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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Why don't clocks on a train read the same time?

Two clocks are positioned at the ends of a train of length $L$ (as measured in its own frame). They are synchronized in the train frame. The train travels past you at speed $v$. It turns out ...
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1answer
28 views

Is there a simple explanation for the fact that the Lorentz transformation must be linear? [duplicate]

In my physics class, for deriving the Lorentz transformatuons my professor assumed that there is a linearity relatioin between the coordinates of the two systems. But why is that?? Can anyone please ...
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73 views

Dynamic equation

I am asked to give the dynamic equations of a charged particle moving on a potential, under relativistic considerations. Basically $\frac{dp}{dt}$, with $p$ the 4-momentum vector. The question for ...
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50 views

A confusion regarding absolute motion in SRT

Suppose i am inside a uniformly moving spaceship and I send a light beam perpendicular to the direction of motion towards the opposite wall.Since the spaceship is moving and according to special ...
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1answer
47 views

Spaceship Doppler frequency

A spaceship starts falling under gravity with an acceleration $g$ as measured by an observer Barry at rest on Earth. At the instant that the ship starts to fall, an astronaut Harry at the base of the ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Force exerted by light on a moving mirror

Consider a light with energy density E shining uniformly over a mirror. The mirror has an area A. The mirror is moving at with a velocity β. Calculate the force that the photons exert on the ...
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300 views

Can a scalar field model gravity? How accurate would be the results? Are there any difficulties with such a model?

Newtonian gravity can be described by the equation: $$ \nabla^2 \phi = 4 \pi \rho G $$ where $\rho$ is the mass density, $\phi$ is the gravitational potential, and G is the universal gravitational ...
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59 views

Spacetime - Fact, Hypothesis, or Working Model? [closed]

Are the concepts of spacetime an accepted fact or something less? I have a limited background in modern physics and just finished a great book by Andrew Thomas that explains in very common language ...
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222 views

Why does time dilation cause you to age slower? And is time considered relative to the observer?

I understand that the higher your velocity the slower light will move. But how does time itself slow down while you are moving faster?
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If a spaceship were to be able to travel at light speed, would it pass through objects undamaged? Would it damage/destroy objects?

We know, not just by scientific theory, but by practice (I have seen it with my own eyes), that an increase in velocity increases the mass of the given object proportionally. One day visiting a ...
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4answers
305 views

A neutrino has rest-mass and travels at (near) $c$, why isn't its mass/ energy (nearly) infinite?

If the total energy of all three types of neutrinos exceeded an average of 50 eV per neutrino, there would be so much mass in the universe that it would collapse. This limit can be circumvented ...
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Four-momentum, four-velocity, energy

If given the four-momentum of any particle monitored by an observer as: p = $p^\hat{α}e_\hat{α}$ using unit vectors in observer’s reference frame and u = $e_\hat{0}$ then I get I'm just ...
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Maxwell's equation for non inertial observer

Applying Maxwell's equation we can prove that light will move at the speed of light for every inertial frame, is it true as well for non-inertial frames? How light moves slowly near a black hole??
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Why Lorentz group for fields and Poincaré group for particles?

Wigner treatment associates to particles the irreps of the universal covering of the Poincaré group $$\mathbb{R}(1,3)\rtimes SL(2,\mathbb{C}).$$ Why don't we consider finite dimensional ...
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1answer
74 views

Special relativity; spaceship moving towards a planet [closed]

A spacecraft starts travelling from Earth, moving at constant speed, towards a yet-to-be-discovered planet, which is $20$ light hours away from Earth. It takes $25$ hours (according to an ...
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1answer
77 views

Special relativity; rocket moving towards a mirror [closed]

An observer in a rocket moves toward a mirror at speed $v$ relative to the reference frame in which the mirror is stationary - call this frame $S$. A light pulse emitted by the rocket travels ...
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2answers
865 views

What does it mean when physical theories are inconsistent?

