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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Charged particle under a uniform electric field

Suppose a charge particle $q$ starts to move without initial velocity under the influence of a uniform electric field $E$ pointing in the positive $x$ direction. Express its position vector in ...
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71 views

Invariance of Maxwell equations [closed]

Is there an easy way to show that the Maxwell equations $$ \partial_\alpha F_{\beta\gamma} + \partial_\gamma F_{\alpha\beta} + \partial_\beta F_{\gamma\alpha} = 0 $$ are invariant under a Lorentz ...
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Composition of Lorentz Transformations

If a particle is moving in the $x$-direction with velocity $c/2$, then the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda = \begin{pmatrix}\gamma & -\beta \gamma & 0 & 0 \\ -\beta \gamma & \gamma ...
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Would Special Relativity Predict Time Dilation of a Geostationary Satellite Compared to an Observer on Earth?

Consider a geostationary satellite at some arbitrary distance above the Earth's equator and consider a person directly below it, standing on the Earth's equator. Both satellite and person exist on the ...
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131 views

Special Relativity - Distance Not Increased?

I just watched the movie Interstellar and the question was asked of why/how high-speed travel would slow time within an area. Curious as I am, I watched several YouTube videos to quickly 'educate' ...
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138 views

Why does the minus sign in the Minkowski metric mean that nothing can move backwards in time?

I just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkCWywO93b8#t=27 and there Mr. Cox states that because of the minus sign in the Minkowski metric nothing can move backwards in time. It's ...
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Speed of light yes or no? [closed]

First off I am not a physics student: I am more of a science enthusiast. My question pertains to time and the speed of light: According to Einstein, no mass can travel at the speed of light. Now, ...
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26 views

Intrinsic CPT phase

Under charge conjugation C, spatial inversion P and time reversal T transformations, there are possible intrinsic phases (more for this on Chapter 9, The Quantum Theory of Field v1 by S. Weinberg): ...
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Einstein's mass-energy equivalence [closed]

Einstein's wonder equation $E=m c^2$,if we take energy is proportional to the mass, we can put single constant to make that equivalent equation. We all know that ...
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50 views

Relativistic Kinematics - 2-Body Particle Decay

Consider the scenario where a particle of mass $M$ decays into two lighter particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$. In the center of mass frame (i.e. $\mathbf{p}_1$ and $\mathbf{p}_2$, the momenta of the ...
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Could any object have zero mass? [duplicate]

Energy and mass are interrelated. As everything has energy could any object be massless? For example a photon is a packet of energy but still it is considered to be a massless particle. Why is it so?
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369 views

Imaginary time?

If we begin with the equation for time dilation: $$ \Delta t^\prime = \frac{\Delta t}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}} $$ Now, for a particle moving in space with no potential energy, $$ E = \frac{1}{2} ...
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Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding circular polarization vectors ...
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0answers
29 views

SR: vector field and change of reference [closed]

If $U$ and $V$ are vector fields, then the derivative of $U$ along $V$ is the vector field $\nabla _V U$ with components $$\nabla _V U^a=V^b \frac{\partial U^a}{\partial x^b}.$$ I would like to verify ...
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82 views

Special relativity mirror clock experiment inconsistency

Say I set up a relativistic mirror clock experiment in which a spaceship contains a set of mirrors with a photon bouncing between them. Say the photon's motion is parallel to the direction of motion ...
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36 views

Would you be able to see yourself in a mirror in front of you as you two are in a room traveling at the speed of light? [duplicate]

Veritasium talked about this in one video. If you are in a room or a train, plane, car or whatever just a closed space traveling at the speed of light and you put a mirror in front of you, could you ...
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2answers
53 views

Is there experimental evidence supporting the equivalence principle between different particles?

Knowing virtually nothing of GR, and only hints of particle theory, this might be something of a naive question. If I've misunderstood somethings, I would gladly like to know why. Perhaps a more ...
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Space and time variant? But together invariant?

I admit I'm having difficulty with spacetime. I don't understand how unifying space and time, seemingly variant quantities, results in an invariant spacetime. All texts and references talk about using ...
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78 views

Deriving the Lorentz factor

Recently, I learned how to derive E = mc^2. However, to do so, one must accept the relativistic mass equation. How does one derive this?
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141 views

Special relativity - twin paradox explored

A thought experiment. A person on the Earth has a clock. Another person who also has a clock is in a rocket ship passing the Earth travelling at 50% the speed of light. They synchronise watches as ...
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2answers
125 views

Propagation speed of photons when taking higher-order QFT corrections into account

In our group of experimental physicist who have nothing to do with and know very little about quantum field theory, we recently had a question concerning the propagation speed of photons in vacuum: ...
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Is the universe a quantum computer - is light speed barrier a computational constraint

There is currently a debate ongoing on leading maths blog Gödel’s Lost Letter, between Gil Kalai and Aram Harrow, with the former arguing that building a quantum computer may not be possible due to ...
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Why collide a moving particle with a particle at rest, rather than two moving particles?

I was just reading some lecture notes about relativistic and quantum mechanics, and in the later part of this page the author demonstrates that any relativistic particle collision in the "lab" ...
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How do I derive the Lorentz contraction from the invariant interval?

Reviewing some basic special relativity, and I stumbled upon this problem: From the definition of the proper time: $$c^2d\tau^2=c^2dt^2-dx^2$$ I was able to derive the time dilation formula by using ...
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Why are the proper time and the proper length not defined in the same frame of reference?

I've just read this interesting Wikipedia article about time dilation and length contraction in special relativity. . Derivation of time dilation Applying the above postulates, consider the ...
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Is $E=mc^2$ false?

