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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Postulates of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics

I have been reading this Phys.SE answer in order to clarify my doubts. It seems to me that he claims that the postulates are the same no matter if it is QFT, QM or whatever. But some books tell us ...
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2answers
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Measurement of the speed of light form different perspectives

I've been showing a special interest in Einstein's theory of relativity and how he proved the speed of light to be always the same. At first it was a bit hard for me to understand, but now I THINK I ...
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3answers
176 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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2answers
99 views

Does special relativity explains working of an electromagnet?

I heard that special relativity could be used to explain the working of electromagnet, but couldn't dig anything out of it. Can somebody give some explanation of the above? I also heard that it is ...
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4answers
110 views

What effect does direction have on special relativity?

Okay, so here's what I'm stuck on. First imagine there is an observer (observor A) on a train heading west at half the speed of light. It is chasing a beam of light. There is another observer ...
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1answer
52 views

Time and gravity relation

I was reading about relativity when I crossed by the applications of relativity in real life, and they said that as the elevation increase time increase so gravity decrease Can someone explain to me, ...
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1answer
67 views

Understanding the nature of metric tensor [closed]

The metric tensor for a flat spatial manifold gives us length on object, or separation between two space points. Similarly, $g_{\mu \lambda} dx{^\mu} dx{^\lambda}$ gives separation between two space ...
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0answers
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Would impact angle matter on relativistic impactor?

I'm trying to calculate (for fun) a comparison between a kinetic impactor and an H-bomb. I would assume this to be a fairly straight forward problem involving kinetic energy and a table of various ...
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1answer
66 views

Does relativity objectively define entropy?

In his undergraduate text "Spacetime Physics", Wheeler points out that there is always a fourth component to momentum and energy interactions, because the internal motion of the objects involved will ...
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5answers
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Why is there a controversy on whether mass increases with speed?

Some people say that mass increases with speed, some people say that the mass of an object is independent of its speed. I understand how some (though not many) things in physics are a matter of ...
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0answers
77 views

Lagrangians densities & interactions in field theory

To avoid ambiguity, this question pertains to the construction of Lagrangian densities (including interaction terms) in terms of their values at single points in spacetime. In classical mechanics in ...
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5answers
332 views

Can light travel slower than the maximum?

First of all, I know that light does indeed travel slower in a medium like air or water, but that's because the photons are bouncing off of the medium's particles and in different directions so the ...
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0answers
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Maximizing particle annihilation of a certain particle type?

Is there any theoretical situation where one would be able to maximize the production of a certain type of particle? I wish to continue discussing this question: Where would dark matter be produced? ...
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4answers
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What if photons are not the fastest particles?

Einstein originally thought that special relativity was about light and how it always travelled at the same speed. Nowadays, we think that special relativity is about the idea that there is some ...
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11answers
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If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?

I've often heard that Einstein shattered the notion of absolute motion (i.e. all things move relative to one another) and that he established the speed of light as being absolute. That sounds ...
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1answer
45 views

how to prove that two angles made by unprimed axes are same in minkowski diagram

I am reading special theory of relativity by resnick.In supplemntory topic A it is given that two inertial reference frame s and s' where s' is moving relative to s with uniform velocity.The diagram ...
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5answers
9k views

How can time be relative?

I don't understand how time can be relative to different observers, and I think my confusion is around how I understand what time is. I have always been told (and thought) that time is basically a ...
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0answers
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Are (active vs. passive) and (covariant vs. contravariant) related?

I've only heard about the active/passive transformation distinction and the covariant/contravariant distinction in passing, but whenever I hear about both of them at the same time, people seem to say ...
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3answers
103 views

magnet moving in space

I know that a time varying magnetic field produces an electric field even in the absence of a conducting body, because thats how em waves work. But can you say the same for a space varying magnetic ...
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1answer
49 views

What happens to light when the light source is spinning rapidly

In Einsteins analogy to demonstrate relativity, he asked that we envision two trains moving at different velocities, and then imagine a light shone from one train to the other. Do we know what impact ...
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3answers
2k views

Do particles with exactly zero energy exist?

In my understanding, in Newtonian mechanics if something has no mass it cannot be said to "exist" since it cannot possibly have energy or momentum and thus cannot participate in interactions or be ...
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7answers
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Does the reaction force appear without delay?

According to Newton's law of action-reaction, there is a reaction force for the action force. He did not say when the reaction appears, whether immediately or with a delay. Could you tell me the ...
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1answer
96 views

How do we know that fundamental constants don't slowly change in time? [duplicate]

Let me get one thing straight first. I am not saying that fundamental constants like the speed of light don't have the value that we know they have today. What I am asking is whether the value of a ...
2
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5answers
283 views

Two clocks along different worldlines [duplicate]

I have been reading and watching videos about this subject for a while now. I just can not seem to grasp the idea. Let's say we have two clocks. I leave one at home and keep one in my pocket. Then, ...
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3answers
1k views

Do you encounter more photons (per unit time) when moving forwards at a constant velocity?

