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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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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3answers
187 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
61 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 ...
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1answer
99 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) ...
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2answers
102 views

Does special relativity explains working of an electromagnet?

I heard that special relativity could be used to explain the working of electromagnet, but couldn't dig anything out of it. Can somebody give some explanation of the above? I also heard that it is ...
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1answer
68 views

Understanding the nature of metric tensor [closed]

The metric tensor for a flat spatial manifold gives us length on object, or separation between two space points. Similarly, $g_{\mu \lambda} dx{^\mu} dx{^\lambda}$ gives separation between two space ...
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1answer
54 views

Time and gravity relation

I was reading about relativity when I crossed by the applications of relativity in real life, and they said that as the elevation increase time increase so gravity decrease Can someone explain to me, ...
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4answers
110 views

What effect does direction have on special relativity?

Okay, so here's what I'm stuck on. First imagine there is an observer (observor A) on a train heading west at half the speed of light. It is chasing a beam of light. There is another observer ...
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1answer
66 views

Does relativity objectively define entropy?

In his undergraduate text "Spacetime Physics", Wheeler points out that there is always a fourth component to momentum and energy interactions, because the internal motion of the objects involved will ...
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1answer
64 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 ...
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78 views

Lagrangians densities & interactions in field theory

To avoid ambiguity, this question pertains to the construction of Lagrangian densities (including interaction terms) in terms of their values at single points in spacetime. In classical mechanics in ...
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0answers
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Maximizing particle annihilation of a certain particle type?

Is there any theoretical situation where one would be able to maximize the production of a certain type of particle? I wish to continue discussing this question: Where would dark matter be produced? ...
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1answer
49 views

What happens to light when the light source is spinning rapidly

In Einsteins analogy to demonstrate relativity, he asked that we envision two trains moving at different velocities, and then imagine a light shone from one train to the other. Do we know what impact ...
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0answers
39 views

Would impact angle matter on relativistic impactor?

I'm trying to calculate (for fun) a comparison between a kinetic impactor and an H-bomb. I would assume this to be a fairly straight forward problem involving kinetic energy and a table of various ...
2
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1answer
97 views

How do we know that fundamental constants don't slowly change in time? [duplicate]

Let me get one thing straight first. I am not saying that fundamental constants like the speed of light don't have the value that we know they have today. What I am asking is whether the value of a ...
12
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3answers
2k views

Do particles with exactly zero energy exist?

In my understanding, in Newtonian mechanics if something has no mass it cannot be said to "exist" since it cannot possibly have energy or momentum and thus cannot participate in interactions or be ...
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3answers
119 views

Forces and the light

Do external forces can affect the light? Can any external force make the light accelerate? And if it can, will it accumulate mass? (according to the second Newton's law of motion $m = F/a$ ) We know ...
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2answers
99 views

Newton's laws and the maximum speed

According to Newton's second law of motion : $F = ma$ In an certain occasion, we exert 2 forces (the magnitudes of the forces are the same) on 2 different objects, Object A and Object B, in the same ...
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1answer
62 views

Light travels in a medium

According to Snell's law : $${n_1 \over n_2} = {v_2 \over v_1}$$ $v_2 = v_1 n_1 / n_2$ Assuming that $n_1$ is vacuum , we will find the following equation: $$v = c / n$$ (We may find the same ...
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Do you encounter more photons (per unit time) when moving forwards at a constant velocity?

Let's say you have rain hitting you evenly on all sides (not very realistic, I know). If you were to move forwards at a constant speed, there would be more droplets of rain hitting you per second on ...
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1answer
70 views

Is the energy per degree of freedom $\frac{1}{2}kT$ in relativistic systems?

The equipartition theorem says that the mean energy per degree of freedom is $\frac{1}{2} kT$. Is this result relativistically correct?
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28 views

How does the idea of a scalar potential for a 3-vector field generalize to Minkowski space?

How does the idea of a scalar potential for a 3-vector field generalize to Minkowski space? As I guess, I thought one way would be to generalize 3-force to 4-force and replace the 3-gradient with the ...
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4answers
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Which one to learn first: Special or general relativity? [closed]

I am extremely interested in self-learning Einstein's theory of relativity, but I don't know where to start. Can I make general relativity my starting point, and later look at special relativity as ...
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1answer
47 views

how to prove that two angles made by unprimed axes are same in minkowski diagram

I am reading special theory of relativity by resnick.In supplemntory topic A it is given that two inertial reference frame s and s' where s' is moving relative to s with uniform velocity.The diagram ...
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1answer
30 views

Using relative velocity between two frames and the time elapsed between events in one frame to find the time elapsed/event separation in the other [closed]

Q from text: A second transporternaut is beamed to a much more remote galaxy that is moving away form Earth at .87c. This time, too, she stays in the remote galaxy for one year as measured by clocks ...
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2answers
151 views

Universe without a fixed universal speed limit

What would a universe without a fixed universal speed limit (like $c$ in the actual universe) look like? Would it be paradoxical? Would time travel into the past become possible?
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Special relativity: where does this naive calculation go wrong?

