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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Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. In what frame of reference? [duplicate]

Since frames of reference are arbitrary, I can define a frame of reference that moves backwards with a speed greater than $c$, then any static object in that frame of reference is already traveling ...
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What changes occur while an atom approches the speed of light?

My knowledge of atomic dynamics is a little superficial. But to my understanding an electron travels an orbital path around a nucleus of an atom. "correct?" So let's say that if a hydrogen atom were ...
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Calculate time dilation with Lorentz transformation [duplicate]

It is possible to calculate the time dilation with Lorentz transformation? So with the equation $$t'=\gamma(t-\frac{x v}{c^2}) \tag{1}$$ in which $\gamma$ is the Lorentz-Factor? In an exercise I have ...
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Lorentz transformation for electric and magnetic fields

How do derive the following transformation rule (J.D. Jackson third Edition 11.10) for electric and magnetic field? $$\vec E' = \gamma \left( \vec E + \vec \beta \times \vec B\right) - ...
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Twin Paradox, calculating spacetime intervals from both perspectives

I've very recently started to try to understand special relativity. I'm want to get a decent understanding of the twin paradox. I'll post what I've done so far and highlight what's gone wrong for me. ...
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Generators of Poincare Groups

How can I determine the generators of the Poincare Group, $P(1,3)$ explicitly? Here $P(1,3)$ means a matrix Lie group.
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Does the speed of light in different mediums affect the lorentz transformation?

We know that the Lorentz transformation is derived using the speed of light in vacuum. But if we were to use it in water, would it change since the speed of light in water should also remain constant ...
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A problem with a basic thought experiment in Special Relativity

This is for a class on special relativity I am to give to some school children. Moe is moving at 0.9c. At the instant he passed Joe he emits a flash of light. One microsecond later, Joe(at rest) ...
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do relativistic velocities change the apparent entropy content of the moving object?

Imagine a box of hot gas. It has a certain (large) amount of entropy, which we can relate to the amount of information needed to completely specify the position and velocity of every gas particle in ...
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Why does the (relativistic) mass of an object increase when its speed approaches that of light?

I'm reading Nano: The Essentials by T. Pradeep and I came upon this statement in the section explaining the basics of scanning electron microscopy. However, the equation breaks down when the ...
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Confusion about the (relativistic) mass of objects [duplicate]

According to Einstein's theory the (relativistic) mass of objects depend on speed. Then in an inertial reference frame 2 observers moving at 2 different velocities will calculate different masses for ...
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Can a spinor be defined as any quantity which transforms linearly under Lorentz transformations?

Recently I’ve come across a few papers from China (e.g. Xiang-Yao Wu et al., arXiv:1212.4028v1 14 Dec 2012) that make the following statement: ...any quantity which transforms linearly under ...
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What are the constituents of communicated time differences between moving objects?

In "The Elegant Universe," two individuals, George and Gracie, are noted to be moving relative to one another in space and wearing clocks. They sync their clocks upon passing each other. Each observes ...
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Does the time for communication between moving objects solely account for each object to perceive the other object's clock to more slowly tick? [duplicate]

In "The Elegant Universe," two individuals, George and Gracie, are noted to be moving relative to one another in space and wearing clocks. They sync their clocks upon passing each other. Each observes ...
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0answers
90 views

Twin Paradox - different approaches

What was the difference between Langevin's approach to the twin paradox and Max Von Laue's? I don't understand how Langevin tried to use the idea of absolute acceleration to explain the distinction in ...
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2answers
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A question about relativistic spin operator

The question comes from Ryder's Quantum Field Theory, 2nd edition. The author was looking for relativistic spin operator. It was concluded that it cannot be $J^2:=\mathrm{J} \cdot \mathrm{J}$, where ...
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1answer
89 views

Noether Charge For Scalar Fields Under Lorentz Transformations

The conserved charge associated with the Lorentz transfomation of a scalar field is given by $Q^{\alpha\beta}=\int d^3x\frac{1}{2}(x^\alpha T^{0\beta}-x^\beta T^{0\alpha})$. The quantities $Q^{ij}$ is ...
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343 views

Are length contraction and time dilation physical?

Are length contraction and time dilation real physical phenomena, or are they just a measurement issue?
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Dirac spinor and Weyl spinor

How can it be shown that the Dirac spinor is the direct sum of a right handed Weyl spinor and a left handed Weyl spinor? EDIT:- Let $\psi_L$ and $\psi_R$ be 2 component left-handed and right-handed ...
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Parametric equations of a hypersurface

In light-front QFT, in the Minkowski space, we define a hypersurface, $\Sigma_+ : x^3+ x^0 = 0 $. How can I write its parametric equations?
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Theoretical Upper Bound on Processor Speed?

Barring aside considerations such as heat dissipation, capacitance, etc... (aka any sort of technological issue) what is the fastest speed of a processor? I am told that at distances of 1 planck ...
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Acceleration in special relativity

I am currently studying the motion of relativistic charged particles in electromagnetic fields. More exactly, we first derived the equation of motion in the 4-vector formalism. I was a bit confused ...
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Is time travel different from time dilation?

I just wanted to know whether time dilation is different from time travel or not. Personally I believe both are different. If they are the same things I just wanted to know why. According to me time ...
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Does the velocity of a light source influence the light

I have only just finished High school physics so my understanding is still fairly simple but I'm having trouble with this question. Imagine you are in space traveling at a relativistic speed with a ...
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Does relativistic mass exhibit gravitiational effects?

Groundhog Day Update, 2014 The simple and dumb way to ask my main question is this: If something like a neutron start goes sailing by at very close to the speed of light, say fast enough to double ...
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Are covariant components of 4-gradient of scalar product made of contravariant components of vector?

