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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Why doesn't light travel instantly? [duplicate]

I've read that the faster you travel in space, the slower you travel in time. And when you reach the speed of light (which we won't be able to) time will stand still. So when light travels at the ...
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Special relativity and electromagnets

This Veritasium video explains how electromagnets can be explained by special relativity, and how the magnetic field surrounding a current-carrying wire can also be viewed as an electric field, if ...
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How can we measure time?

If we cannot define a proper time (or synchronize clocks in different positions) in an inertial frame (independent with the theory of relativity), there seems to be no direct way to confirm the 2 ...
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How can the 'choice' of a photon said to be delayed?

My question arises from two ideas that seem to be contradictory. Idea One: Wheeler's Delayed Choice experiment is an interesting variation of the double slit experiment. Idea Two: In the "reference ...
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Since “coordinate time” has a very specific meaning, how to call more general parametrizations?

Recently I've learned that "coordinate time" assigned to a particular time-like spacetime path is not only required (1) to be monotonous and continuous and even differentiable wrt. the "proper time" ...
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Time dilation in special relativity?

I'm trying to understand the concepts of time dilation and spatial compression. I've been using the classic example of firing a photon of light inside a ship (spaceship, boxcar, etc.) moving at a ...
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Would a craft travelling increasingly close to the speed of light appear to be decelerating?

I've been pondering the implications of time dilation. Is it right to assume that if a craft was travelling at a speed very close to the speed of light (>= 0.9999c for example), that to an external ...
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Photons and Relativity

Consider a Photon from Sun and travels with a velocity $c$. Now think we are that photon. For us, it looks like Sun is moving away from us with a velocity $c$. So, why don't we get attracted back ...
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Is acceleration relative?

A while back in my Dynamics & Relativity lectures my lecturer mentioned that an object need not be accelerating relative to anything - he said it makes sense for an object to just be accelerating. ...
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Traveling between two planets at rest to one another [duplicate]

If I travel at relativistic speed from planet A to planet B which are at rest relative to one another, I will be younger than people on A or B when I arrive. However how does this mesh with the fact ...
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Rocket propelled by a giant monochromatic laser

I am preparing for my quals and stumbled across the following problem, and although it only requires undergraduate-level physics, I feel I can't piece everything together. "A rocket of mass $m_0$ is ...
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48 views

Do the Maxwell equations yield the proper time of electromagnetic waves?

I apologize in advance for possible errors in my premises as I have no precise knowledge of Maxwell equations. Proposals for the correction or even abandon of my question are welcome. As Maxwell ...
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Is speed of light invariant in different inertial frame?

Don't get angry at me. I believe in special relativity just as any scientist would. But reading this article http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.2687 I realize that actually I haven't done any experiments on ...
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Speed of light travel

I have just started special theory of relativity. The limiting speed known as speed of light fascinated me most. I asked my teacher: Consider two massless objects moving in the same direction at ...
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242 views

Right-angle lever paradox in special relativity

I remember to have read somewhere an interesting special relativity "paradox" considering two perpendicular rods $A$ and $B$ of equal proper length $L$ fixed at point $O$. In the "rest" frame equal ...
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107 views

Can special relativity be extended such that the frame of a photon makes sense?

Suppose I want to know what the universe looks like from the perspective of a frame of reference moving at $c$ relative to my current frame. As discussed at length in various other questions on this ...
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Link between Special relativity and Newtons gravitational law

If I make the two statements: General relativity is an extension of special relativity that accounts for gravity. Newton's law of gravitation is a special case of general relativity for when the ...
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Is time subjective?

In Minkowski spacetime time is subjective [or more precisely: time is different for every particle/ reference frame]. It is the coordinate time of an observer whose reference frame travels up the ...
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Interpretation of space time Minkowski diagram [closed]

How to interpret the following space-time diagram in the image. I know how to interpret euclidean distance from Euclidean space diagram omit the line "whereas for Euclidean space".
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Conservation of 4-momentum in special relativity

I understand that the inner product of two 4-vectors is conserved under the Lorentz transformations, so that the absolute value of the four momentum is the same in any reference frame. This is what I ...
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special relativity from minkowsky space-time [closed]

is there any use for learning special relativity from einstein's postulates once you understand the minkowskian structure of space-time . why isn't it straight away taught using minkowski geometry
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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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62 views

Black holes and Time Dilation at the horizon

What is the difference between proper time and the observer time? Whilst thinking about Black holes, when we see the Schwarzschild metric $$c^2\tau ^2 = \left ( 1 - \frac{r_{s}}{r} \right )c^2t^2 - ...
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Arguments for finite speed of physical processes

When beginning a study of the special theory of relativity, one discovers that the theory of special relativity has as an axiom that the laws of physics are invariant with respect to transformations ...
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Tensors in special relativity [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand tensors, but I've come across the following question: Let $T^{\mu\nu}$ by a $(2,0)$ tensor. Give the definitions of $T_\mu^{\,\nu}$, $T_{\mu\nu}$, and ...
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“Vectors” (i.e. 1-tensors) their definition and motivation for relativity

I'm reading Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell (by Zee) and here he defines a vector as an object which is invariant under coordinate representation; concretely, if in one coordinate representation, $V$, ...
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What is imaginary time? [duplicate]

I am not professional physicist; but I am curious about Stephen Hawking's "imaginary time". It would be better to elaborate exactly what it is. I am not confused because of the word "imaginary" but I ...
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How can time dilation be symmetrical? [duplicate]

I recently posted a version of the twin paradox with a twist but here I'd like to propose a new thought experiment all together. Take two clocks, A & B, and place A 1 AU away from B. Once the ...
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Lorentz transformations, why $t$ and not $t'$?

