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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Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
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2answers
561 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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3answers
457 views

What is a body's momentum really equal to?

I know a body's momentum is equal to the product of its velocity and mass. But what kind of mass? Relativistic mass or rest mass?
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0answers
28 views

How to add together non-parallel rapidities?

How to add together non-parallel rapidities? The Lorentz transformation is essentially a hyperbolic rotation, which rotation can be described by a hyperbolic angle, which is called the rapidity. I ...
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1answer
82 views

Derivation of proper acceleration in terms of rapidity

In the Wikipedia page for proper acceleration, an equation for proper acceleration in terms of rapidity is given as $\alpha = \frac{\Delta \eta}{\Delta \tau}$, where $\eta$ is the rapidity of the ...
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0answers
70 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity [closed]

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
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1answer
258 views

Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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1answer
151 views

Finding the total energy in centre of mass frame

I'm working through a problem in a special relativity textbook (Woodhouse) and I'm having some difficulty. I have to show that if I have a particle of rest mass $M$, total energy $E$ colliding with a ...
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0answers
33 views

Is Twin Paradox solved in Special Relativity or General Relativity? [duplicate]

I'm getting pretty frustrated about finding the true solution to the Twin Paradox. If I open 10 relativity books, they all tell that they have the correct solution and the other books are wrong. So I ...
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1answer
51 views

How to determine which object in a special relativity physics problem has proper time?

I'm having some difficulty determining which object/location should have proper time applied to it in relativity physics problems. Example: If an electron travels at 40% the speed of light then ...
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2answers
93 views

where is the logical hole in this reasoning? (special relativity)

I cannot see the problem in the following reasoning, so I'd be glad if you could help me out. The problem is defining a notion of "length" that is consistent with the constancy of the speed of light ...
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1answer
27 views

Polarization of light for a fast moving observer

For a fast moving observer the frequency of light becomes shifted due to the (relativistic) Doppler effect. But what about the polarization of the light? Could it be, that e.g. circular polarized ...
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1answer
55 views

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms?

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms when walking? due to special relativity I guess Thanks
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1answer
34 views

Is there serious research on superluminal travel? [closed]

I was wondering if there are any serious attempts, or any ideas for loopholes in the current theories, that would enable us humans to travel with a speed greater than the speed of light?
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1answer
30 views

Perpendicular doppler effect photons

If I have a photon with frequency f in the lab frame and the observe it in a inertial frame moving perpendicular to the photon. The direction of the velocity of the photon must change but does this ...
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7answers
452 views

“Reality” of length contraction in SR

I was in argument with someone who claims that length contraction is not "real" but only "apparent", that the measurement of a solid rod in its rest reference frame is the "real length" of the rod and ...
2
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1answer
80 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
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1answer
51 views

Space Contraction [duplicate]

Is there any experimental evidence of space contraction which theory of spacial relativity predicts? You should bear in mind that GPS & muon detection beyond the distance permitted by its half ...
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1answer
307 views

What would happen to electronic circuits when traveling near the speed of light?

Imagine a space ship, loaded with all sorts of computer systems, traveling near the speed of light. Electricity itself is very fast, and can reach speeds close the speed of light. (up to 99% ...
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0answers
126 views

What is the proper time used in relativistic non-equilibrium statistical physics?

In the literature one often finds covariant relativistic generalizations of classical non equilibrium statistical equations (Boltzmann, Vlasov, Landau, Fokker-Planck, etc...) but I wonder what is the ...
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2answers
113 views

Does time dilation imply that events do not take place?

I take two mirrors parallel and facing each other. A light pulse is being infinitely reflected between the two mirrors $M_1,M_2$. $E_1,E_2$ are the events when the pulse is reflected by $M_1,M_2$, ...
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2answers
129 views

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
1k views

Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology?

If a person was sitting on a craft that has accelerated to near light speed speed from Earth (e.g. 99.999% of light speed) would there be any impact on his or her human biology due to relativistic ...
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1answer
56 views

Can we travel faster than the speed of light? [duplicate]

So my question is completely a theoritical question. For example i have a stick made of the strongest material and lightest material and its lenght is as long as the solar system's diameter. The end ...
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2answers
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Is Einstein's characterization of “time” as “the position of the little hand of my watch” definitive and binding in the RT?

In Einstein's very first publication dealing with the Theory of Relativity, effectively as a preamble to all subsequent thought-experimental considerations and descriptions, Einsteín put the ...
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2answers
182 views

Trying to understand one of Einstein's thought experiments

I try to understand Einstein's Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, chapter IX., "The Relativity of Simultaneity". Here's an online version: http://www.bartleby.com/173/9.html. ...
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1answer
46 views

Tachyons and the light barrier

I read somewhere that if something breaks the light barrier, i.e. a tachyon, that it will take infinite energy to make it go slower than the speed of light. So, does that mean that the object will ...
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0answers
17 views

At the speed of light [duplicate]

Is it possible to accelerate a body to the speed of light?Why is is said that at the speed of light,the mass of a body would be converted to energy?
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4answers
256 views

Causality principle and Entropy (Second Law)

I was reading about the light cone in relativity and I got to the point where in order to avoid paradoxes one can introduce the causality principle: Causality Principle: For every inertial ...
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2answers
98 views

To what fraction of the speed-of-light has any multi-atom molecule (or polyatomic ion) been accelerated?

Of course photons go $c$ in a vacuum, and seems there's data on electrons getting to $0.999999999976c$ and protons to $0.99999912c$. For the twins paradox to be plausible, one of the twins must ...
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0answers
40 views

The Lie algebra of the Lorentz group is $su(2) \oplus su(2)$. Is there a similar relation for the algebra of the Poincare group?

It can be shown easily, by introducing new generators from the usual ones that we can think of the Lie algebra of the Lorentz group as being built up by two copies of the $SU(2)$ Lie algebra: $$ ...
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2answers
339 views

Why time is considered a dimension?

Why is time considered to be a dimension? And the other 7 (except the 3 dimensions of space, and the dimension of time) dimensions that string theory suggests, why can't they be realized?
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2answers
92 views

Is it possible to travel ONLY through Time and not Space? [closed]

The question is as stated above. I although think, the most probable answer is no, but I really want to know the reason to it. If, One can travel through only space by travelling at the speed of ...
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2answers
152 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 ...
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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
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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 ...
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0answers
36 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
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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 ...
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2answers
163 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
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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 ...
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1answer
26 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) ...
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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
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
72 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
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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
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2answers
255 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 ...
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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 ...