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)

0
votes
2answers
149 views

Does the speed of light have a range of speeds due to medium-dependency?

An EM particle-wave propagates in a vacuum at a constant speed $c$, independent of the source/receiver but dependent on most mediums it moves through. Since the vacuum is a medium, and if logically ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Indices of a Pauli matrix transformed in the Lorentz representation

When Peskin and Schroeder want to prove a Fierz identity on page 51, they make use of the identity $$(\sigma^{\mu})_{\alpha \beta} (\sigma_{\mu})_{\gamma\delta} = 2 \epsilon_{\alpha \gamma} ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Relativistic Kill Vehicle

What would happen if a significantly supra-molecular object (say ranking from grams to low kilotons) would be accelerated to relativistic speeds (>.10 c) such that its worldline would intersect with a ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Hydrogen atom Ionization by Magnetic Field [closed]

The source of a magnetic field (it could be a magnetic dipole) is moving at relativistic speed. This magnetic field encounters a hydrogen atom at rest with respect to the source. Will this encounter ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Proof that 4-potential exists from Gauss-Faraday field equation

This is a problem concerning covariant formulation of electromagnetism. Given $$\partial_{[\alpha} F_{\beta\gamma]}~=~ 0 $$ how does one prove that $F$ can be obtained from a 4-potential $A$ such ...
2
votes
2answers
161 views

What exactly is meant by saying that two events had been “simultaneous in an inertial frame”?

In order to address my question based on a concrete example setup let the following two separate events be given: participants $A$ and $J$ encountering each other in passing (additional participants ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Time changing potential gives rise to “force”?

Imagine a charged particle inside a Faraday cage (i.e. charge on outside, zero electric field inside, but non-zero electric potential on the inside). Suppose the charge distributed on the outside of ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Poynting vector from 1st term in Lienard-Wiechert field

I start with 1st (non-radiative) term from Lienard-Wiechert fields: $$ \vec{E} = q (1-v^2) \frac{\vec{R_{t'}} - \vec{v}R_{t'}}{(R_{t'} - \vec{v}\vec{R_{t'}})^3} $$ $$ \vec{H} = - q (1-v^2) ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

Lorentz invariance vs. covariance

I am a bit confused whether relativistic theory is Lorentz invariant or covariant. And please explain why?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

How length contraction will work in this case?

Observer is in a spaceship XYZ. In front of him a rod AB is travelling at velocity V. Attached to the 2 ends of the rod are light sources(Red and Green) at different heights. Now these 2 sources emit ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Relativistic Momentum in One Frame

(I) What is the momentum of a proton traveling at v = 0.75c? This problem requires a simple substitution. Using the equation $\ p_{rel} = m*u * (1/\sqrt(1 - v^2/c^2))$, where $v$ is the speed of a ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Calculating threshold energy of particle reactions

{..everything that follows is in the domain of relativistic kinematics..} Say a particle A collides with a particle B at rest and produces particles C and D. What exactly is the definition of ...
-1
votes
1answer
71 views

4-momentum of massless photons

The time component of a particle's 4-momentum is $$ E'=\frac{E-up}{\sqrt{1-u^2/c^2}}\tag{1} $$ Now suppose it is photons that you are observing from a system moving at $u$ on a line towards ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

What's the phenomenon where it looks like more particles exist at relativistic speeds?

From the perspective of an observer moving close to the speed of light, the surrounding environment has very high energy which leads to pair production. What is the name of this phenomenon? I can't ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Explanation of a proper time (an add)

I have read on web that: Proper time $\tau$ is a time interval measured by a clock which at rest relative to the observer. But lets consider this problem: The plane is flying with a speed ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

Maxwell's equations invariant under all linear transformations?

Maxwell's equations in tensor notation read: \begin{align} \partial_\mu F^{\mu\nu} &= J^\nu \\ \partial_{[\lambda}F_{\mu\nu]} &= 0 \end{align} Consider doing a general coordinate ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Lorentz contraction in continuously accelerating rod

I was having a little thought experiment about Lorentz contraction, and I couldn't really figure out what would actually happen. Note that I'm not looking for a answer 'this effect is barely ...
0
votes
4answers
136 views

What is the proper time interval for simultaneous events?

