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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Clock synchronazation in special relativity using signal other than light

I'm reading Taylor & Wheeler "Spacetime Physics" and have a question about possibility of correct clock synch using signal other then light. For example, we choose reference clock(A) and at ...
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5answers
243 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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81 views

How does EM radition depend on the reference frame?

In special relativity, magnetism is electrostatics in a different reference frame. This is how we explain the magnetic field being produced by moving charges (aka currents). Charges that move produce ...
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1answer
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Doesn't the second postulate of special relativity imply the existence of “luminiferous ether”? [closed]

Einstein expressed his Second Postulate in On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies as: light is always propagated in empty space with a definite velocity $c$ which is independent of the state of ...
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Why is there no absolute maximum temperature?

If temperature makes particles vibrate faster, and movement is limited by the speed of light, then temperature must be limited as well I would assume. Why there is no limits?
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Lorentz transformations an EM fields

When deriving the Lorentz transformation equations in undergraduate physics classes, teachers typically analyze the behavior of an ideal clock and a rigid bar. Once the behavior of clocks and rods is ...
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3answers
118 views

Does the Doppler effect disprove the constancy of $c$? [closed]

Why doesn't the Doppler effect disprove the relativity postulate that $c$ is constant relative to all sources or observers? It seems it does because of the following example: Suppose a ship of ...
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1answer
178 views

Photons and proper time

Why is there no proper time without inertial frame? In question n°95054 I learned that there is no proper time zero and no proper distance zero for photons because they are no inertial frames. That ...
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1answer
79 views

Does a moving object really shrink due to length contraction? [duplicate]

Is length contraction an optical illusion? Does object really shrink? Though measurements say yes, does it really happen? Or I have to say object is really measured to shrink?
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1answer
50 views

How can we assume that reaching the speed of light slows down time? [duplicate]

How can we assume that gaining the speed of light slows down time?
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New Supersymmetry Algebra

We know that SUSY generators commute with translation $$ [P_\mu,Q_\alpha]=0 $$ I have some questions: What is this equation physical meaning? Is it possible to make "SUSY-like" generators that do ...
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1answer
61 views

A simple coordinate transformation

I'm currently taking my first shot at reading Einstein's 'On The Electrodynamics' (with plenty of mathematical background). With a few pictures, everything has been crystal clear to my intuition, up ...
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1answer
40 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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602 views

A thought experiment in special relativity theory

We have two sets: set No.1 and set No.2 as in this picture: The observer is fixed to set No.1 . He sees set No.1 motionless and observes set No. 2 approaching with velocity 100,000 m/s. Each set ...
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A question about special relativity theory

We have two sets: set No.1 and set No.2 as in this picture: The observer is fixed to set No.1 . He sees set No.1 motionless and observes set No. 2 approaching with velocity 100,000 m/s. Each set ...
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1answer
40 views

Change in line density of electrons

We're proving that electricity and magnetism are essentially two manifestations of the same underlying phenomenon by using the toy example of a positive charge moving parallel to an infinitely long ...
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6answers
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Rotate a long bar in space and get close to (or even beyond) the speed of light $c$

Imagine a bar spinning like a helicopter propeller, At $\omega$ rad/s because the extremes of the bar goes at speed $$V = \omega * r$$ then we can reach near $c$ (speed of light) applying some ...
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1answer
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Special Relativity: Finding the Euler Lagrange of a massive particle

Knowing that $$\tag{1} L= -mc\sqrt{-\eta_{ab}\frac{d\xi^a}{d\lambda}\frac{d\xi^b}{d\lambda}}$$ we get $$\tag{2} p_a=\frac{\partial L}{\partial(d\xi^a/d\lambda)} = m\eta_{ab}u^b.$$ How come? If I ...
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2answers
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If rest mass does not change with $v$ then why is infinite energy required to accelerate an object to the speed of light?

I know that as the velocity increases, the mass of the object also increases so it becomes tougher and tougher to move the object which ultimately leads to a requirement of infinite energy to ...
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2answers
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How would an electron bunch/beam look different in the rest and lab frames?

With respect to special relativity, I was wondering how the spatial dimensions would differ between the rest and LAB frame of an electron beam. System: Electron bunch/beam traveling in linear motion. ...
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1answer
336 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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Can time pass for a photon if it's moving in a medium? [duplicate]

If time does not pass for a photon traveling at the speed of light, which can only occur when traveling in a vacuum, what happens when it is slowed down by traveling through non vacuum space like ...
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3answers
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4answers
654 views

Is the existence of electromagnetic standing waves dependent on the observers reference frame?

If I take two plane EM waves travelling in opposite direction e.g. $E = E_0 \sin(kx-\omega t)$ and $E=E_0 \sin (kx + \omega t)$, they sum to give a standing wave with a time-averaged Poynting vector ...
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3answers
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Phase space volume and relativity

Much of statistical mechanics is derived from Liouville's theorem, which can be stated as "the phase space volume occupied by an ensemble of isolated systems is conserved over time." (I'm mostly ...
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1answer
60 views

Doppler Shift when Light Travels Through Two Different Mediums

When considering the Doppler shift, the 'canonical equation' is $$f=\frac{c+vr}{c+vs}f_0$$ However, this equation seems to run into trouble in the following situation: A light source inside water is ...
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1answer
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Why isn't time axis vertical? [closed]

Why isn't time axis vertical? I don't find any reason behind it. This graph is drawn in tree frame. Though the tree isn't moving the time axis isn't vertical. Please help me to understand it. This ...
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What is the Andromeda Paradox?

