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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What does a sphere moving close to the speed of light look like?

What shape does the viewer in a reference frame with $v=0$ perceive? I suppose that since the sphere moves in one direction only (oX only, not oY) its section would change into an ellipse, where the ...
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Classical vs. Quantum use of the spin 4-vector

I have a few basic questions about the Pauli-Lubanski spin 4-vector S. I've used it in quantum mechanical calculations as an operator, that is to say each of the components of S is a matrix operator ...
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257 views

Proper times of two observers in a three-torus

Consider two observer in a tree-torus space of size $L$. Observer $A$ is at rest, while observer $B$ moves in the $x$-direction with constant velocity $v$. $A$ and $B$ began at the same event, and ...
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How much does a proton weigh when it is going around the LHC at CERN?

Considering that speed increases weight and the proton is going at almost the speed of light, I would like to know how much a speeding proton would weigh in the LHC.
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Minimal voltage in linear accelerators to achieve relativity?

Could anyone tell me what is the minimal voltage between anode and cathode in a linear accelerators to achieve speeds where relativity starts to show? Let me ask in a different way: "What is the ...
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2answers
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Is there a way to formulate relativistic dynamics in a way that “hides” the finite speed of light?

I'm not referring to the dimensional choice that makes $c=1$; rather I'm imagining something more about replacing all references that apparently involve velocities with the appropriate $\gamma$ ...
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Connecting 4-velocity to equation for adding velocities

Is there a way to connect 4-velocity to equations for adding speeds? I know 4-velocity $U^\mu$ is derived like this: \begin{equation} \begin{split} P^\mu &= m U^\mu \Longrightarrow U^\mu = ...
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2answers
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Terminology for opposite null lines

Is there a name for two null lines that lie on the opposite sides of the null cone? Each line can be obtained from the other by reflection in the axis of the null cone (the time-axis). In terms of ...
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The Four-Clock Special Relativity Conundrum

Two open-car trains approach each other at fixed velocities. Each has a radar to see how quickly the other train is approaching, but apart from that the trains have no a priori knowledge of each ...
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1answer
168 views

Why is energy-momentum 4-vector so much easier to explore/observe than spacetime 4-vector

I have read that spacetime 4-vector is quite difficult to observe/explore and that energy-momentum 4-vector is much more appropriate for CERN etc. Why is that? Could anyone give me a brief ...
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2answers
654 views

Two photons of different frequencies collide to create electron and positron

A photon of frequency f, and another of frequency f' (take f' as given) collide to create an electron-positron pair. The frequency f is such that when the collision is head on, there is exactly enough ...
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264 views

Temporal part of Quantum Wavefunction

I was hoping that someone could give me the more fundamental reason that we take as the temporal part of a quantum wavefunction the function $e^{-i\omega t}$ and not $e^{+i\omega t}$? Clearly ...
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What's the difference between space and time?

I'm having a hard time understanding how changing space means changing time. In books I've read people are saying "space and time" or "space-time" but never explain what the difference is between the ...
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347 views

Does General Relativity encompass Special Relativity?

Can all of the predictions made in Special Relativity (SR) also be made in General Relativity (GR)?
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1answer
171 views

4-momentum and an $y$ component of momentum

I have 2 coordinate systems which move along $x,x'$ axis. I have derived a Lorentz transformation for an $x$ component of momentum, which is one part of an 4-momentum vector $p_\mu$. This is my ...
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1answer
303 views

How to express $ds$?(when we know expression for $ds^{2}$) [closed]

We know that $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ Can you say how to calculate $ds$?
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1answer
192 views

Accelerating expansion of universe - entire universe a non-inertial frame of reference?

If the expansion of the universe is accelerating, doesn't that mean that the entire universe is a non-inertial frame of reference? And if so, what implications does this have (if any)?
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103 views

Lorentz Transformations and Aberration

Why does the azimuthal angle, $\phi$, remain unchanged between reference frames in special relativity? Edit: Here is a link from "Radiative Processes in Astrophysics": ...
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0answers
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Help identifying an expression for the action

I found the following expression for the action of a (free, I think) relativistic particle in my notes but I can't remember from what it came from: $$ S = \int_{0}^{N} \left [ ...
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211 views

Acceleration and relativity

Usually in physics books this equation used $a=\frac {dv}{dt}$ to calculate the relativistic acceleration. It is true that speed $v=\beta c$ don't have relativistic (Lorentz) factor, But time have a ...
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If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it?

If acceleration causes relative time dilation does the eventual deceleration reverse it? For example: traveling to Alpha Centauri Based on me reading this site: ...
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deriving a Lorentz transfomation for velocity vector components

If $S'$ and $S$ are two different inertial reference frames and $S$ moves along the $x$ axis of $S$ in a standard configuration, then the Lorentz transformation will be: $$x'=\gamma(v)[x-\beta ct]$$ ...
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3answers
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Why does an object with higher speed gain more (relativistic) mass? [duplicate]

Today, in my high school physics class, we had an introductory class on electromagnetism. My teacher explained at some point that an object with a very high speed (he said it started to get somewhat ...
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182 views

Special Relativity [closed]

Could someone explain to me how special relativity works? I know there are thousands of sources and databases of knowledge out there, but I find it difficult to understand, even after reading up on ...
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1answer
211 views

Vector transformation in special relativity

Please note that I am very new on this website so have some difficulties in writings as required here but trying really hard to learn quickly. La-Tex is the main problem but please understand me that ...
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2answers
394 views

Special relativity, spacetime, velocity and units

We all know that space and time are the fundamental units, means no mathematical expression can express their relation to other variable fundamentally. But as we know that moving rod has a contracted ...
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1answer
357 views

Time contraction

This is my first time posting on this site. I am a computer programmer that stumbled across a physics text book and have a question on special relativity. So firstly, I understand that there is no ...
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410 views

What is the relativistic action of a massive particle?

all Lorentz observers watching a particle move will compute the same value for the quantity $$ds^2 = -(c \, dt)^2 + dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2,$$ $$ds^2 = g_{\mu\nu}dx^{\mu}dx^{\nu},$$ and ''ds/c'' is then ...
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1answer
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How does light travel create time travel violating causality?

