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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Does $p=mc$ hold for photons?

Known that $E=hf$, $p=hf/c=h/\lambda$, then if $p=mc$, where $m$ is the (relativistic) mass, then $E=mc^2$ follows directly as an algebraic fact. Is this the case?
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Are the higher-order terms in the series for energy really negligible?

To show that energy in special relativity reduces to $E=m+mv^2/2$ for low velocities, if we make a Taylor expansion of $m\gamma$ around $v=0$ we get $$E=m+mv^2/2+3mv^4/8+\cdots$$ But why can we cutoff ...
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342 views

Here's a way to transmit data faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light by using a rigid pole? Assume there is a long rod or a string connecting two points separated by a ...
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257 views

why is there only one inertial frame that $ct$ and $x$ are orthogonal?

It is very long time ago that I took a physics lesson, so I want to refresh my memory. I think I learned that there is only one inertial frame in Minkowski spacetime (or special relativity time) that ...
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212 views

Why can't this speed be measured?

Superman and Supergirl were playing catch. When Superman is moving with a speed of 0.800c relative to Supergirl, he threw a ball to Supergirl with a speed of 0.600c relative to him. a. ...
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length contraction question

we know from eintein's theory of relativity that lets say, a ruler is travelling to a speed if light, then we can say that the ruler (from our view as observers) has shorten. but why, lets say we have ...
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Using Einstein's Relativity: Who is younger?

Suppose we have a person A and a person B. Person B travels very close to speed of light and never returns. He's constant in speed. Then, we can say two things: B is younger than A. A is younger ...
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In relativity, what is the difference between a rod that is perpendicular to direction of motion and a rod parallel to the direction of motion?

In Feynman's Lectures on Physics , chapter 15, page 6 he writes about 2 identical, synchronized light signal clocks. These are clocks that consist of a rod (meter stick) with a mirror at each end, and ...
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What is a Lorentz boost and how to calculate it?

I know very little special relativity. I never leaned it properly, but every time I read someone saying: "if you boost in the x-direction, you get such and such" my mind goes blank! I tried ...
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What's the purpose of the arbitary additive constants in Einstein's Inertia of Energy Paper?

In Einstein's paper: Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy content? he introduces arbitary additive constants whose purpose I'm confused about. The paper has a frame $(x,y,z)$ where a ...
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Why isn't the symmetric twin paradox a paradox?

Two twin sisters synchronize their watches and simultaneously (from the earth frame) depart earth in different directions. Following a predetermined flight plan, each sister accelerates identically to ...
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361 views

Two identical rockets, time dilation, and possible weirdness [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why isn't the symmetric twin paradox a paradox? Suppose there are two identical rockets, each carrying one of two identical clocks and one of two identical ...
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Why/how does an electron emit a photon when decelerating?

I've had two special relativity courses so far but none really gave me a clear description of the process.
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Applying $\nabla\times\mathbf{B} = \mu_0\mathbf{J}$ in the presence of magnetic shielding

2012-06-13 - Revised question in experimental format (This is a thought experiment for which RF experts may have an immediate answer.) I'll assume (I could be wrong) the possibility of creating a ...
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2answers
301 views

How do particle scattering cross sections scale with energy in colliders?

How do particle scattering cross sections scale with energy in colliders? Particularly photons, electrons, protons, and gold or lead nucleii? (If necessary, break this into four separate questions.) ...
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385 views

How fast do you need to travel to go 35 light-years in 2 (apparent) years?

Time slows the faster you go, so perhaps going 35 light-years in "2 years" is actually do-able, but how fast would you actually be going? If $$t' = \frac{t}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}\\ $$ If we say ...
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222 views

Why doesn't relativistic momentum appear conserved in this frame?

Suppose I have an inelastic head on collision between two idential particles of mass $m$ that come to rest in the centre of momentum frame where relativistic momentum is obviously conserved. If I now ...
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248 views

Hamiltonians and Lagrangians, Euclidean and Hyperbolic: Are they related?

