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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Is it OK to see time dilation and (relativistic) mass increase as phenomena that avoid $c$ being reached? And how about length contraction?

I think I have been exposed since years ago to this line of reasoning: if $ v\to c $, then $ \Delta t \to \infty $. As $\displaystyle v=\frac{\Delta s}{\Delta t} $, it's like a natural reaction to ...
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1answer
42 views

Parity transformation is proper orthochronous?

In 3+1 dimensional spacetime the parity transformation is $$P^\mu_{\;\,\nu}=\begin{pmatrix}+1&&&\\&-1&&\\&&-1&\\&&&-1\end{pmatrix}.$$ This is ...
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1answer
81 views

Biot-Savart law from relativity

Few days ago I came by a derivation of STR from Bio-Savart law. Since then I have been trying to derive Bio-Savart law from STR. The derivation mentioned previously used two parallel current-carrying ...
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2answers
81 views

Why does choosing a time break covariance?

I'm reading that in EM theory, in hamiltonian formalism, we choose a specific reference frame with a specific time, and that this breaks covariance. Why? Surely it's simple because it's just stated ...
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4answers
94 views

What is the mass of a sphere?

A solid sphere of mass M is rotating along an axis. We can consider it as a collection of large number of point masses, every point mass is moving with respect to center of mass with velocity which ...
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Can quaternion math be used to model spacetime?

Quaternions are commonly used to model 4 dimensional systems where the quaternion consists of a real 3 dimensional vector and an imaginary scalar. So on the surface Quaternions seem well suited to ...
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0answers
31 views

Does the algebraic number field used to define spacetime always have to be the real numbers?

When we talk about Minkowski space, do we assume the field $K$ we are using is the real numbers? Why couldn't spacetime be made up of the rational numbers or something? Also, I was reading Arnold and ...
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3answers
141 views

How can a Physical law not be invariant?

In Relativity, both the old Galilean theory or Einstein's Special Relativity, one of the most important things is the discussion of whether or not physical laws are invariant. Einstein's theory then ...
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2answers
92 views

What spacelike, timelike and lightlike really mean?

Suppose we have two events $(x_1,y_1,z_1,t_1)$ and $(x_2,y_2,z_2,t_2)$, then we can define $$\Delta s^2 = -(c\Delta t)^2 + \Delta x^2 + \Delta y^2 + \Delta z^2$$ which is called the spacetime ...
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4answers
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Do all massless particles (e.g. photon, graviton, gluon) necessarily have the same speed $c$?

I suppose there was a discussion already on speed-of-gravity-and-speed-of-light. But I silly wonder whether all the massless mediators of four fundamental forces, i.e. Graviton: $g_{\mu\nu}$ ...
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1answer
35 views

Why do we restrict the maximal supercharge to 32?

Many supersymmetry textbook state that the maximal supersymmetry in any dimension has 32 hermitian supercharges. (Actually for lowest number of supersymmetry $N=1$ the highest dimension is $D=11$) I ...
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2answers
86 views

Is there any theory in physics that might support the existence of tachyons?

According to Einstein, we all know that light is the fastest thing and it's impossible to beat it's speed. But isn't there a way to go around this? I read somewhere that tachyons gain speed per the ...
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0answers
49 views

Rest masses, binding energy - mechanism for negative mass

Let us have an two objects (in a box) both of mass $m_0$ far from each other. They attract each other and at some moment their distance is close and they have substantial kinetic energy. Something ...
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2answers
68 views

Through relativity could a person be dead and alive at the same time?

For the purposes of the question ignore the fact that radiation and several other things would kill humans long before this. You and another person are jumping into a black hole and the other person ...
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2answers
86 views

Is FTL communication compatible with Lorentz ether theory?

