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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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
128 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 ...
4
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2answers
776 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
63 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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5answers
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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
172 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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2answers
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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0answers
64 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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1answer
61 views

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? ...
0
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1answer
47 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. ...
0
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2answers
49 views

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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3answers
204 views

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
495 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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3answers
523 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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1answer
76 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
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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1answer
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 ...
2
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4answers
86 views

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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3answers
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 ...
2
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2answers
540 views

Exact definition of momentarily comoving reference frame (MCRF)

Consider a particle $P$ in the framework of special relativity with position $r(t)=(ct,x(t),y(t),z(t))$ respect to an inertial reference frame $\Sigma=(ct,x,y,z;O)$. I need to know if the following ...
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3answers
109 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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2answers
103 views

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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1answer
361 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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0answers
19 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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1answer
46 views

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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2answers
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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2answers
162 views

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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3answers
134 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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0answers
62 views

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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1answer
96 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 ...
0
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0answers
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 ...
0
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2answers
711 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
63 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 ...
0
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1answer
65 views

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 $\psi\to M\psi$, ...
9
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2answers
973 views

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 ...
4
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0answers
59 views

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 ...
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0answers
37 views

Is the scale factor Lorentz invariant?

Given that the Minkowski metric does not change under a Lorentz transformation, the scale factor does not change in the special case when it is equal to 1. Is this result true in general? i.e. is the ...
5
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3answers
186 views

Is the speed of light in vacuum constant or does the math just happen to work out?

My apologies if my question is really idiotic, but I ask sincerely because I want to learn. Based on this question and lots of other places on the web, this topic seems to be really confusing. Let's ...
3
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7answers
821 views

Help understanding Bell's spaceship paradox

The problem statement of Bell's Spaceship paradox is this: Two spaceships float in space and are at rest relative to each other. They are connected by a string. The string is strong, but it ...
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1answer
69 views

The relativity of gravity: If mass is relative how much gravity do I experience?

Now let's say the I am on a spaceship. The spaceship is not accelerating, i.e., it is not firing its rockets. Most of the ship's mass is in the back of the ship. Let's say it is moving arbitrarily ...
0
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0answers
54 views

Prove that $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$, and $T_{11}$ are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$ at $(ct, x, 0, 0)$ for star of constant luminosity $L$

We have a star of constant luminosity $L$. We want to prove that the components $T_{00}$, $T_{10}$, $T_{01}$ and $T_{11}$ are all the same for the event $(ct,x,0,0)$ and they are all $L/(4\pi x^2)$. ...
5
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2answers
766 views

Do photons have relativistic mass?

I am conducting research on photons and was wondering if they have relativistic mass. I already know that they they have zero rest mass. Any answers are welcome!
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1answer
69 views

Dirac Eqn: why separate operators

At some point Dirac writes: (OpA)(OpB)Y = 0 where OpA and OpB are those two brackets that differ only in the sign of m, then he deduces: (OpA)Y = 0 OR (OpB)Y = 0 (or is that AND). I don't get ...
2
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0answers
50 views

Amplitude for a string to propagate from one point to another

In Zwiebach’s book sections 12.6 and 12.7 interesting aspects of the wave function of the string are discussed. In order to introduce my question first recall what happens with the relativistic ...
4
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1answer
368 views

What does Weinberg–Witten theorem want to express?

Weinberg-Witten theorem states that massless particles (either composite or elementary) with spin $j > 1/2$ cannot carry a Lorentz-covariant current, while massless particles with spin $j > 1$ ...
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3answers
183 views

If traveling at the speed of lights stops time, why does it take light 8 minutes to reach Earth?

I just learned that, according to Einstein's relativity theory, time reaches zero for an observer (light) when traveling at the speed of light, so everything is supposed to be at the same place in the ...
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1answer
51 views

Would time-dependent wave-functions be constrained by relativity?

Please pardon my beginners understanding. I was thinking about the wave function of a "free particle", $\psi(x,t)$, where $\psi(x,0)$ is the initial condition. Writing $\psi (x,t)$ as $\sum\limits_n ...
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2answers
75 views

Postulates of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

I have been reading this Phys.SE answer in order to clarify my doubts. It seems to me that he claims that the postulates are the same no matter if it is QFT, QM or whatever. But some books tell us ...
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2answers
60 views

Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
3
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3answers
175 views

Propagation speed of photons when taking higher-order QFT corrections into account

In our group of experimental physicist who have nothing to do with and know very little about quantum field theory, we recently had a question concerning the propagation speed of photons in vacuum: ...