The Lagrangian of a system is the difference between its kinetic energy $T$ and potential energy $V$, and is relativistically invariant: $L = T - V$ The Hamiltonian of the same system is the sum ...
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235 views

Relativistic Mass including exponential decay

So from what I gather, relativistic mass = $m_0\gamma$ where $\gamma$ is the lorentz factor. So if i have a mass that is .5 at rest then it is safe to say that the relativistic mass will be 1 if it ...
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201 views

The temperature in space

We know that cosmic microwave background temperature is about 2.7K. But what temperature we will measure in space using a simple Kelvin thermometer in the shadow? Can it be lower than 2.7K? Suppose a ...
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149 views

What are the increasingly sophisticated ways to perform a Lorentz transformation?

Since Einstein first derived the Lorentz transformations, their generalisation and execution has changed over the century. So starting with those first derived by Einstein: What are the main, ...
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How can be proved that one-way speed of light is equal to two-way speed?

Using Special relativity theory, of course. Can Lorentz transformations to "tell" something about it? "Wikipedia's" article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-way_speed_of_light .
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Energy conservation and center-of-mass inertial frames

For a given set of fast-moving objects in empty space, the maximum mass-energy that can be extracted by using only interactions between objects in the set (e.g., colliding all of them together) is ...
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495 views

Time dilation at the speed of light

Does a massless particle travelling at the speed on light in a vacuum (c) experience an infinite time dilation effect? i.e. Would the time dilation extend from the perspective of the massless ...
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Four momentum of a photon squared, trouble with combining wave-particle duality and energy-frequency relation

Since $p^2=E^2-\vec{p}^2=m^2$ and $E=h\nu=\frac{hc}{\lambda}$ and $|\vec{p}|=\frac{h}{\lambda}$ we have that $p^2=\frac{h^2c^2}{\lambda^2}-\frac{h^2}{\lambda ^2}$ If I go to Planck-units ...
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Would time freeze if you could travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the universal speed limit. So, if I were to travel in a spacecraft at (practically) the ...
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Is the classical Doopler Effect, for light shift, $1-v/c$, exact? What is it an approximation of?

Is the classical doopler effect for light shift equal to $1-v/c$ exact or an approximation of a classical formula? I know that it is an approximation of the relativistic formula, but what was the ...
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641 views

Is there a subtlety to the Lorentz transformations one needs to be aware of?

Playing around with the four acceleration $$\left(\gamma^4_u \frac{\vec a\cdot\vec u}{c^2}\vec u +\gamma^2_u\vec a,\, \gamma^4_u\frac{\vec a\cdot\vec u}{c}\right)$$ I found the time part for frame' ...
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Is this a quaternion Lorentz Boost?

The quaternion Lorentz boost $v'=hvh^*+ 1/2( (hhv)^*-(h^*h^*v)^*)$ where $h$ is $(\cosh(x),\sinh(x),0,0)$ was derived by substituting the hyperbolic sine and cosine for the sine and cosine in the ...
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Do Lorentz Boosts in the same direction form a group?

I know that two consecutive Lorentz Boosts in different directions produce a rotation and therefore Lorentz Boosts don't form a group. But, my intuition tells me that, Lorentz Boosts in the same ...
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1answer
251 views

Decay of particle (for example $\pi^+$); Find energy [closed]

I don't understand how to solve this: A $\pi^+$ decays into a muon and neutrino. Find the pion's energy if max $E_\nu$ / min $E_\nu$ = 100/1; $m_\nu = 0$ $m_\pi*c^2 = 140\text{ peta-eV}$
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Clarification of rest mass

So I have only just been introduced to the concept of rest mass in Special Relativity. Do we assume that the rest mass of a fundamental particle is constant in all inertial reference frames? i.e. is ...
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Getting from $E^2 - p^2c^2 = m^2c^4$ to $E = \gamma mc^2$ [closed]

What is each mathematical step (in detail) that one would take to get from: $E^2 - p^2c^2 = m^2c^4$ to $E = \gamma mc^2$, where $\gamma$ is the relativistic dilation factor. This is for an ...
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Trouble with the Lorentz law of force: Incompatibility with special relativity and momentum conservation?