I have been studying causality (specifically why there is no such thing as a simultaneous instant of time across all observers) recently and I keep hearing references to the Andromeda paradox. Can ...
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What does traveling close to speed of light mean?

This has been bugging me for a while. We all know in relativity that if you travel close to speed of light, all sorts of crazy things happen. But what does it mean to travel close to speed of light? ...
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Relative time/space - Two clock thought experiment [duplicate]

Please pardon my english. Here is my simple thought experiment. ...
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2answers
140 views

why do we use the equation we do for special relativity when there is a shorter, more intuitive one?

$\frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^2/c^2}}$ is the equation physicists use to calculate time dilation.Why don't they use $\sqrt{1+v^2/c^2}$ which is faster and also more intuitive (for me at least) Although now I ...
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Velocity in relativity

We just started learning about 4-vectors in my physics class, and I'm a little confused about the relationship between the 4-velocity $U=\gamma(c,\vec{v}),$ and the velocity transformations given by ...
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4answers
196 views

The pole and the barn paradox (stretching the pole)

The basic variant of this paradox makes sense to me but I have problems in proving mathematically variation of this non-paradox. So lets imagine that we have barn and pole which is stationary to the ...
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1answer
51 views

Lorentz Transformation at t=0

Suppose I have two reference frames $S$ and $S'$, where $S'$ is moving with velocity $v$ with respect to $S$. The Lorentz transformation equation for time in reference frame $S$ is given by: ...
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Are 2 time intervals the same only for same speeds?

I'm only amateur in modern phsyics having read some about relativity theory and time measurements depending on relative movement. Is it true that 2 clocks measure time the same only if the relative ...
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Special Relativity Textbooks Request [duplicate]

I have a copy of David Bohm's Special Theory of Relativity and also a copy of T.M. Helliwell's Special Relativity. I was wondering if anyone has used these texts and if they're sufficient in providing ...
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I am looking for a good primer on Special relativity [duplicate]

I am starting a course in Gravity and Quantum Field Theory this year, and I have all of the prerequisites except for a few topics in Special Relativity. I have had some SR, but only the 1-dimensional ...
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2answers
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Can speed be defined in the complex plane?

This question cropped up while I was playing with the equation for time dilation. If I set the speed to be $i$ (imaginary unit) the answer from the equation still makes sense, but does that matter if ...
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1answer
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Special relativity and missing factors of $c$

I am doing problems in a textbook called 'Introduction to Classical Mechanics' by David Morin. In one of the questions it says the following: In the lab frame, two particles move with speed $v$ ...
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1answer
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Vector fields and tensors in E&M

I'm confused by a very basic property of electric fields. The electric field is a vector field. Vectors are tensors. Wikipedia has the following statement in the article about the electromagnetic ...
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3answers
987 views

Why is time order invariant in timelike interval?

Why do two observers measure the same order of events if we are inside the light cone? (e.g. if $ds^2 > 0$ time order is preserved according to the classical mechanics book I am reading, but it ...
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How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?

A clock c1 is situated at a distance $L$ from an observer carrying a clock c1. How can the clock c1 be synchronized with the clock c2?
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1answer
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Why don't clocks on a train read the same time?

Two clocks are positioned at the ends of a train of length $L$ (as measured in its own frame). They are synchronized in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out ...
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1answer
28 views

Is there a simple explanation for the fact that the Lorentz transformation must be linear? [duplicate]

In my physics class, for deriving the Lorentz transformatuons my professor assumed that there is a linearity relatioin between the coordinates of the two systems. But why is that?? Can anyone please ...
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1answer
73 views

Dynamic equation

I am asked to give the dynamic equations of a charged particle moving on a potential, under relativistic considerations. Basically $\frac{dp}{dt}$, with $p$ the 4-momentum vector. The question for ...
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2answers
50 views

A confusion regarding absolute motion in SRT

Suppose i am inside a uniformly moving spaceship and I send a light beam perpendicular to the direction of motion towards the opposite wall.Since the spaceship is moving and according to special ...
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1answer
47 views

Spaceship Doppler frequency

A spaceship starts falling under gravity with an acceleration $g$ as measured by an observer Barry at rest on Earth. At the instant that the ship starts to fall, an astronaut Harry at the base of the ...
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1answer
107 views

Force exerted by light on a moving mirror

Consider a light with energy density E shining uniformly over a mirror. The mirror has an area A. The mirror is moving at with a velocity β. Calculate the force that the photons exert on the ...
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2answers
299 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
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Spacetime - Fact, Hypothesis, or Working Model? [closed]

Are the concepts of spacetime an accepted fact or something less? I have a limited background in modern physics and just finished a great book by Andrew Thomas that explains in very common language ...