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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Confused about time dilation/length contraction [duplicate]

I have a following problem: A meson is generated $h$ meters above the earth's surface and begins to move towards the earth with velocity $v$. Its (proper) lifetime is $t_m$. What is $v$ if the meson ...
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52 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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90 views

4-velocity and 4-acceleration in instantaneous rest frames

I am trying to solve this problem: Consider a rocket moving relative to an inertial frame $\mathcal{F}$ , such that its worldline is given by ...
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Person in a special relativistic frame observes light refract on a passing ship

The speed of light is the same in all frames of reference. But imagine a scenario in which you passed by a ship which had (B=.78), while your ship had (B=.94). While somehow being able to look through ...
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Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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Difference between “Lorentz transformation” and “proper orthochronous”

I'm doing an assignment and I've been given a list of $4 \times 4$ matrices and asked: Which of the following are Lorentz transformation matrices? Which are proper and orthochronous? But, as ...
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What will I see in this scenario? Will this be faster than the speed of light?

Let say there's a particle that is travelling very near the speed of light. Lets say I have a camera capable of filming this high velocity particle and I film the particle on my camera then I fast ...
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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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Special Relativity Problem [closed]

I am having trouble with the following problem: Fry travels in a rocket ship towards Leela, at constant relative speed $v$: Fry is delivering a pizza, which in its rest frame stays hot for ...
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4answers
222 views

Speed of light as a universal speed limit

It follows from special relativity that nothing can travel faster than light. Einstein believed this would have to hold so generally that he assumed the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen paradox to indicate a ...
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129 views

Everything is a Photon

If we accept $E=\hbar \omega$, $p=\hbar k$, and $E^2-(pc)^2=(m_0 c^2)^2$, then we find $$(m_0 c^2)^2 = (\hbar \omega)^2-(\hbar kc)^2 = \hbar (\omega^2 - (kc)^2)=0$$i.e. the rest mass of any particle ...
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Construction of Observer Coordinates in General Relativity

In A First Course in General Relativity, Second Edition, by Bernard Schutz, on the bottom of Page 8, he is expanding on the spacetime diagrams in Figure 1.5. He states "[...] the four angles are ...
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The wave equation in general relativity, special relativity, and Cartesian coordinates

The relativistic wave equation is $$\square\varphi=\rho$$ where $\varphi$ is the field, $\rho$ is the source, and $\square$ is the D'Alembert operator, defined by ...
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I think only x and t need obey Lorentz transform rule, other 4 vectors not necessarily true

Lorentz transformation aims at an invariant speed of light for all reference frames. Speed only involves x and t. Therefore it's reasonable to understand the Lorentz transform can act on spacetime ...
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3answers
82 views

Metric signature conventions: minus sign for $x^a$ or $x_a$?

Say I use the metric signature $(-+++)$. Then $\partial_a=(\partial_0,\partial_i)=(-\partial^0,\partial^i)$, but $\partial^a=(\partial^0,\partial^i)=(-\partial_0,\partial_i)$. The same goes for $p^a$ ...
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Dingle vs. Bondi: Twin Paradox Debate on BBC radio?

Herbert Dingle and H. Bondi debated the twin paradox on BBC radio before 1971. Does anyone have a link to the audio of this debate? thanks
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$E=mc^2$ resembles kinetic energy formula?

The simplest equation expressing mass–energy equivalence is the famous $E=mc^2$ where $c$ represents the speed of light. Compare this with $E_K = \frac{1}{2}mv^2$. Since $E=mc^2$ can be applied to ...
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Relative Motion

I read the following: http://www.feynmanlectures.caltech.edu/I_15.html#Ch15-S4 "Now let us see what happens to the moving clock. Before the man took it aboard, he agreed that it was a nice, ...
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355 views

Twin Paradox: Still a Paradox?

Alright, so David Griffiths in his "Introduction to Electrodynamics" states that the Twin Paradox is not a paradox at all since the traveling twin returns to Earth. By returning to Earth, the twin had ...
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speed of the light emitted from a fast moving object [duplicate]

Would not speed of the light emitted from the front of the fast moving object be the speed of light + the speed of the fast moving object?
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2answers
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Confused about the concept of time and time dilation [duplicate]

I am having a hard time understanding what is time. If scientists define time as a multiple of caesium frequency, then time itself is dependent on motion, so what if I have a number of particles that ...
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1answer
142 views

Minkowski metric — why does it follow from the constancy of the speed of light [duplicate]

In all the sources I’ve been able to find, the Minkowski metric appears ad hoc, or is defined analogously to the euclidean metric. I’d love to see an argument why this metric (time coordinates ...
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Do hot objects moving at relativistic speeds slow down as they emit radiation?

In an astrophysics class I learned about the Poynting-Robertson effect, by which grains of dust orbiting a star slow down and eventually fall into the star. Every source that I have been able to find ...
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Newtonian Physics vs Relativity - the results [closed]

Does anyone have examples of the results calculated by using Newtonian physics vs the same ones calculated using relativity, compared with real measurements obtained in those experiments? Please ...
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76 views

How did Einstein come up with his postulates for Special Relativity using thought experiments on simultaneity?

