dilation affects the half-life of muons? Time is just a tool that is used by humans how does that affect the internal clocks of elementary particles?
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Gravitational field of a particle in SR

According to special relativity, what is the gravitational field due to a particle moving with a constant velocity v? Would it be correct to assume that the particle has a stronger gravitational field ...
-1
votes
3answers
373 views

Velocity of the photon

As far as I know photon travels in a wave pattern, that means it has $x$ and $y$ axis velocity components. If photon travels along $x$ axis, then what is it's maximum $y$ axis velocity?
5
votes
1answer
215 views

Does length contraction affect travel time?

If an astronaut leaves planet $A$ for planet $B$ at speed $v$, will the time (measured by the astronaut's clock) that it takes for the astronaut to reach planet $B$ be less than the distance between ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Fundamental invariants of the electromagnetic field

It is a standard exercise in relativistic electrodynamics to show that the electromagnetic field tensor $F_{\mu\nu}$, whose components equal the electric $E^i=cF^{i0}$ and magnetic ...
2
votes
0answers
128 views

Majorana equation and non-invariance of spinor representation under discrete Lorentz transformations

Here I asked about getting an equation for two-component spinor as the alternative for Dirac equation. It was found that it is called Majorana equation. It may be easily derived by using historical ...
3
votes
2answers
476 views

Peskin and Schroeder Equation 3.23

I've been trying (for a while) to prove that $S^{\mu\nu}:=\frac{i}{4}\left[\gamma^\mu,\,\gamma^\nu\right]$ is a representation of the Lorentz Lie algebra, that is, to prove that it satisfies the ...
1
vote
2answers
267 views

Twin Paradox in case of two twins that don't meet

If there are two twins. such that one of them goes on a space voyage maintaining a constant velocity, and that one never returns to earth, and the twins decide to never meet but send information about ...
2
votes
1answer
233 views

Proper time in Nordstrom gravity

This wikipedia article claims that there are two interpretations of Nordstrom's scalar theory of gravity: 1) A scalar field theory on flat space. The reason why an apple falls is that its mass is ...
5
votes
3answers
250 views

Speed of light, lasers and mass

Hopefully this isn't a bad question. Light travels at the speed it does and nothing else can travel that fast because things have mass, correct? Or at least correct on an elementary level. And if ...
3
votes
1answer
428 views

Unitary Lorentz transformation on quantized Dirac spinor

I am stuck again on page 59 of Peskin and Schroeder. In particular, I do not know how they get equation (3.110). Let me first give some background in the way that I understand it (but I might be ...
1
vote
1answer
364 views

Trying to rhyme Peskin and Schroeder with Weinberg

This is a follow up question of this one. In the Vol 1, Weinberg derives how a unitary operator $U(\Lambda)$ acts on one-particle states, which is given by equation (2.5.2): \begin{equation} ...
2
votes
1answer
179 views

Question about Weinberg's derivation of a one-particle states under the Poincare group

I'm reading QFT: Vol 1 by Weinberg and I have a (perhaps trivial) question about a statement he makes on page 63. I can follow him to his derivation of equation (2.5.2): \begin{equation} P^\mu ...
1
vote
1answer
281 views

Combining relativistic velocities in the same direction using Lorentz transformation matrices

It is known that when combining the Lorentz Transforms of two frames with velocities $v_{1}$ and $v_{2}$ in the same direction it is equivalent of computing a Lorentz Transform of a single frame with ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Infinitesimal Lorentz transformation is antisymmetric

The Minkowski metric transforms under Lorentz transformations as \begin{align*}\eta_{\rho\sigma} = \eta_{\mu\nu}\Lambda^\mu_{\ \ \ \rho} \Lambda^\nu_{\ \ \ \sigma} \end{align*} I want to show that ...
8
votes
2answers
539 views

Do photons age in a medium?