I am hoping that someone can explain in layman terms why Newtonian mechanics and Maxwell's equations are inconsistent. Wikipedia says that this inconsistency is what led to the development of ...
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2answers
98 views

Confusion about proper time

A spacecraft flies away from earth with a speed of 4.8 million meter per second relative to the earth, and then returns at the same speed. The spacecraft carries a clock that has been synchronised ...
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Symmetrical twin paradox

Take the following gedankenexperiment in which two astronauts meet each other again and again in a perfectly symmetrical setting - a hyperspherical (3-manifold) universe in which the 3 dimensions are ...
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9answers
724 views

Why does Energy-Momentum have a special case?

I was reading Energy-momentum, and I came across this simplified equation: $$E^2 = (mc^2)^2 + (pc)^2$$ where $m$ is the mass and $p$ is momentum of the object. That said, the equation is pretty ...
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2answers
140 views

Handedness of Reference Frames?

I am developing a new derivation of the Lorentz transformation which I think and hope is more attractive to students than those I have seen in currently available texts. I am carefully defining and ...
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2answers
192 views

Is time nothing but the speed of light (or the light itself)?

With regard to relativistic effects on time, all the examples and explanations revolve around light and its speed. Especially in explanatory situations that explain this using photon clock, it seems ...
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0answers
45 views

Undefined result of relativistic velocity addition formula [duplicate]

Isn't it impossible to estimate the velocity of framework through relativistic velocity addition formula when the event moves at speed of the light? $$u=\frac{v-v'}{1-vv'/c^2}$$ if $v=v'=c$ ...
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Energy of moving capacitor

On the following link were a discussion about energy in capacitor moving parallel to its field: Where's the energy in a boosted capacitor? My question is what happen if capacitor is moving ...
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8answers
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How does velocity cause time dilation?

I've been trying to learn about the speed of light and time dilation, but I'm at an impasse. The presented facts say that if I travel around the solar system at 50% the speed of light and then come ...
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1answer
514 views

Dark matter a medium for light propagation

Is dark matter a candidate to fill void left by luminiferous ether as a medium for light travel?
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1answer
65 views

Timelike curves in Special Relativity

I have a question that probably might sound silly to most of you. We know that a natural Lorentz-invariant parametrization of a timelike curve is provided by: $$\tau$$ the Lorentz-invariant proper ...
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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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Why a hole in the Dirac sea can be seen as having opposite energy?

In the Dirac's old attempt of relativistic quantum mechanics, a hole in the $E'$ level of the Dirac sea was interpreted as a particle of opposite charge and positive energy. I do get why it can be ...
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154 views

How does it seem to be that space/time always equals $c$?

Given the way objects move, they seem to be going all the same "velocity" so to speak, that velocity being the speed of light. Except, velocity is displacement/time, so if something goes faster, the ...
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How is the Photoelectric Effect affected by Blue-Shifting

I was thinking about the Photoelectric Effect and Blue-Shifting when I came up with a thought experiment that I couldn't think of an answer for. The thought experiment is as follows: A metal plate is ...
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4answers
188 views

Poincare invariant Lagrangians

The Lagrangian density of a Poincare invariant theory should not depend explicitly on the space-time coordinates. Does this mean $$ \partial_\mu \mathcal{L}=0~? $$ If this is the case doesn't the ...
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1answer
89 views

Is it okay to Wick rotate to give the negative of the Euclidean metric? Also, could we make the space-like coordinates imaginary instead?