In his popular book on relativity, in chapter IX, "The relativity of simultaneity", Einstein describes an experiment in which a flash happens simultaneously on A and B, as defined by the fact that an ...
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185 views

How to do calculation in relativity of simultaneity

I have great trouble in understanding simultaneity in special relativity. Let me illustrate it with a concrete example. Assuming there is a train, its two end points are $A$ and $B$, the length of ...
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What is the cause of Special Relativity [closed]

Why does special relativity exist? Via studying the outcome(s) of such relativity, one can end up with all the equations involved in special relativity. Thus one runs into things such as contraction, ...
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Can I measure a journey time < 100 years on a 100 light year voyage? [duplicate]

So, I'm traveling to another star 100 light years away in my spaceship. This ship has a solar sail pushed by a laser beamed from my home star system, so can achieve a velocity close to c. It's also ...
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843 views

Chasing a photon [duplicate]

According to this article, the Theory of Special Relativity holds that if you were chasing a stream of light at half the speed of light, $c/2$, the light's speed relative to you would still be $c$. ...
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48 views

Red shift/blue shift: how would it appear to a fast-moving observer?

I've read sci-fi stories in which a spaceship crew, moving at some significant fraction of 'c', observes stars ahead as bluer, stars behind as redder, stars to port and starboard as...well, you get ...
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65 views

Distance and time measurement in the famous Superluminal Neutrinos Experiment

I tried to understand the technical aspects of the OPERA/CERN experiment, but apparently it takes some professional experience. Therefore I would like to ask someone better acquainted with such ...
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55 views

Pair Creation and Reference Frames

Ok, so I have a question about an example problem in my textbook (its long but not difficult to follow. My question is at the bottom after I outline the problem). Consider the situation below in frame ...
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148 views

Compton Scattering: Klein-Nishina formula derivation

I'm following a derivation of the Klein-Nishina formula from scratch and this is what I have so far: $P_{e,i} = m_0\gamma_u[1,u]$ and $P_{\gamma,i} = [\frac{\hbar\omega_i}{c^2}, ...
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Time dilation all messed up!

Okay! There is a problem with my logic and i cannot seem to point out where. There's a rocket ship travelling at close-to-c speed v without any acceleration (hypothetically), and there is an observer ...
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1answer
103 views

Question Regarding Lorentz Transformation

I have question regarding the following velocity transform formula: $$v_b = \frac{v_a - u}{1-uv_a/c^2}$$ $u$ here refers to the speed that one frame is moving relative to another. How do I decide ...
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Transfer of energy faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

In a vacuum: On my left I have a rod that is 558000 miles long (3 light seconds). A button is secured to its end which activates a laser beam sent back to me once I've pushed the rod in the ...
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Is the cross section of a relativistic water hose or string always a perfect circle?

Given is a very long tube, such as a water hose or a tubular string with finite thickness, that has a constant circular cross section of radius $r$ along the length and that is at rest in an inertial ...
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If a neutrino has a rest frame, why can't a photon have a rest frame as well?

Concerning Rest Frame Wikipedia states: For example, in the rest frame of a neutrino particle travelling from the Crab Nebula supernova to Earth the supernova occurred in the 11th Century AD ...
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How does wind speed affect the velocity of light?

As you know, there is a maximum speed things can go called $c$, the "speed of light." Light in a vacuum goes $c$. Light in the atmosphere, however, goes a little less than $c$. My question is: what ...
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Deriving the relativistic Larmor equation

I have derived the Larmor equation as $$P = \frac{q^2}{6\pi \epsilon_0 c^3} |\ddot{r}|^2.$$ How do I make this relativistic? Apparently, I have to consider the acceleration parallel and ...
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Relativistic Dynamical System

I have read in a paper that: A relativistic dynamical system must be invariant under infinitesimal inhomogeneous Lorentz transformation. A dynamical system is characterized by the ten generators, ...
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Is the presence of the phase velocity of De-Broglie wave in the Lorentz Transformations a mere coincidence?

We have the term $c^2/v$ in the lorentz transformation for time: $t' = \gamma (t - x v/c^2)$. Now, taking into account of the fact that $c^2/v$ is the phase velocity of the De-Broglie wave for a ...
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Can we glue femto-cameras to photons? [closed]

I know its not as easy as saying to glue nano-cameras to photons. Please consider the following extract (related to Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle) from the Modern's abc of Chemistry: ...to ...
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2answers
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Dropping a ball in a train moving close to the speed of light?

Suppose a train is moving very close to the speed of light, say 0.999c relative to a stationary observer on Earth. Now a stationary observer on Earth will observe clocks on the train to tick slower ...
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71 views

A simple question about special relativity [closed]

Assume that the table moves with the velocity $\vec{v} = v\hat{i}$. For the observer at $x=0$, the event at $(ct',x')=(0,k)$ is observed at $(t,x)=(k\gamma\beta, k\gamma)$ using Lorentz's ...
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Can the equivalence principle be shown to follow from special relativity?

Einstein showed in various papers that the energy content of a body was a measure of its inertial mass. If you increase the kinetic energy of a system while keeping the center of energy at rest, its ...
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101 views

Lorentz invariance?

What exactly is meant by Lorentz invariance? Is it just an experimental observation, or is there a theory that postulates it? What quantities do we expect to be Lorentz invariant? Charge? Charge ...
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Confusion about Length Contraction in special relativity [closed]

so I'm working on length contraction in relativity theory. I feel pretty confident time dilation and have not really gone over Lorentz Transformations that much. The question itself lies at the ...
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microcausality and locality

There is this thing I got confused: Microcausality is the statement that spacelike separated local field variables commute so that we can specify field variables on a spatial slice as a complete ...
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Spacetime Diagrams

Suppose an observer $\mathcal{O}$ uses the coordinates $t$, $x$, and that another observer $\mathcal{O}'$, with coordinates $t'$, $x'$, is moving with velocity $\mathbb{v}$ in the $x$ ...