Let us take a rod of length L and the two ends A and B have two photon guns. A----------------------B Let the end A fire a pulse (event ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Is there any evidence for the increase of mass due to time dilation also causing a strengthening in said mass' gravity? [duplicate]

Logically it make sense that gravity would strengthen with an increase of mass but I want to know if there is evidence for this.
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Derivation of four-velocity using proper time?

Let us say we have an accelerating particle. 4-velocity is given by the derivative of 4-position with respect to proper time. Derivations that I have seen say that: $$d\tau=\frac{dt}{\gamma}$$ But why ...
7
votes
3answers
334 views

Recommended books for a “relativity for poets” class?

I teach physics at a community college and have developed a new course titled "Relativity for Poets," which I will be teaching for the first time in spring 2015. As implied by the title, it's a ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Electric fields and magnetic fields [closed]

I would love to know if this is roughly correct with regards magnetic fields. I recently heard someone say that there are people still looking for monopoles. I said I don't think that can be true as ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

In special relativity, is it correct to say the speed of a body B relative to A is the same as measured by every observer?

Here, two objects A and B are moving relative to each other. I use the Einstein velocity addition formula $v = {v_1 + v_2\over 1 + {v_1 v_2\over c^2}}$ to calculate the relative speed between A and ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Dimensionless numbers in relativistic theory

Dimensionless numbers allow physicists and engineers to extend the physical modeling landscape by reducing otherwise complex mathematics to a simple proportional relationship. For example by assuming ...
7
votes
6answers
780 views

Is (rest) mass conserved in special relativity?

I don't understand why it is said that the (rest) mass of a system is not conserved in relativity. I mean, the momentum of a system is conserved (i.e.: it remains constant in a frame of reference ...
4
votes
1answer
382 views

Can a relativistic quantum particle be completely confined into a finite hole?

If we write the Klein-Gordon equation in this form \begin{equation*} c^2 \hbar^2 \nabla^2 \Psi = \hbar^2 \ddot{\Psi} + 2i\hbar (U - mc^2) \dot{\Psi} + U (2mc^2 - U) \Psi \end{equation*} we have a ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Matrix dimensions in the spacetime interval equation don't seem to agree? (Possible notation misunderstanding)

The spacetime interval in flat space can be expressed as $(\Delta s)^2 = g_{\alpha \beta} \Delta x^\alpha \Delta x^\beta$. I understand covariant, $x_a$, and contravariant, $x^a$, vectors to be row ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Relativity and Current in Wire

If an observer is stationary relative to a current-carrying wire in which electrons are moving, why does the observer measure the density of moving electrons to be the same as the density of electrons ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Proof that spacetime interval is invariant

I'm trying to understand the proof that spacetime interval is invariant under for any two inertial observers. I know it's easy to arrive at the result using Lorentz transformation but I'm trying to ...
0
votes
5answers
196 views

What is the significance of the “squared” in $E =mc^2$? [duplicate]

If $c$ is just an arbitrary constant, why don't we say $E=mc$ and define the value of $c$ to be $\sqrt{299 792 458} \approx 17314$ meters per second? Or, why not use $E=mc^3$?
0
votes
2answers
54 views

A spin on relativity's twin paradox?

What if a twin is in a rocket in a synchronous orbit with the equator of the Earth while the second twin is standing at the equator watching his twin in space. If we use 0.87c for ease of calculation ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Relativistic Momentum and Energy - Lorentz Transformations [closed]

The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Lab is colliding fully ionized gold (Au) nuclei accelerated to an energy of 200 GeV per nucleon. Each Au Nucleus contains 197 ...
-1
votes
1answer
129 views

Stone vs. Atomic Bomb

What would do more damage, a B53, a 9 megaton uranium bomb, or a medium sized stone (2 kg) stone throw at 90% the speed of light. One thing that I know that will have to be considered is that fact ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Theory of relativity. Relative to what? [duplicate]

If I properly understand relativity, time ticks faster for an object sitting still than for an object passing by. So, in a universe with only two objects which have the same "age", object A is ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Exactly which components of special relativity are contained in Minkowski spacetime?