In Physical Review Letters, there was a paper recently published: Masud Mansuripur, Trouble with the Lorentz Law of Force: Incompatibility with Special Relativity and Momentum Conservation, Phys. ...
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Is there an easy way to show that $x^2-t^2=1/g^2$ for a (relativistic) body undergoing acceleration g?

A professor asked me about the (c=1) equation: $$x^2 - t^2 = 1/g^2$$ which I used in a paper. Or with $c$: $$x^2 - (ct)^2 = c^4/g^2.$$ I told him that it was the exact equation of motion for a ...
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1answer
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Can a black hole form due to Lorentz contraction? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: If a 1kg mass was accelerated close to the speed of light would it turn into a black hole? Imagine, a rod of length L is moving with velocity approaching the speed of ...
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Does the mass of a body absorbing photons increase?

Let's say I have a photon collector in orbit around the sun. It manages to collect photons perfectly efficiently, that is, without radiating off any energy. Then, using Einstein's equation: $$E = m ...
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Taylor approximation of e(v) [closed]

Relativistic mass $\displaystyle m(v)=\frac{m_o}{\sqrt{(1-(v/c)^2}}$ $m_o$ = mass of object measured at rest $c$ = speed of light ($3\times 10^8\;m/s$) $v$ = speed If the total relativistic energy ...
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606 views

Conservation of Energy in Special Relativity

In classical Newtonian mechanics, from what I understand, conservation of energy stems from the fact that all known forces are conservative forces, and vector calculus tells us that they can be ...
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Are gravitomagnetic monopoles hypothesized?

My understanding is that gravitomagnetism is essentially the same relativistic effect as magnetism. If so, why is it that I've heard so much about magnetic monopoles, but never gravitomagnetic ...
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Behavior of shock waves at relativistic speeds

Suppose I am in a spaceship traveling inertially at a velocity $v$ that is of the same order as $c$. As I pass by a metal bar that is oriented parallel to $v$, someone hits it with another metal bar, ...
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1answer
268 views

Will a black hole increase the speed of sound above the speed of light in this medium

For the sake of this question we are inside the EH and a sound wave enters from our perspective as the sound moves closer to us at the EH would it speed up. Specifically how would the extreme ...
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Is a photon “fixed in spacetime”?

From what I've read, according to relativity, a photon does not "experience" the passage of time. (Can we say there is no past/present/future for a photon?) Would it be better to say a photon is ...
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Effect of gravity at near-lightspeeds

Let's say I'm in a space station, hurtling towards our galaxy nearly close to the speed of light. From my reference frame, I see the galaxy coming towards my ship at the same speed. I pass the Sun, ...
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Does the passage of time effect a photons entanglement with another?

I recently read an article about "Delayed-choice entanglement swapping". Here is an excerpt from the article: Delayed-choice entanglement swapping consists of the following steps. (I use the ...
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Comparing Lagrangian in Special Relativity vs General Relativity for a weak gravitational field

This is a sequel to this question. Who knows a difference between the Lagrangian in SR and GR for a weak gravitational field in non-relativistic case? What is the reason of this difference?
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Perpendicular Fields and Equations of Motion [closed]

I have the following problem to solve: A particle of mass $m$ and charge $e$ moves in the laboratory in crossed, static, uniform, electric and magnetic fields. $\mathbf{E}$ is parallel to the ...
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195 views

Which new insight did $E=mc^2$ give us?

I had a special relativity course at university. Now I'm trying to extract what new insight $E=mc^2$ did give us. I mean that moving mass has/is energy (kinetic) not new. The energy merely changed ...
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865 views

Calculate relativistic boost to COM frame from two arbitary velocities?

Looking in Goldstein's book, there doesn't seem to be a standard formula to calculate the COM frame velocity for two particles, from their relativistic velocities in the lab frame, although it is done ...
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Factor 2 and equations for the weak gravitational field

By using some axioms people derives equation for Lorentz force and, then, Maxwell's equations from the Coulomb's law and Lorentz transformations. When I used analogical methodology for Newton's law of ...