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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Conservation of relativistic momentum

I'm trying to prove that momentum, $\rho = m \, v \, \gamma(v)$, is conserved in all frames of reference. I'm having problems with the following situation that I made; momentum is not conserved to ...
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Confusion about proper time in special relativity

I have a problem understanding what proper time really means, well actually, it's the symmetry that confuses me... Suppose for convenience that particle A has a mean life-time of 10 seconds in its own ...
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Why does moving near light speed keep you young? [duplicate]

As was shown in the movie Interstellar, when you go close to a black hole or move near the speed of light in space, then your clock runs slower than a clock on Earth. In the movie, Matthew ...
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Mass in special relativity?

Is the mass of a object at rest defined by $$E=mc^2$$ where $m$ is the rest mass. I.e. does the rest mass include every thing from thermal to gravitational potential energy and every other possible ...
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In special relativity what is the energy of a macroscopic body?

Is the energy of a macroscopic body in special relativity still given by: $E=\gamma m c^2$? If so why do we not need to consider the motion of the individual particles that make it up? Is this because ...
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What is a homogeneous and isotropic frame of reference?

I have heard that inertial frames of reference in the context of special relativity are both isotropic and homogeneous. I know what isotropic and homogeneous mean in a general context, but what do ...
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The mas-energy equivalence for rest mass

It is clear that the kinetic energy can be derived as $(m-m_0)c^2$. However, why do we say that $m_0c^2$ is the rest mass energy? It seems that this mass-energy equivalence for rest mass is just a ...
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Pair production and energy conservation?

Consider the question whether a photon can decay, in the free space, into an electron and a positron - a pair production event. Such an event I don't think is possible, because both energy and ...
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69 views

Special Relativity Explanation [duplicate]

I'm in a relatively basic Physics class in university, and was reading the section in my textbook about The Principle of Relativity. It says: Einstein's Theory of Relativity ... added the ...
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110 views

Does my explanation of relativity have any validity?

I've been trying to explain relativity to myself by developing a model based upon small finite changes along one dimension. For me, as a computer programmer, this model works well as an explanation ...
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Why can a particle have a nonzero amplitude outside its forward light-cone?

I'm having trouble grasping an idea that I think that is a very basic part of  quantum field theory. Many introductory QFT resources I have consulted often pose the following question: What is ...
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Trying to understand one of Einstein's thought experiments

I try to understand Einstein's Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, chapter IX., "The Relativity of Simultaneity". Here's an online version: http://www.bartleby.com/173/9.html. ...
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Why is special relativity so special? [duplicate]

The title says it really. Why is special relativity so special? I'm just curious as to how and why the term 'special' came to describe the theory of relativity where gravitational forces are ...
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Is Minkowski space usually a vector space or an affine space?

When I visited Wikipedia's page on Minkowski space, it seemed to offer two definitions. The first defined Minkowski space a vector space. Then, in a later section, it says The section above ...
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78 views

Is a non-accelerating object far from a gravity source moving at the speed of light through time?

I'm trying to understand the Minkowski spacetime better. If an object is not undergoing acceleration, and is far from any large mass, does it travel maximally "fast" through time? Can we calculate a ...
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99 views

Why does relativistic kinetic energy (KE) equal to the total relativistic energy minus the rest mass energy?

OK, I understand why $KE=\gamma mc^2-mc^2$, but why is it also equal to $E-E_0$?
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Successive measurment of incompatible variables on an entangled state

Suppose I have 2 particles in an entangled state with opposite spins far away from each other, both stationary with respect to the lab. At time t=0 I measure the spin of both particles in the x ...
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43 views

Muon decay why proper length in the earth frame?

Consider the two diagrams below (ignore the velocities), Consider the situation in the right hand picture where we have a rod connected to the earth. Let us now say that the muon is created at the ...
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Time difference between two moving inertial frames of reference [closed]

This is a question I am trying to solve: Let S and S' be two inertial frames of reference and S' is moving relative to S at a velocity of 0.6c. When x = x' = 0, t = t' = 0. At t = 2 x 10-7 s, an ...
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182 views

Photon energies after neutral pion decay

I am trying to find the photon energies of the decay $\pi_0 \rightarrow \gamma\gamma$ and their dependence on the pion energy $E_{\pi}$, its initial velocity $\beta$ and the scattering angle between ...
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343 views

The cap on massive particles's speed is below the speed of light due to Planck length?

This answer http://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/a/8525/1991 claims that no particle can accelerate further after its de Broglie wavelength becomes Planck length. Given that speed at this point is ...
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Two particle collision - excited particle emits photon absorbed by the other particle

Part (a) Doing everything in the lab frame: 4-vector before collision: $(Mc,0)$ Let $E$ be energy of photon emitted, p be momentum of de-excited particle. 4-vector after collision: ...
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Why does the Michleson-Morley experiment only contradict the aether?

This question is related to Validity of Maxwell's equations with no aether or relativity? (so please read this first). In this question, the answers seem to suggest that getting rid of the aether ...
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Special relativity and the electromagnetic field tensor [closed]

Ok, I've got an exam for general relativity in the next week and I'm working through a (special) relativity problem at the moment and I just cant seem to get the solution indicated at all and was ...
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why do x Schwarzschild radii equal time dilation effects of speed of light going y times faster than an object^2?

let me walk you through the math. First you start with the gravitational time dilation formula where: $$ T_1=T\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{rc^2}} $$ and rather than entering $r$ for the radius we replace $r$ ...
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Possible Answer To The Double-Slit Experiment [closed]

I think I might have figured the double-slit experiment out. I am not going to explain it here, Google it if you don't know it. If I am wrong please tell me why: Matter are relative to observers ...
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How does a frame of reference work in relativity? [duplicate]

I am struggling to understand what frame of reference means in relativity. Imagine the twin scenario. Twin A is at rest, while twin B travels somewhere and back at near the speed of light. If one ...
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Why does the speed of light totally prevent instantaneous information exchange?