In other words, which components or concepts in special relativity are reflected in Minkowski spacetime? If I'm not mistaken, Lorentz covariance is one of these concepts, correct? I'm trying to ...
1
vote
3answers
113 views

Dark matter: Will Special Relativity hold?

Part 1: It’s been said that dark matter makes up about 26 % of the universe. The restart of LHC would be dealing with the existence of dark matter also. Consider a situation that the results are ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Charged particle under a uniform electric field

Suppose a charge particle $q$ starts to move without initial velocity under the influence of a uniform electric field $E$ pointing in the positive $x$ direction. Express its position vector in ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Invariance of Maxwell equations [closed]

Is there an easy way to show that the Maxwell equations $$ \partial_\alpha F_{\beta\gamma} + \partial_\gamma F_{\alpha\beta} + \partial_\beta F_{\gamma\alpha} = 0 $$ are invariant under a Lorentz ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Composition of Lorentz Transformations

If a particle is moving in the $x$-direction with velocity $c/2$, then the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda = \begin{pmatrix}\gamma & -\beta \gamma & 0 & 0 \\ -\beta \gamma & \gamma ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Would Special Relativity Predict Time Dilation of a Geostationary Satellite Compared to an Observer on Earth?

Consider a geostationary satellite at some arbitrary distance above the Earth's equator and consider a person directly below it, standing on the Earth's equator. Both satellite and person exist on the ...
1
vote
2answers
131 views

Special Relativity - Distance Not Increased?

I just watched the movie Interstellar and the question was asked of why/how high-speed travel would slow time within an area. Curious as I am, I watched several YouTube videos to quickly 'educate' ...
6
votes
2answers
137 views

Why does the minus sign in the Minkowski metric mean that nothing can move backwards in time?

I just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkCWywO93b8#t=27 and there Mr. Cox states that because of the minus sign in the Minkowski metric nothing can move backwards in time. It's ...
-4
votes
2answers
67 views

Speed of light yes or no? [closed]

First off I am not a physics student: I am more of a science enthusiast. My question pertains to time and the speed of light: According to Einstein, no mass can travel at the speed of light. Now, ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Intrinsic CPT phase

Under charge conjugation C, spatial inversion P and time reversal T transformations, there are possible intrinsic phases (more for this on Chapter 9, The Quantum Theory of Field v1 by S. Weinberg): ...
-5
votes
2answers
102 views

Einstein's mass-energy equivalence [closed]

Einstein's wonder equation $E=m c^2$,if we take energy is proportional to the mass, we can put single constant to make that equivalent equation. We all know that ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Relativistic Kinematics - 2-Body Particle Decay

Consider the scenario where a particle of mass $M$ decays into two lighter particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$. In the center of mass frame (i.e. $\mathbf{p}_1$ and $\mathbf{p}_2$, the momenta of the ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Could any object have zero mass? [duplicate]

Energy and mass are interrelated. As everything has energy could any object be massless? For example a photon is a packet of energy but still it is considered to be a massless particle. Why is it so?
3
votes
2answers
368 views

Imaginary time?

If we begin with the equation for time dilation: $$ \Delta t^\prime = \frac{\Delta t}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} $$ Now, for a particle moving in space with no potential energy, $$ E = \frac{1}{2} ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding circular polarization vectors ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

SR: vector field and change of reference [closed]

If $U$ and $V$ are vector fields, then the derivative of $U$ along $V$ is the vector field $\nabla _V U$ with components $$\nabla _V U^a=V^b \frac{\partial U^a}{\partial x^b}.$$ I would like to verify ...