According to special relativity, time starts to slow down as we increase our speed and eventually stops once we get to the speed of light. By that logic, photons don't age in a vacuum state as, to us, ...
3
votes
2answers
257 views

Time Slowing Down [duplicate]

I'd like to ask a question if I may about the relativity. When travelling at the speed of light(which is impossible for particles with masses) or very close to it, would it be me, myself, seeing my ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Does decrease in temperature affect mass $E=mc^2$?

My understanding of Quantum physics and String Theory is very basic and I don't yet have a grasp on the maths, but in my research I have come up with a question. Does a decrease in temperature also ...
3
votes
2answers
516 views

The signature of the metric and the definition of the electromagnetic tensor

I've read the definition of the electromagnetic field tensor to be ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

Equation for relativistic electron and two-component spinor

Recently I heard that there is some "alternate" equation for the Dirac one. It can be introduced if we refuse some properties of the theory describes the electron, which Dirac used in his original ...
7
votes
2answers
471 views

Can we show that time is orthogonal to space?

It's easy to show that the time we measure is "in a different direction" from the space directions we measure. However, it's not immediately obvious to me that these directions are orthogonal. How do ...
4
votes
2answers
374 views

Does the pilot of a rocket ship experience an asymptotic approach to the speed of light?

A question has recently come up that goes beyond my knowledge of special relativity. Suppose a pilot has his foot on the gas pedal of a rocket ship and keeps it applied to achieve a constant ...
7
votes
1answer
557 views

Peskin & Schroeder Chapter 3.1 EoM Lorentz Invariant under Lorentz Invariant Lagrangian

From Peskin & Schroeder QFT page 35: The Lagrangian formulation of field theory makes it especially easy to discuss Lorentz invariance. And equation of motion is automatically Lorentz ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

What “time” is it for or on Voyager 1? If you could be “still” in the Universe who fast would time be? [duplicate]

I just sent this to JPL but am not putting all my eggs in one basket so thought I would try some other clever people. :-) I think about physics and space quite a lot but I'm not a maths genius so do ...
2
votes
1answer
723 views

Understanding the time dilation calculation in Brian Cox's Doctor Who lecture

Background My son has just watched Brian Cox's fascinating "The Science of Doctor Who" lecture on space-time and was particularly intrigued by the part (at 22m:22s) where he said: Let us say that ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

About the standard derivation of the gravitational redshift

The objective is to derive the gravitational redshift ONLY from the Einstein's equivalence principle (E.E.P.), without using the whole theory of Relativity. This is the standard "informal" derivation ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

Principle of relativity - a second, equivalent form, using invariants

Most people state the principle of relativity like this: "The rules of physics must take the same form in all inertial frames." Question: is this an equivalent way of saying the same thing: ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

A problem about special relativity [closed]

i can't understand it clearly, so please help me!
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Maxwell's Equations using Differential Forms

Maxwell's Equations written with usual vector calculus are $$\nabla \cdot E=\rho/\epsilon_0 \qquad \nabla \cdot B=0$$ $$\nabla\times E=-\dfrac{\partial B}{\partial t} \qquad\nabla\times ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

(References) Study of Asymptotically Flat spacetimes

I am interested in studying the asymptotic structure of Minkowski spacetime in General Relativity. I believe most of the work in this area concerns the asymptotic structure of Minkowski space at null ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

Space contraction: what do we see

This is my opinion about what we will see. When the pipe arrive at the bar, we will be unable to see some part of it anymore (the pipe will absorb the light emitted by the bar), even if the pipe and ...
3
votes
1answer
267 views

Neglecting second order differentials

I am currently doing some Lorentz invariance exercises considering infinitesimal Lorentz transformations, and have been told to neglect second order differentials. It's not the first time I have come ...
0
votes
0answers
106 views

Transformation of a time-dependent acceleration to another frame

How do I transform a time-dependent acceleration between to rest frames? I was given a particular problem and while I found possibilities [1] [2] for acceleration-transformations when the acceleration ...
4
votes
3answers
299 views

If space and time are equivalent, what's Spin in time dimension

This troubles me: We are talking about time and space being equivalent, but still only consider Spin in the $x$, $y$ or $z$-direction. What's Spin in time dimension? Is it distinction between ...