Trying to find normal to hypersurface $p^ip_i=m^2c^2$, I take gradient of corresponding function $F=p^ip_i-m^2c^2$. What I get is: $$n_i=\frac{\partial F}{\partial p^i}=\frac{\partial}{\partial ...
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Space-Time Continuum [duplicate]

In special relativity it is said that " Time and space cannot be defined separately from one another. Rather space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as spacetime. " What is the ...
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What does it mean to divide space and time?

Goldstein's mechanics book, on the chapter on relativistic mechanics says that "We cannot assume that all observers make the same division into time and space in the same way." What does it mean to ...
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What is the real meaning of length contraction?

Suppose one inertial observer measures a rod at rest w.r.t. him and another observer is moving w.r.t. rod. We then say that length will be shorter for moving observer but at the instants the first ...
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Relativistic space travel?

If one travels in a spaceship at speed V, the time elapsed for the traveller relative to an observer on earth is dilated by, $$ t' = t(1 - v^2/c^2)^{1/2} $$ Does this mean that a space traveller, ...
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Resolution of the EPR paradox using relativity of simultaneity

A simple explanation for photon entanglement experiments Example: Quantum teleportation La Palma-Teneriffa in 2012 (distance 143 km) - Photons were entangled in such a way that when measuring ...
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Einstein's Gedanken Experiment that lead to the Special Theory of Relativity

Once, I read that Einstein founded the special relativity theory by imagining how an observer moves at the speed of light. How does this thought experiment work? How to reach from this imagination to ...
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4answers
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Special Relativity moving in space

Given that time is 'just another' dimension and people get hung up on the fact that we cannot go back and forth in time like the other dimensions. Is there any proof that the corner of 8th Avenue and ...
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Does action really have to be Lorentz-invariant in SR?

From Landau & Lifshitz The Classical Theory Of Fields it is said: To determine the action integral for a free material particle (a particle not under the influence of any external force), we ...
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If one is travelling at a significant fraction of $c$, will the length of the trip be shortened?

Assuming two stars are 1 light year apart and a traveler is travelling at 0.75 of $c$, from the point of view of the traveler what would be the observed time en route? Also, if a vehicle is constantly ...
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Could the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle turn out to be false?

While investigating the EPR Paradox, it seems like only two options are given, when there could be a third that is not mentioned - Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle being given up. The setup is this ...
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How to measure faster than light electric energy?

According to relativity,nothing can break light barrier.But a recent preprint shows energy transmission of commercial electric power (f=60Hz) is faster than light. (It is not the drift velocity of ...
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Textbook on the Geometry of Special Relativity

I am looking for a textbook that treats the subject of Special Relativity from a geometric point of view, i.e. a textbook that introduces the theory right from the start in terms of 4-vectors and ...
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Why does a Lorentz scalar field transform as $U^{-1}(\Lambda)\phi(x)U(\Lambda) = \phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)$?

This problem is from Srednicki page 19. Why $U^{-1}(\Lambda)\phi(x)U(\Lambda) = \phi(\Lambda^{-1}x)$? Can anyone derive this? $\phi$ is a scalar and $\Lambda$ Lorentz transformation.
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Implications of Formula for Stellar Aberration

I am studying relativity and was working on deriving stellar aberration using relativity. My derivation is as follows: Suppose that the observer is traveling at a velocity $v$ in the $x$-direction. ...
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Why is $U(\Lambda)^{-1} = U(\Lambda^{-1})$ for a unitary representation?

This is from the beginning of Srednicki's QFT textbook, where he writes (approximately): In QM we associate a unitary operator $U(\Lambda)$ to each proper orthochronous Lorentz transformation ...
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Why does special relativity talk about the speed of light in a vacuum?

What's the importance of the speed of light being in a vacuum? Does not being in a vacuum cause a difference?
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Properties of Lorentz transformation generator?

In chapter 2 of Srednicki, the author defines: $$ U(1+\delta \omega) = I +\frac{i}{2h}\delta \omega_{\mu \nu} M^{\mu \nu} $$ where the $M^{\mu\nu}$s are hermitian operators and are the generators of ...
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Derivation of rest energy in Landau & Lifshitz

In Landau & Lifshitz The Classical Theory Of Fields there's a statement: $$\mathscr E=\frac{mc^2}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}\tag{9.4}$$ This very important formula shows, in particular, that ...
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Why and how is the speed of light in vacuum constant, i.e., independent of reference frame?

I was told that the Galilean relative velocity rule does not apply to the speed of light. No matter how fast two objects are moving, the speed of light will remain same for both of them. How and why ...
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4answers
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Reflection At Speed of Light

I have looked online to no avail. There is two competing answers and I am curious to know which one is right. Someone asked me this question. If you are traveling at the speed of light can you see ...
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Is aging independent of time progression when relativistic effects are taken into account? [duplicate]

I have been trying to understand Einstein's principle of relativity for quite some time. I have at least I believe, understood the notion that time is relative and can actually 'change' relative to ...
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Time dilation and relativity

We've just started with relativity and I got a question regarding an exercise we got. A spaceship passes by earth on its way to planet X, at the moment it passes by Anna is born on the spaceship. Can ...
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Application of $E = mc^2$ [duplicate]

We very well know that mass-energy equivalence is given by $E = mc^2$. My question however is how would we actually convert an object or some mass into its pure energy state and then if possible even ...
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5answers
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What distinguishes time from space in Quantum Field Theory?

Consider the following expression for a general QFT action: $$ S ~=~ \int_0^t\mathrm dt~L ~=~\int_0^t\mathrm dt\int_\mathbb {R^3}\mathrm d^3x~\mathcal L ~=~\int\mathrm d^4x~\mathcal L.$$ Here we ...