Based on the classical light-cone approach it's easy to see you can't transmit information faster than $c$ but why does the speed of light (as far as I know) treat information transmission in this way ...
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Does coordinate time have physical meaning?

I have always been a little confused by the meaning of the "$t$" which appears in spacetime intervals or metrics in general relativity. I concluded that $t$ was just a mathematical thing which allow ...
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Michelson-Morley experiment revisited under the light of special relativity

Taking into account the composition of speeds in special relativity, lets suppose that a Michelson-Morley interferometer is moving at a speed of $\vec{v}$: the speed of Earth relative to the local ...
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35 views

Do charges attractions cause time dilation? [duplicate]

I was pondering whether charges will cause time dilatation? Let me explain more, well we know that gravity causes time-dilatation because of gravitational acceleration which is equal to: $$a = ...
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Time Dilation Back to Original Frame is Inconsistent?

I am watching someone jog at nearly the speed of light, and they snap their fingers. In my frame (A), it takes $\Delta t$ seconds. Using $\Delta \bar{t}=\frac{\Delta t}{\gamma}$ to bring you from ...
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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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What would an relativistically expanding sphere look like for an external observer?

Consider a reflecting sphere, whose radius is increasing at constant rate V close to light speed. What would the collision look like for a remote observer stationary relative to the centre of the ...
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Why is the speed of light in vacuum constant? [duplicate]

Are there any proof of the speed of light in vacuum being constant? All I hear is that light in vacuum travels at a constant speed because that's an observation and that it fits in a coherent theory ...
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Calculating time dilation for photon traveling towards a moving spaceship

Suppose a spaceship is moving away from the Earth at $0.5c$. When the spaceship is one light-year away from Earth, an observer on Earth sends a photon toward the spaceship. According to the observer ...
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Non-reciprocal time dilation

Is this report describing Absolute Lorentz Transformation legitimate or pseudoscience? The reporting sounds like the kinds of things I see in newbie's questions on the twin paradox, or crackpot ...
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What does the temperature of the early universe tell me?

I am re-reading Weinberg's book "The First Three Minutes". In the Introduction he makes this statement: "At about one-hundreth of a second, the earliest time about which we can speak with any ...
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Does the stationary object deform more than the moving one after a collision?

Given two identical clay disks on an air track, one is stationary and another is moving at "high" speed. After colliding, does the stationary disk deform more than the moving one? If it matters, the ...
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Why can you treat coordinates as vector in flat spacetime?

In a manifold there is a distinction between points and vectors, but in flat spacetime this seems to disappear. For example in Minkowski spacetime you can define a coordinate 4-vector ...
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Special Relativity - travelling close to light speed

When we say something travels close to the speed of light, what is its speed relative to? For example, we have 4 highly advanced spacecraft at rest beside each other, labelled A, B, C and D. We ...
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Is there an equivalent of Rindler coordinates for an object in centripetal motion?

Rindler coordinates are a parametrization of (a subset of) Minkowski space that are "natural" for an object experiencing constant acceleration - more specifically, an object experiencing constant ...
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Temporal properties of a photon

Naively, one can attempt to consider the (impossible) light-speed inertial frame. From there you arrive at nonsense conclusions like 'the universe is flattened in the direction of travel' which must ...
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101 views

Why is the relative velocity of B with respect to A negative of the relative velocity of A with respect to B?

I'm trying to figure out how to derive the transformation matrix for the Lorentz boost. Consider two inertial frames A and B, and let B move at a constant velocity V with respect to A. All the ...
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Is it possible extend Schrodinger theory in relativistic contexts with naive consideration?

Preamble Let's consider a generic sinusoidal wave $\Psi (\mathbf{r},t) = A e^{i(\mathbf{k} \cdot \mathbf{r} - \omega t + \phi)}$ and let's insert it into Schroedinger equation (please note that $ ...
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1answer
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Is measurement of energy also relative? [duplicate]

From SR we know that the measurement of space and time are relative to the specific reference frame of the observer. What about measuring energy content? When an object is accelerated to a near ...
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1answer
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Solving relative velocity without Lorentz transform [closed]

A train with proper length $L$ moves at speed $\frac{5c}{13}$ with respect to the ground. A ball is thrown from the back of the train to the front. The speed of the ball with respect to the ...
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Using the speed of light in a vacuum or in that medium

To clarify, is the speed limit of the universe the speed of light in a vacuum, or the speed of light in that particular medium, i.e. if the speed of light in a particular medium were only 17 m/s, ...
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Complex numbers in quantum mechanics and in special relativity

Is there a physical relation between the use of complex numbers for the wavefunction in (non-relativistic) quantum mechanics and in special relativity (as formulated in the setting of Minkowski ...
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Lorentz algebra and its generators

I'm reading Maggiore's book A Modern Introduction to Quantum Field Theory and I'm getting a bit confused when he writes about Lorentz algebra: $$K^i = J^{i0},$$ ...