Inspired by the recent question, "If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?", I tried to work out a little calculation. Where does it go wrong? My friend Buzz is traveling in a ...
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2answers
44 views

Relative Velocity Problem: Light? [duplicate]

Assume 2 rockets coming towards each other at each other at 99% of speed of light, and so as they pass each other the relative velocity between 2 rockets would be 198% of Speed of Light and so what ...
2
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2answers
109 views

Twin paradox caused by gravitational difference in space

I am not a physicist, but have always been curious about the twin paradox. So, here is my question. There are two twins in space - Twin A and Twin B (both stationary). They are apart from each other ...
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2answers
324 views

Difference between locality and causality?

I ask this question as the two seem to be very closely related and are sometimes taken to be one and the same (in the notion of microcausality in QFT), which has left me confused as to what meaning of ...
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4answers
107 views

How do I sum up speed though space and time to obtain c (in terms of units)?

I'm still learning SR and only recently I could scratch the surface of such beautiful, complex and deep topic. This post here was really enlightening, and even though it is somewhat basic, it helped ...
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2answers
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Sum according to a function - composition of velocities

An observation more than a question. Take any function $f$ (additional hypotheses may follow) and evaluate it on any two points $x_1, x_2\in\mathcal{D}_f$. Define then the sum of these two points as ...
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1answer
82 views

Vector product in a 4-dimensional Minkowski spacetime

I'm studying relativity and I lost track of interpretation along the mathematical formalism. What does vector product mean as an event? I mean, how must one interpret the result of the vector product ...
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2answers
235 views

Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT?

My question is: Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT (as opposed to Lagrangians as in classical mechanics)? Is it simply because of the following? We wish the theories to be Lorentz ...
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1answer
55 views

Exact meaning of locality and its implications on the formulation of a QFT

As far as I understand it, locality in physics is the statement that interactions can only occur between physical objects if the spacetime interval separating them is null or time-like. Thus, if the ...
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11answers
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If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?

I've often heard that Einstein shattered the notion of absolute motion (i.e. all things move relative to one another) and that he established the speed of light as being absolute. That sounds ...
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2answers
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Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
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3answers
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The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
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Simple Harmonic Motion in Special Relativity

I was trying to see what results I would get if I were to incorporate relativistic corrections into the case of a harmonic oscillator in one dimension. I thought that if the maximum velocity of the ...
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1answer
70 views

Is it possible for the light (photons) to turns into normal electromagnetic signal?

I want a theoretical opinion about this question: The relativistic Doppler Shift equation for the light is $$\frac{f_s}{f_o}=\sqrt{\frac{1+\beta}{1-\beta}}$$ where $\beta=v/c$ is the velocity of the ...
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1answer
101 views

On the Lorentz Group representation [closed]

I am going through the notes on QFT by Srednicki (which is certainly a worth reading on the subject, and can be found online, see http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/qft.html). When describing ...
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Is it true that whenever any non rigid body moves, there must be a delay between the ends? [duplicate]

Very sorry if this is still considered a duplicate to this, but unfortunately the answer to this question cannot address this because mine is a nonrigid body and involve biological locomotion concepts ...
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1answer
170 views

Two apparent contradictions in SR involving time dilation and length contraction

So I've encountered the site "Alternative Physics" – a website proposing "alternative" theories to theories in modern physics. Of course, the site claims that both SR and GR are wrong. To show "why" ...
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49 views

Question on time dilation [duplicate]

When i studied physics we had this example where someone climbes into a rocked flyes into space comes back the time that passes for him one year time on earth 86 years. I think most know what thinking ...
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2answers
92 views

Is this an inertial frame of reference in relativistic context?

What I've learned from our special relativity lectures is that an inertial frame of reference in relativity is one that experiences no gravitational forces. Also, it is a frame where if a particle is ...
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138 views

Lorentz transformation of Gamma matrices $\gamma^{\mu}$

From my understanding, gamma matrices transforms under Lorentz transformation $\Lambda$ as \begin{equation} \gamma^{\mu} \rightarrow S[\Lambda]\gamma^{\mu}S[\Lambda]^{-1} = ...
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1answer
38 views

Energy and momentum of a relativistic electron

The question is to find the magnitude, $p$ of the electron's momentum in the unit of MeV/$c$, given that the kinetic energy of the electron is 2.53 MeV. The answer provided by the book says, ...
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4answers
120 views

Can a photon have little to no energy and/or speed?

Can a photon move more slowly than the speed of light and behave 'non-relativistically,' so to speak. Perhaps another way to express my thought is: could we stop a photon from moving?
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1answer
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Hafele-Keating revisited with a gravity clock

Most modern clocks use electromagnetic phenomena to measure time. There are perhaps some older clocks that involve gravity to some degree (hour glass, pendulum), but I believe they still have a ...