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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Does light accelerate when it meets a surface? [duplicate]

Does light accelerate when it meets a surface like mirror, we know that light changes path when it meets a surface like mirror.If light changes path,even if travelling at c,this means light has ...
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18 views

Why does time stand still for light? [duplicate]

The source for this is the book "Einstein for Dummies", page 330, chapter 10.
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98 views

How to decide which is the proper time?

I want to deduce Length Contraction using Time Dilation(which has already been deduced), but I encountered a problem that I feel tough. I first assume two observers, $A$ and $B$ are in two frames ...
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625 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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124 views

What is the definition of density in a relativistic context?

In this question, there seems to be a clear presence of ambiguity, which raises the question: what is density in relativity? First of all, the question asks for the relativistic mass, "the apparent ...
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2answers
50 views

Does light ever experiences acceleration? [duplicate]

Till now I have learned that light has fastest speed. But I have also noticed that wherever it travels it only experiences retardation. So I wanted to know if light ever felt acceleration naturally in ...
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1answer
27 views

Light photon direction in movement

I recently watched a couple science videos on YouTube and left me with a doubt. If a spaceship goes to a really fast speed in the (horizontal) $x$-direction, what would happen if it shoots a light ...
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3answers
89 views

Why is this method valid in special relativity

Here is the question Two clocks are positioned at the ends of train of proper length $L$. They are synchronised in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out that if ...
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1answer
358 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 ...
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38 views

The derivation of the irreducible representations of the Lorentz group

I took the way of classification of Lorentz group representations from Sexl, Urbantke, Relativity, groups and particles (Germ. ed. 1975). But I don't understand it as I outline in the following: In ...
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1answer
133 views

Plane curve transform to moving inertial system coordinates

As a non-phycisist I hope my question makes sense and is understandable. It deals with special relativity. I suppose there is a e.g. plane curve ( e.g. a circle ) given in the x-y plane of of an ...
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3answers
177 views

Isn't the aether existent?

Before you say I'm wrong consider this, Einstein is supposedly the first person to get completely get rid of the various aether models that were proposed. But didn't Einstein actually prove them right ...
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25 views

Traveling near the speed of light? [duplicate]

Suppose we can travel on a spacecraft near the speed of light, how long it would take for the person on the spacecraft to travel one light year, not to a person observing him/her from Earth, if there ...
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Why isn't there a limit for a Euclidean rotation, as for a Minkowski rotation?

From invariance of the Minkowski scalar product, we get the Lorentz transformations. In addition, we get a constant $c$ preventing space-like and time-like intervals being rotated into one another. ...
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“If the astronaut found that light slowed down relative to his motion, he would have detected the very ether wind that Michelson failed to detect”?

The following extract is from Relativity Simply Explained by Martin Gardner (Amazon link): Consider an astronaut in a spaceship that is racing alongside a light beam. The ship is traveling with ...
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818 views

Understanding the difference between co- and contra-variant vectors

I am looking at the 4-vector treatment of special relativity, but I have had no formal training in Tensor algebra and thus am having difficulty understanding some of the concepts which appear. One ...
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4answers
129 views

Travelling near the speed of light, will radar give me sufficient warning of approaching debris?

If I’m travelling in space near the speed of light, I would like to use radar to give me advance warning of approaching hazards. However, will I have enough time to be able to react? From a ...
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2answers
777 views

Why don't two observers' clocks measure the same time between the same events?

Person A in reference frame A watches person B travel from Star 1 to Star 2 (a distance of d). Of course, from person B's reference frame, he is at rest and is watching Star 2 traveling to him. ...
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1answer
65 views

Will two clocks moving in opposite directions measure the same time as one at rest?

A rocket passes the earth and synchronises its clock with the earth. Years later, a rocket passes it going to the earth and synchronises its clock with the first rocket. When it reached the earth, ...
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Is the speed of light in vacuum always the same value?

The escape velocity of different planets and stars vary. If they vary, the velocities of bodies escaping from the respective stars or planets should also vary. Like, if I want a ball to reach 10 ...
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2answers
173 views

I am confused about the idea that the speed of light is independent of the speed of the source of light

Imagine that a mast of a sailboat is 186,000 miles long, and the sailboat is moving to the right at a constant 10 miles per second. If you drop a ball from the top of the mast, the ball will land ...
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2k views

Do chemical bonds have mass?

When an exothermic reaction occurs, the energy in the chemical bonds of the reactants is partially transferred to the chemical bonds of the products. The remaining energy is released as heat. For ...
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65 views

What does the ratio (x-ct)/(x'-ct') signify?

$(x,t)$ being coordinates of any event in an inertial frame $A$ and $(x',t')$ being the coordinates of the same event in another frame moving with uniform velocity $v$ along the same direction in ...
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The returning light beam that is perpendicular to Earth’s motion

How did Michelson and Morley compensate for the fact that the returning light beam that is perpendicular to Earth’s motion would not arrive at the same point that it left the half-silvered mirror? ...
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49 views

A question about the physics involved in tracking satellites such as those used in the GPS system [duplicate]

I know that besides the effects of Newton's theory of Gravitation on the satellite's motion, one has to take account of the retardation of the satellite's clocks when compared to earth-fixed clocks. ...
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Is causality a necessary and sufficient condition for special relativity?