In the derivation of the Lorentz tranformation you get the fromuls: $$x=k(x'-ut')$$ $$x'=k(x+ut)$$ where $k$ is a constant that is yet to be determied ($k= \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{u^2}{c^2}}}$) ...
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Moving towards a clock at .866C [duplicate]

If you set up a clock that sends out a light pulse every second, and move towards it at a speed of .866c, will the clock appear to run faster?
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Twin Paradox Without Acceleration

So I've been doing a lot of reading about the twin paradox and have encountered several different explanations that strive to resolve it. First off let me start by saying general relativity is not an ...
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Is space-time a Kantian concept - just a concept of the working mind? [closed]

Is space time a Kantian concept – that is, just a concept of the mind at work? That is that there is no ‘out there’ – it’s in the ‘mind’? Relativity might work but it certainly requires a stretch of ...
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Energy definition in special relativity

I'm going through the early homework assignments for my special relativity course and I've got myself a little confused about energy. I've got a basic understanding of what the 4-momentum is, having ...
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A question on an exercise from Gravitation by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler

My question is on problem 4.1 of Gravitation. In a generic case of electric field and magnetic field(i.e not $E=0$ or $B=0$ or $E$ and $B$ perpendicular), define the direction $\hat{n}$ unit vector , ...
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what if the time is zero in one reference frame

Consider measuring the length of an object in another frame of reference. Of course this should happen at the same instance in the frame of reference the measurement takes place in. but using Lorentz ...
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Existence and uniqueness of solutions to $\nabla^a T_{ab}$ in general (or special) relativity

The equation in the title of this question can be a relativistic analogue of the Navier-Stokes equation (in the sense that, in the low-velocity limit, it reduces to Euler's equation when $T_{ab}$ is ...
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Time dilation derivation of special relativity

In almost all of the derivations using the postulates of special relativity (SR), we use experiments involving light signals. For example, we make a clock using a light signal or measure lengths using ...
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Equilibrium: Inertia & Applied Force

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am lay and will understand if the question is closed. My understanding is that in a vacuum, a constant force of $n$ applied to an object of mass $m$, ...
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Is proper time an intrinsic value of Minkowski space?

What is proper time? Is it a part of Minkowski space (that is a mere spacetime interval)? Or is it an intrinsic characteristic of massive particles (a sort of "aging")? Example: In the following ...
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Application of special relativity on sound waves

What is the difference between an electromagnetic wave and other waves that amounts to the EM wave following the Special Relativity. I have been reading about the Special Relativity for some time, and ...
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Quantum entanglement and special relativity PARADOX

imagine two entangled atomic clocks , we entangle them and then measure the time , it has to be the same , right ? now lets suppose that we entangle them , but don't measure them, then we plant one ...
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Does the general topology of Minkowski space-time change under a Lorentz transformation?

Does the general topology of Minkowski space-time change under a Lorentz transformation? Open balls in $\mathbb{R}^{4}$ (with the standard topology) are not invariant under Lorentz transformations. ...
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Understanding the “$\pi$” of a rotating disk

Let us say you are in an inertial reference frame with a circular planar disk. If you take your meter measuring rods (or perhaps tape measure) you can find the diameter and circumference of the disk. ...
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1answer
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How can Lorentz contraction be “directly” measured?

If one is watching a relativistic object of e.g. spherical shape, which emits enough light to be detectable, it will, despite being Lorentz contracted, appear of its natural shape, although rotated. ...
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Deriving Lorentz transformation - Serway

in Serway, the derivation of Lorentz transformation started from these two equations $$x′=\gamma(x−ut),$$ $$x=\gamma(x′+ut′).$$ The book derived the first equation and then deduced the second. Is ...
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Explain polarization in RF in which the conductor is stationary

Consider a metal rod parallel to $x$-axis moving with velocity $\vec v =(0,v,0)$ perpendicular to magnetic field $\vec B=(0,0,B)$. Lorentz force will give rise to the electric field $\vec E = - ...
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1answer
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Driving car with (almost) the speed of the light and switch the headlights on [duplicate]

I'm curious what will happen if we 'drive' a car with (almost) the speed of light, and all of sudden we switch the car headlights on? Will the car headlights ray have double speed (speed of ...
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1answer
57 views

How much time passed for the passenger traveling with at speed-of-light spaceship? [duplicate]

Let's suppose we have a spaceship with the exact speed of light. If a traveller takes this spaceship to go to proxima centauri (approximately 4 years light away from Earth) and come back, we (as ...
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Is it ok to have two events $A$ and $B$ so that for one person $A$ occurs before $B$ but for another $B$ preceds $A$

Imagine two laser beams A and B are released at the same moment to bounce between two mirrors, A was moving and B was at rest, doing the calculations I found that for a person at rest B would reach ...
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One question about derivation of Maxwell equations

I saw the following way of derivation of Maxwell equations: author starts from Lorentz transformations for the 3-vector of force, then he applies them for the Coulomb law, after that gets the Lorentz ...