There are 2 parts to my question: 1) Say we choose the metric signature to be (-+++), as in the Wikipedia page. Then the invariant interval in Minkowski space is written: $ds^{2} = -(dt^{2}) + ...
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0answers
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Show: Lorentz-invariance of solution of Klein-Gordon equation [closed]

Assume $\psi$ is a solution of the Klein-Gordon equation (KGE). Let $\Lambda$ be a Lorentz transformation. Show: $\phi = \psi(\Lambda^{-1} \cdot )$ is also a solution of the KGE. I try to ...
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Special relativity and massless particles

I encountered an assertion that a massless particle moves with fundamental speed c, and this is the consequence of special relativity. Some authors (such as L. Okun) like to prove this assertion with ...
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How fast must Nadia travel so that she is the same biological age as her twin upon returning to Earth? [closed]

Two twins, Nadia and Aidan, decide to have an adventure when they turn 21. Aidan chooses to travel to a distant star 10 light years away at a speed of 0.8c. Nadia decides to travel to a closer ...
2
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1answer
58 views

First variation of the action in relativistic notation - Landau & Lifshitz “Classical theory of fields”

In Landau & Lifshitz's book, Classical theory of fields, the action for a free particle is defined as: $$\tag{8.1} S= \int ^b _a {-mc \ \text d s}=0,$$ where $$\text d s=c\,\text d ...
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2answers
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The variation of the Lagrangian density under an infinitesimal Lorentz transformation

I'm trying to introduce myself to QFT following these lectures by David Tong. I've started with lecture 1 (Classical Field Theory) and I'm trying to prove that under an infinitesimal Lorentz ...
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4answers
188 views

Nature of Fields in QFT

I'm not exactly an expert in quantum physics, but this seems to be a simple question, and I can't find an answer anywhere! There are specific types of fields used in physics: scalar fields (i.e. as ...
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43 views

Relation involving the Lorentz transformation and the inverse of its transpose

The relation I was referring to in the title is $${\Lambda_a}^b= \eta_{ac} {L^c}_d \eta^{db}$$ where ${\Lambda_a}^b$ is the inverse transpose of $L$, the Lorentz transformation. I was wondering ...
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1answer
121 views

In QFT, why do fermions have to anticommute in order to insure causality?

I have seen this question and I believe I understand the answer to it. However, AFAIK, only for bosons the causality condition is a vanishing commutator. For fermions we expect the anticommutator ...
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2answers
167 views

A whole lot of doubts on Lorentz representation

Can someone tell me in layman's language how the $(1/2,1/2)$ represents a vector field and $(0,1/2)$ or $(1/2,0)$ represents spinors and $(0,0)$ represents scalar field. Please don't be pedantic on ...
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2answers
86 views

Time dilation confusion

I'm just starting to learn about special relativity, and I'm a little bit confused about something. Take the example of an observer in $S$ on the ground observing a train move at constant velocity $v$ ...
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1answer
79 views

Navigating a Time Machine

Notes: The background for this question is working out details of a sci-fi story. Answers to the effect of "time travel isn't possible" or "FTL isn't possible" are therefore not helpful. I'm looking ...
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Rotational symmetry in integration

Can someone please tell me why $$4\int d^4x \, x^\mu x^\nu ~=~\int d^4x \, g^{\mu\nu}x^2 $$ by some rotational symmetry argument?
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1answer
156 views

Time Dilation Problem [closed]

I'm having some trouble using the time dilation formula. Say an astronaut leaves Earth for 10 years, at 0.85c. How much time has passed according to an observer on Earth? I tried using the ...
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6answers
6k views

Should I abandon my thought experiment about time?

I'm trying to think about special relativity without "spoiling" it by looking up the answer; I hope someone can offer some insight - or at least tell me I'm wrong. Suppose I have an ordinary clock ...
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Does time dilation correct for the Doppler effect?

Knowing that a body in motion experiences time dilation, "also" knowing when two objects travel at a great speed away from one an other, both observers experience the others clock as moving slower ...
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Lightspeed (invariance) measurement methods

I would like to know, how measurements of the speed of light are conducted these days, especially in the context of the invariance of $c$. Do all the methods involve mirrors to redirect the photons ...
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Is the energy of momentum stored physically? [closed]

While an object is moving, relativity will say it weighs more, especially so as it approaches light speed. The increase in energy is then easily sensed as an increase in mass (Almost as a rock in ...