Is there a way to "build" special relativity by using causality as one of the axioms? Or is it just a consequence of a fact that the speed of light is same in all reference frames?
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Dilemma in race between muon and light

I have a dilemma concerning my understanding of Special Relativity. Maybe I am understanding or calculating something wrong and would hear so. The problem is based on muons created in the upper ...
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3answers
498 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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526 views

Is Kinetic Energy stored as (rest) mass?

I know that if some object acquires potential energy, it also gains (rest) mass - is it the same for kinetic energy?
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A pendulum clock vs. an atomic clock

A pendulum clock ticks slower on top of a mountain and ticks faster at ground level, but an atomic clock ticks faster on top of a mountain and ticks slower at ground level. Gravity affects pendulum ...
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101 views

Twin paradox modified for a periodic universe [closed]

I had received a homework problem by my professor. Please consider part (b) of the problem. Can part (b) be solved only using special relativity? And how can you solve this? I think that Alice will ...
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62 views

Relativistic flashlight and mirror

Say Alice is on on one end of a train moving at c/2 and there is a mirror at the other end. If she turns on a flashlight aimed at the mirror, from her perspective it takes the same time for the light ...
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4answers
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Does a ticking watch have more mass? [duplicate]

In the video on YouTube, The Real Meaning of E=mc² | PBS| Space Time Studios, it claims that a ticking watch has more mass then a non ticking watch due to the intrinsic KE, PE and thermal energy of ...
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117 views

Inertia on relativistic mass when particle is near speed of light

Inertia is directly proportional to mass but what happens when something travel to speed near to light. Its relativistic mass tends to infinity but that is false mass so I want to know if inertia is ...
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3answers
110 views

How is relativity related to anti-particles?

I have heard that a positron is like an electron moving backward through time. Can someone elucidate this statement for me. I would like to hear a deeper explanation of what we believe anti-matter to ...
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Is momentum an invariant? [closed]

Is the value of momentum an invariant?, specificly for instance the momentum value $\mathbf p_{\text{lab}}[~\Lambda^0~]$ of a $\Lambda^0$ baryon (drifting from the (actual) interaction point of a ...
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362 views

Theoretically if you passed the speed of light in a medium, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light in vacuum since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. However in a medium, would there be some sort of theoretical ...
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20 views

Inelastic cross section derivation

I am trying to derive the inelastic cross section (the mass changes). I looked up the elastic derivation on Peskin's book (are there any alternatives?): $$d \sigma = \frac{1}{2 E_a 2 E_b \left| ...
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Relativistic probability amplitude of a particle to be in certain position

In the book “The story of spin” by Tomonaga on page 110, it says They insisted that a concept like "the probability of a particle to be at $x$ in space" is meaningless for relativistic ...
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108 views

Where does the equation $p=\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$ come from?

Where does the relativistic formula $$p~=~\frac{1}{c}\sqrt{T^2 +2mTc^2}$$ come from? What is the derivation from Einstein's formula? $T$ is the kinetic energy $m$ is the mass $p$ is the momentum.
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How do I transform onto a relativistic rotating frame of reference?

In classical mechanics, the usual formula to translate the evolution of a quantity as seen from an inertial frame of reference to a rotational frame is: $$\frac{d \textbf{A} }{dt} \vert_{Inertial} = ...
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135 views

How is length contraction reconciled with other objects occupying space?

Say I have a ball at 0.999999% the speed of light going past the Sun toward Earth. Now from the ball's reference frame, the distance between Earth and Sun is the same length as the ball's diameter. ...
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Inverse Lorentz transformation of four-velocity

Consider two frames. In the first frame $K'$ a particle executes uniform circular motion. Frame $K'$ travels with constant velocity along the axis of the circle (take z-axis) w.r.t. the observer's ...
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97 views

How many days it takes to travel to Cygnus? [duplicate]

BACKSTORY I read today newspaper and made discovery of planet Cygnus (in news paper of course :v) that human can live there! The distance is 1400 Lightyear. Assuming I travel with the world fastest ...
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40 views

Constancy of speed of light $c$ with perpendicular motion [duplicate]

Suppose light is travelling in a straight line parallel to $y$-axis takes time $t$ to reach from $y_1$ to $y_2$ in a reference frame $S$. Let there be another frame, $S'$, which is travelling parallel ...
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2answers
768 views

Will heating up an object increase its mass? [duplicate]

According to the $E=mc^2$ equation, will an object whose thermal energy (temperature) rises also weigh more? And by the same token, will the mass of an object decrease as its temperature approaches ...
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1answer
64 views

Angle between two momenta in particle physics (principal axis of a two-body decay vs. center-of-mass motion in the lab)

Situation: I have events with a W-Boson decaying into two leptons (e.g. electron and electron-neutrino). Now I want to see, whether there is an angle range into which the leptons are emitted ...
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Regarding the Weyl spinor and its transformation properties

I am trying to prove the Lorentz invariance of the (left-handed) Weyl Lagrangian: $$\mathcal L=i\psi^\dagger\bar\sigma^\mu\partial_\mu\psi$$ A Lorentz transformation is realized as $\psi\to M\psi$, ...
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Why is the stress-energy tensor symmetric?

The relativistic stress-energy tensor $T$ is important in both special and general relativity. Why is it symmetric, with $T_{\mu\nu}=T_{\nu\mu}$? As a secondary question, how does this relate to the ...
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Coincidence of spacetime events & Lorentz invariance

Am I correct in thinking that if two spacetime events are coincident in one frame of reference, then they are coincident in all frames of reference, i.e. coincidence of spacetime events is a Lorentz ...