Recently, I found a YouTube video saying that $$E=mc^2$$ is false. It says that the real one is $$ E^2=m^2 c^4 + p^2 c^2 $$ where $E$: energy, $m$: mass, $c$: speed of light and $p$: momentum. Is ...
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Rindler and Minkowski space future/past infinity

In my black holes course, we are looking at the Penrose diagram for 1+1 D Minkowski space. My notes don't specifically describe $i^{\pm}$ (future/past timelike infinity) but do say all timelike curves ...
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In $1$-dimensional space, how would the gravity generated by an electron affect a photon moving away from the electron if the photon can’t slow down?

Suppose we had a universe obeying the same physical laws as our own. But it had only one spatial dimension (represented by the $x$ axis) and it was totally empty. There are just two point-like ...
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3answers
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What is $E$ in the Planck-Einstein relation?

The Planck-Einstein relation was first given for photons $$E = h\nu$$ But later, de Broglie extended it to matter waves, and showed that it would hold for all particles as well. The $E$ for a photon ...
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280 views

Energy transfer using quantum entanglement

Can we transfer energy from one place to another separated by arbitrarily large distances without any time lag? For instance, if Alice and Bob are two observers making measurements having a singlet ...
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2answers
784 views

Is the change in kinetic energy of a particle frame independent?

Intuitively, I would expect the change in kinetic energy of a particle to be frame independent. It just doesn't "feel" right that between two points in time-space, one frame should measure a change in ...
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why is the magnetic field circular

According to relativity, If magnetic field is just an electric field viewed from a different frame of reference, why is the magnetic field around the wire is circular?
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Relativity asymmetry?

If you have two bodies that move towards each other at a constant velocity, each body will observe the other body experience time faster. This does not make sense to me because if you had a person ...
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187 views

Why do things slow down when you move faster, rather than speed up?

I've been trying to get to grips with SpaceTime. As I understand it, we move at a set rate through spacetime. Any increase in our rate of travel through space results in a decrease in our rate of ...
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Thought experiment: Tethered galaxies - to the extreme

If two rocks were tied together with a tight, absurdly long, non-elastic rope, and placed on planets at either end of Earth's observable universe - or beyond - What would happen? Is the structural ...
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Does Bell's theorem sort out local field theories?

For example the Maxwell's equations is a local theory. It's a set of differential equations that describe how should the state at a point change based on its neighbourhood. Counter example: Newtonian ...
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Is a nuclear bomb in some sense a bullet travelling at the speed of light, but along time rather than along space?

Apologies if this is a silly or perhaps obvious question, but $E=mc^2$ just looks so much like classical kinetic energy (except for the factor of 2). So I'm thinking of the to-be-fissioned-away ...
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If two observers pass each other in opposite directions at $.5c$ what would effect on each others clocks be?

Assume an alternate universe with same physical laws as here. In this universe nothing exists except 3 observers, each in a transparent box with a clock. Observer A is travelling at .5c. Observer C is ...
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63 views

What is the difference between these two equation dealing with time dilation?

In my textbook, the time dilation equation is presented as $\Delta t' = \gamma \Delta t,$ where $ \gamma = 1/ \sqrt{1 - v^2/c^2} $. My understanding of this equation is as follows (correct me if I'm ...
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what is the kinematics of a particle with complex mass?

particles with real-mass have time-like kinematics ($ds^2 > 0$). particles with zero-mass have light-like kinematics ($ds^2 = 0$). particles with imaginary-mass have space-like kinematics ($ds^2 < ...
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21 views

Relativistic doppler effect in three dimensions

Consider a sphere that travels through space with a velocity $v$. I wish to investigate the relative intensities of the CMB on all points on the sphere. For the microwaves approaching from the direct ...
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Does entanglement not immediately contradict the theory of special relativity?

Does entanglement not immediately contradict the theory of special relativity? Why are people still so convinced nothing can travel faster than light when we are perfectly aware of something that ...
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How to motivate this approach on Special Relativity?

One of the most common approaches to Special Relativity is that based on the two Einstein's postulates: The laws of Physics are invariant in every inertial reference frame The speed of light ...
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129 views

Sign convention for the Minkowski metric $\eta_{\mu\nu}$

In special relativity, one is confronted with a quadratic form called proper time, which is $c^2t^2-(x^2+y^2+z^2)$, $t$ being time and $x,y,z$ being the space coordinates. One usually introduces a ...
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1answer
34 views

Perception at relatavistic speeds

If one were to be traveling at near the speed of light, their mass would be $m_{rel}= m_0 / \sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}}$. For the mass to double the speed would have to be $86.6\%c$ [edit] To better ...
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About Lorentz Group

In definition of orthogonal matrices we say that the a matrix $A$ is orthogonal if $A^TA = I$, while for Lorentz Group it is written as $\Lambda^Tg\Lambda = g $. And we say that Lorentz transformation ...
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Threshold energy, does this indicate particle annihilation?

If we have a question on threshold energy like the following: Two particles A and B collide to create C and D. Find the threshold energy required for particle A given that particle B is at rest. ...
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378 views

What is the slowest possible speed?

According to special relativity, nothing can go faster than the speed of light, and nothing can be distinguished to be in a state of absolute rest. So it makes me wonder: is there a slowest ...
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Boyles law & relativity

In relativity when an object approaches the speed of light, $c$,its volume decreases due to length contraction. As a thought experiment, consider a rectangular metal box travelling at a relativistic ...
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Is there a formula that gives the position of an object depending on the time, but which doesn't allow the object to surpass the speed of light?

I have found these two formulas: $v = at + v_0$ $x = \frac{1}{2}at^2 + v_0t + x_0$ a is the acceleration v is the velocity x is the position t is the time $v_0$ is the initial velocity $x_0$ is ...