I have come to understand, that faster-than-light communication is problematic with special relativity, because it leads to the possibility of sending signals into the past. I also read about the ...
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19 views

Averaged energies in particle collisions

Let's have (in CM frame) process $x + y \to x + y + z$, where $x, y, z$ correspond to (in general) different particles with non-zero masses. The total energy of process is $E$. How to calculate ...
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3answers
513 views

Why does nonlinearity in quantum mechanics lead to superluminal signaling?

I recently came across two nice papers on the foundations of quantum mechancis, Aaronson 2004 and Hardy 2001. Aaronson makes the statement, which was new to me, that nonlinearity in QM leads to ...
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0answers
49 views

Two spaceships are accelerating equally, uniformly on exactly parallel tracks. Does a rope suspended between them eventually rip?

This question is a variant of "Bell's spaceships problem". Rather than one spaceship following the other "on the same track", let the two spaceships accelerate "side by side", on exactly parallel ...
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178 views

Calculating time dilation for photon traveling towards a moving spaceship

Suppose a spaceship is moving away from the Earth at $0.5c$. When the spaceship is one light-year away from Earth, an observer on Earth sends a photon toward the spaceship. According to the observer ...
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114 views

Can the Cosmos itself be assumed as a reference frame?

Einstein believed that there are no reference frame in the universe in accord to his Special Relativity (SR). Now imagine a man, as the first observer, and his cat, as the second, are both at rest in ...
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2answers
69 views

$V_{\rm ball}=V_{\rm train}+V_{\rm ball}$?

30 years after reading Einstein's books I'm having another go at understanding astrophysics, but one thing I didn't understand back then still doesn't make sense to me. It is the example of a ball ...
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1answer
34 views

Travelling at the speed of light [closed]

more of a philosophical questions normally if you are travelling at some speed and you bump into some object, you generally would get slowed down and the force from your acceleration would be ...
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2answers
85 views

Does matter become energy at the speed of light? [closed]

According to modern physics, we can't push matter to the speed of light. It would slow down (relative to its environment). But theoretically, if matter were to travel the speed of light, would it ...
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1answer
79 views

Transformation to a uniformly rotating frame

I'm midway through a problem at the beginning of a GR course, my question is simply this: If $$ x=x'\cos\Omega t-y'\sin\Omega t $$ where $x'$ and $y'$ indicate the rotated frame of reference. What ...
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1answer
54 views

Phase velocity greater then the speed of light?

It is my understanding the the phase velocity of a wave can be greater then the speed of light. So imagine we had a wave packet consisting of a single sinusoidal wave; $$y=sin(\omega t-kx)$$ Then ...
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5answers
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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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349 views

Can we change a photon's frequency in mid-air?

Can we have a light source emitting photons in the infrared range and after, lets say, 5 meters, these photons become a photon in the x-ray range? The only way I know we can change a photon's ...
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6answers
2k views

Double light speed

Let's say we have $2$ particles facing each other and traveling at speed of light Let's say I'm sitting on #$1$ particle so in my point of view #$2$ particle's speed is $c+c=2c$, double light speed? ...
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4answers
382 views

What is the universal speed limit relative to? [duplicate]

If all speeds are relative, then what "governing" force is that speed limit relative to? Is there some sort of fixed or absolute grid with locations everything is compared to? Does this also mean ...
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3answers
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Is it possible to stop time? [duplicate]

Assuming the spacetime principle, if the space is modified the time does too. So if the velocity in the space is increase, does the time slow down? What happens if the speed is the speed of light, ...
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1answer
55 views

Special relativity: can the velocity of a free object be discontinuous relative to an accelerated observer who stops accelerating?

Suppose an observer ${\it {\mathcal O}}$ leaves point O*, origin of the Minkowski frame K*, in the $O^{*}x^{*} $ direction, with a uniform acceleration $a_{0} $ (as measured by himself) ...
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1answer
49 views

Relativistic addition of velocities in the y-direction? [closed]

I've been having some difficulty with the problem described below, please have a look: Two particles with identical masses (m) undergo a collision. Before the collision they move with velocities ...
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34 views

The limited Computing Capabilities of Space, Increased quantized info leads to time-dilation?