Let's say you have rain hitting you evenly on all sides (not very realistic, I know). If you were to move forwards at a constant speed, there would be more droplets of rain hitting you per second on ...
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17answers
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The origin of the value of speed of light

Meaning, why is it the exact number that it is? Why not 2x10^8 m/s instead of 3? Does it have something to do with the mass, size or behavior of a photon? To be clear, I'm not asking "how we ...
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3answers
117 views

Forces and the light

Do external forces can affect the light? Can any external force make the light accelerate? And if it can, will it accumulate mass? (according to the second Newton's law of motion $m = F/a$ ) We know ...
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2answers
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Newton's laws and the maximum speed

According to Newton's second law of motion : $F = ma$ In an certain occasion, we exert 2 forces (the magnitudes of the forces are the same) on 2 different objects, Object A and Object B, in the same ...
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1answer
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Light travels in a medium

According to Snell's law : $${n_1 \over n_2} = {v_2 \over v_1}$$ $v_2 = v_1 n_1 / n_2$ Assuming that $n_1$ is vacuum , we will find the following equation: $$v = c / n$$ (We may find the same ...
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Is the energy per degree of freedom $\frac{1}{2}kT$ in relativistic systems?

The equipartition theorem says that the mean energy per degree of freedom is $\frac{1}{2} kT$. Is this result relativistically correct?
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0answers
26 views

How does the idea of a scalar potential for a 3-vector field generalize to Minkowski space?

How does the idea of a scalar potential for a 3-vector field generalize to Minkowski space? As I guess, I thought one way would be to generalize 3-force to 4-force and replace the 3-gradient with the ...
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4answers
1k views

Which one to learn first: Special or general relativity? [closed]

I am extremely interested in self-learning Einstein's theory of relativity, but I don't know where to start. Can I make general relativity my starting point, and later look at special relativity as ...
4
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2answers
297 views

Difference between locality and causality?

I ask this question as the two seem to be very closely related and are sometimes taken to be one and the same (in the notion of microcausality in QFT), which has left me confused as to what meaning of ...
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2answers
108 views

Twin paradox caused by gravitational difference in space

I am not a physicist, but have always been curious about the twin paradox. So, here is my question. There are two twins in space - Twin A and Twin B (both stationary). They are apart from each other ...
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1answer
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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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4answers
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What is the speed of light relative to?

Consider the scenario where you measure the time it takes for light to travel to the left 10 meters and to the right 10 meters. Both measurements will take the same time, even though we are moving ...
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5answers
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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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1answer
78 views

Vector product in a 4-dimensional Minkowski spacetime

I'm studying relativity and I lost track of interpretation along the mathematical formalism. What does vector product mean as an event? I mean, how must one interpret the result of the vector product ...
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2answers
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Universe without a fixed universal speed limit

What would a universe without a fixed universal speed limit (like $c$ in the actual universe) look like? Would it be paradoxical? Would time travel into the past become possible?
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1answer
27 views

Using relative velocity between two frames and the time elapsed between events in one frame to find the time elapsed/event separation in the other [closed]

Q from text: A second transporternaut is beamed to a much more remote galaxy that is moving away form Earth at .87c. This time, too, she stays in the remote galaxy for one year as measured by clocks ...
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2answers
377 views

Does space between objects contract?

I had a question, let us assume a coordinate system where there is 2 objects moving at relativistic speeds (at same velocity) for the observer therefore the observer will observe the length ...
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2answers
116 views

Special relativity: where does this naive calculation go wrong?

Inspired by the recent question, "If all motion is relative, how does light have a finite speed?", I tried to work out a little calculation. Where does it go wrong? My friend Buzz is traveling in a ...
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2answers
44 views

Relative Velocity Problem: Light? [duplicate]

Assume 2 rockets coming towards each other at each other at 99% of speed of light, and so as they pass each other the relative velocity between 2 rockets would be 198% of Speed of Light and so what ...
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2answers
231 views

Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT?

My question is: Why do we consider Lagrangian densities in QFT (as opposed to Lagrangians as in classical mechanics)? Is it simply because of the following? We wish the theories to be Lorentz ...
3
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1answer
53 views

Exact meaning of locality and its implications on the formulation of a QFT

As far as I understand it, locality in physics is the statement that interactions can only occur between physical objects if the spacetime interval separating them is null or time-like. Thus, if the ...
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2answers
159 views

Commutation relations in QFT and the principle of locality

My question is, given two space-time points $x^{\mu}$ and $y^{\mu}$, if the events that occur at these points are simultaneous, i.e. $x^{0}=y^{0}$, are the two events necessarily space-like separated? ...
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3answers
123 views

The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
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2answers
144 views

Simple Harmonic Motion in Special Relativity

I was trying to see what results I would get if I were to incorporate relativistic corrections into the case of a harmonic oscillator in one dimension. I thought that if the maximum velocity of the ...
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1answer
69 views

Is it possible for the light (photons) to turns into normal electromagnetic signal?

I want a theoretical opinion about this question: The relativistic Doppler Shift equation for the light is $$\frac{f_s}{f_o}=\sqrt{\frac{1+\beta}{1-\beta}}$$ where $\beta=v/c$ is the velocity of the ...
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2answers
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Proof of conservation of energy with the relativistic definition of force

Professor Susskind proved conservation of energy in one of his lectures by taking the classical definition of force ($F = ma$) and by showing that its time derivative is zero. How can we do that with ...