Saw a question about faster than light travel... I still have the same question though none of the answers offered any resolution for me. It is so summarily assumed by all physicists and commentaries ...
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1answer
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Could we have assumed the speed of light to be different in different reference frames?

Ptolemy's model of universe assumes that our earth is the static center of universe and everything else move relative to it (ref: The grand design ch:3). This model would give us a consistent picture ...
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2answers
285 views

Is there a “present state” of distant stars if simultaneity is relative?

Special relativity theory says simultaneity is relative, meaning that different observers will not agree on what happened first and what second. Does it then make sense to say that looking at distant ...
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Is 2.5x speed of light possible between two objects?

These news are in Finnish: http://www.hs.fi/ulkomaat/Kaukaisin+havaittu+galaksi+et%C3%A4%C3%A4ntyy+maasta+valoa+nopeammin/a1305618680897 The main excerpt is: "Distant galaxy moves away from us as ...
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Noether's charge due to lorentz transformation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What conservation law corresponds to Lorentz boosts? For a relativistic free particle, What is the Noether charge generated due to Lorentz transformations? What is ...
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2answers
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Is there any law that prevents an object with mass to become massless?

I got into a discussion with my physics teacher about the speed of light and I asked What if an object with mass was to lose mass as it gained speed-- would that allow for an object to eventually ...
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1answer
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How would an observer perceive movement on a train that's travelling near the speed of light?

Person A is on Earth and a train (or whatever you want to imagine) travels past him at near the speed of light. How would person A perceive movement on the ship? If time is slowed on the ship from the ...
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Relativistic momentum

I have been trying to derive why relativistic momentum is defined as $p=\gamma mv$. I set up a collision between 2 same balls ($m_1 = m_2 = m$). Before the collision these two balls travel one ...
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2answers
555 views

How do I derive the transformation law of a Weyl spinor under a Lorentz transformation?

Let $\xi$ be a spinor. If $(\theta ,\phi)$ are the parameters of a rotation and pure Lorentz transformation, then how can we prove that the transformation rule for $\xi$ can be written as $$\xi ...
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When moving fast Time slows down Vs speeds up

I was watching an old cartoon movie where a scientist makes a gadget, which when bound on the wrist, freezes the movement of the whole world. So, that one may do 100s of things in a single second. ...
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Mass-Energy relation

Einstein mass- energy relation states $E=mc^2$. It means if energy of a paricle increases then mass also increases or vice-versa. My question is that what is the actual meaning of the statement ...
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What was Albert Einstein's proof for $E=mc^2$?

Most people know the famous equation: $$E=mc^2$$ What were his steps of thinking for this equation that helped us discover so much about our world?
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How realistic is the game “A slower speed of light”?

The game "A slower speed of light" from MIT claims to simulate effects of special relativity: Visual effects of special relativity gradually become apparent to the player, increasing the ...
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1answer
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What else does the fabric of space-time do?

I know that, the fabric of space is bended so there is a path for another planet to follow to cause gravity I.E. the sun and the earth ( i think) Is htere any othe rthing's the fabric of space-time ...
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1answer
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Special Relativity & Mirror Reflection

If you move at $5$ $ms^-$$^1$ towards a plane mirror, your reflection moves $10$ $ms^-$$^1$ towards you. But what happens if you're moving much faster, say $0.8c$? Would your reflection move at ...
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Minkowski diagram, hyperbola and invariant quantity of relativity

I have heard of the invariant quantity $\Delta s$ in relativity for which I have stumbled upon an equation $\Delta s^2 = \Delta x^2 - c \Delta t^2$. This reminds me of hyperbola, which has general ...
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How to explain (pedagogically) why there is 4 spacetime dimensions while we see only the 3 spatial dimesions?

I have been asked this question by a student, but I was able and in the same time incapable to give a good answer for this without equations, so do you have ideas how one can explain this in a simple ...
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2answers
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What equations do I use to do basic time dilation problems?

I understand the concepts of relativity, but I don't know where to go to set up equations to do any actual calculations. For example, what equations would I use to find out the following: A ship ...
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1answer
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Violation of Newton's 3rd law and momentum conservation [closed]

Why and when does Newton's 3rd law violate in relativistic mechanics? Check this link.
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1answer
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Airplane example of special relativity

I'm struggling with an introductory example of special relativity. We haven't done the math yet so I would like an explanation based only on the fact that the speed of light is the same in every ...
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1answer
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Time dilation $t'=(1-\frac{v}{c})t$ instead of $t'=\frac{1}{\gamma} t$

Suppose we have a train moving. When the origin of train's frame coincides with the origin of observers frame; the the time is set to zero. At that very instant, a photon is emitted from train towards ...
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1answer
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Testing covariance of an expression?

This is something I've been unsure of for a while but still don't quite get. How does one tell whether an expression (e.g. the Dirac equation) is covariant or not? I get it for a single tensor, but ...