Are there any approaches to Special and General Relativity using space as a computing medium? With space having a maximum computing capability and time dilation as lag? Could this idea describe the ...
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1answer
32 views

Length contraction alongside acceleration

Let's have a ship, a target and a ship traveler which we use as point of view. Assuming no other object are observed and we are so far from any other object that gravity distortion are negligible, I'm ...
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2answers
57 views

Behavior of mass approaching the speed of light

I would like some clarification on the behavior of relativistic mass as it approaches the speed of light. I am a high school student with an interest in physics so chances are I will have a hard time ...
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1answer
44 views

Simultaneous observations in relativity

Consider an object which responds to two different signals A and B: it responds to signal A with blue color and signal B with red color. Also, it responds only to the signal that reached first. In ...
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3answers
64 views

Doppler shift and special relativity

I have been listening to an audio course on Special Relativity. In the course the teacher repeatedly says that the "laws of physics are equally valid for all uniformly moving frames of reference". ...
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1answer
42 views

Minkowski Diagram for Time-Like Separated Events

A while ago, I asked a question if two events are always simultaneous in some reference frame. I received excellent answers. The point is that if $E_1$ and $E_2$ are time-like separated with time ...
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4answers
212 views

Do the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations have limited applicability because of retardation?

In the usual bookwork treatment, it is easy to show that the differential and integral forms of Maxwell's equations are equivalent using Gauss's and Stokes's theorems. I have always thought that ...
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2answers
71 views

Proving the Lorentz invariance of the Lorentz invariant phase space element

I have been looking around for a satisfactory answer to prove that $$\frac{d^3\vec{p}}{2E_{\vec{p}}}$$ where $E_{\vec{p}}=+\sqrt{(|\vec{p}|c)^2+(mc^2)^2}$, is Lorentz invariant. The standard answer ...
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1answer
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How did special relativity change physicists views on the two prominent inverse square laws (ie Newton grav and Coulomb's law)?

On page 107 in Hartle's Gravity -- An introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, he says the following With the success of special relativity it became apparent that the Newtonian theory of ...
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407 views

Are length contractions limited by Planck length?

While we are getting closer to speed of light our length in the direction of the movement is according to Lorentz transformation getting shorter. But we can not (even theoretically) consider length ...
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448 views

Why is the scalar product of four-velocity with itself -1?

My GR book Hartle says the scalar product of four-velocity with itself $-1$? Consider the definition of four velocity $\mathbf{u} = \frac{dx^{\alpha}}{d\tau}$. Suppose I take the scalar product of ...
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80 views

Why is the relativistic Lorentz factor defined this way? [duplicate]

My question is: why has the Lorentz factor the form $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$ and not, for example one of those: $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v}{c}}}$$ or ...
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2answers
656 views

Do tachyons move faster than light?

I am trying to understand whether or not tachyons travel faster than light. The linked Wikipedia page shows some seemingly contradictory statements, and they are confusing. For instance, the first ...
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6answers
138 views

Confused about Lorentz contraction

My son asked me the following question which I can't answer in a simple way. A frame $O'$ has speed $v$ relative to $O$. A photon travelling along the $x'$-axis in frame $O'$ over a distance $L'$ ...
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82 views

What is the fastest speed that a massive object can travel at? [duplicate]

What is the fastest speed (in miles per hour) that a massive object can travel at? I have heard that an object can travel at the speed of light, but I've also heard that massive objects cannot travel ...
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52 views

Quantum relativistic effects

I was performing a thought experiment: let us assume an object is traveling so close to the speed of light that the length of the object is small enough for quantum effects to become noticeable to a ...
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1answer
112 views

States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
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Time dilation due to change in speed

I can't get something strait... Lets use the usual example: A man is flying away from earth on a very fast spaceship. So, His time is now not moving in the same "speed" like earth time but slower. But ...