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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Distance and time measurement in the famous Superluminal Neutrinos Experiment

I tried to understand the technical aspects of the OPERA/CERN experiment, but apparently it takes some professional experience. Therefore I would like to ask someone better acquainted with such ...
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1answer
58 views

Pair Creation and Reference Frames

Ok, so I have a question about an example problem in my textbook (its long but not difficult to follow. My question is at the bottom after I outline the problem). Consider the situation below in frame ...
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188 views

Compton Scattering: Klein-Nishina formula derivation

I'm following a derivation of the Klein-Nishina formula from scratch and this is what I have so far: $P_{e,i} = m_0\gamma_u[1,u]$ and $P_{\gamma,i} = [\frac{\hbar\omega_i}{c^2}, ...
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863 views

Time dilation all messed up!

Okay! There is a problem with my logic and i cannot seem to point out where. There's a rocket ship travelling at close-to-c speed v without any acceleration (hypothetically), and there is an observer ...
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1answer
105 views

Question Regarding Lorentz Transformation

I have question regarding the following velocity transform formula: $$v_b = \frac{v_a - u}{1-uv_a/c^2}$$ $u$ here refers to the speed that one frame is moving relative to another. How do I decide ...
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23 views

Transfer of energy faster than the speed of light [duplicate]

In a vacuum: On my left I have a rod that is 558000 miles long (3 light seconds). A button is secured to its end which activates a laser beam sent back to me once I've pushed the rod in the ...
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61 views

Is the cross section of a relativistic water hose or string always a perfect circle?

Given is a very long tube, such as a water hose or a tubular string with finite thickness, that has a constant circular cross section of radius $r$ along the length and that is at rest in an inertial ...
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621 views

If a neutrino has a rest frame, why can't a photon have a rest frame as well?

Concerning Rest Frame Wikipedia states: For example, in the rest frame of a neutrino particle travelling from the Crab Nebula supernova to Earth the supernova occurred in the 11th Century AD ...
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How does wind speed affect the velocity of light?

As you know, there is a maximum speed things can go called $c$, the "speed of light." Light in a vacuum goes $c$. Light in the atmosphere, however, goes a little less than $c$. My question is: what ...
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32 views

Deriving the relativistic Larmor equation

I have derived the Larmor equation as $$P = \frac{q^2}{6\pi \epsilon_0 c^3} |\ddot{r}|^2.$$ How do I make this relativistic? Apparently, I have to consider the acceleration parallel and ...
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1answer
33 views

Relativistic Dynamical System

I have read in a paper that: A relativistic dynamical system must be invariant under infinitesimal inhomogeneous Lorentz transformation. A dynamical system is characterized by the ten generators, ...
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Is the presence of the phase velocity of De-Broglie wave in the Lorentz Transformations a mere coincidence?

We have the term $c^2/v$ in the lorentz transformation for time: $t' = \gamma (t - x v/c^2)$. Now, taking into account of the fact that $c^2/v$ is the phase velocity of the De-Broglie wave for a ...
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Can we glue femto-cameras to photons? [closed]

I know its not as easy as saying to glue nano-cameras to photons. Please consider the following extract (related to Heisenberg's Uncertainty principle) from the Modern's abc of Chemistry: ...to ...
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2answers
226 views

Dropping a ball in a train moving close to the speed of light?

Suppose a train is moving very close to the speed of light, say 0.999c relative to a stationary observer on Earth. Now a stationary observer on Earth will observe clocks on the train to tick slower ...
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72 views

A simple question about special relativity [closed]

Assume that the table moves with the velocity $\vec{v} = v\hat{i}$. For the observer at $x=0$, the event at $(ct',x')=(0,k)$ is observed at $(t,x)=(k\gamma\beta, k\gamma)$ using Lorentz's ...
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109 views

Can the equivalence principle be shown to follow from special relativity?

Einstein showed in various papers that the energy content of a body was a measure of its inertial mass. If you increase the kinetic energy of a system while keeping the center of energy at rest, its ...
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2answers
115 views

Lorentz invariance?

What exactly is meant by Lorentz invariance? Is it just an experimental observation, or is there a theory that postulates it? What quantities do we expect to be Lorentz invariant? Charge? Charge ...
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153 views

Confusion about Length Contraction in special relativity [closed]

so I'm working on length contraction in relativity theory. I feel pretty confident time dilation and have not really gone over Lorentz Transformations that much. The question itself lies at the ...
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45 views

microcausality and locality

There is this thing I got confused: Microcausality is the statement that spacelike separated local field variables commute so that we can specify field variables on a spatial slice as a complete ...
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1answer
65 views

Spacetime Diagrams

Suppose an observer $\mathcal{O}$ uses the coordinates $t$, $x$, and that another observer $\mathcal{O}'$, with coordinates $t'$, $x'$, is moving with velocity $\mathbb{v}$ in the $x$ ...
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77 views

Does divergence of Taylor series for relativistic $E(p)$ for $p\ge m$ have any physical significance?

When one wants to include weak relativistic effects in classical equations, usually kinetic energy term is expanded into Taylor series about $p=0$. But the complete dispersion relation is ...
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116 views

Deriving formula for time dilation

Last week in class we derived the formula for time dilation using light clocks and got $$t=\gamma t_0\quad \gamma=\left(1+\left(\frac vc\right)^2\right)^{-1/2}$$ So far so good. However, after class I ...
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275 views

While Space-man lives for 1 day, then how long does Earth-man live ? 1000 years or 1 second? [duplicate]

Acordding to Einstein's Relativity, while Space-man lives for 1 day(just a number for example , not an exact number calculated from the corresponding relative speed), Earth-man can live for 1000 ...
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55 views

Relativity addition and signs

I have just covered a very brief module on special relativity as a part of my physics course. I have also done some extra reading mostly; Morrin's Classical Mechanics. While I found the book really ...
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Heat energy in special theory of relativity [duplicate]

Is heat energy invariant under Lorentz transformation? If so then how?
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49 views

Realtivistic explanation of forces between two conducting wires

The formula for the force between two infinite conducting wires per unit of length, $F_l = \frac{\mu_0}{2\pi} \frac{I_1 I_2}{r}$, is quite well known. It was used for definition of ampere and was ...
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How long would it take me to travel to a distant star?

Suppose I wanted to travel to one of the recently discovered potentially Earth-like planets such as Kepler 186f that is 490 light years away. Assuming I had a powerful rocket and enough fuel, how long ...
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22 views

Integral Over Hypersurface Simplification

How does one see it as obvious that $$\int_S \frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x^j} dS^{ji} = \int_S\frac{1}{2}(\frac{\partial A_j}{\partial x^i} - \frac{\partial A_i}{\partial x^j})dS^{ij}$$ where $d ...
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57 views

Hyperbolic Cosine and Sine in Terms of 3-D Velocity

Intuitively, why are $\cosh(\theta) = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}}$ and $\sinh(\theta) = \frac{v/c}{\sqrt{1-(v/c)^2}}$ true in special relativity? Is there some picture I can draw in Minkowski space ...
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55 views

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective?

What is the age of the Universe from the big-bang light perspective? We all agree that the universe is around 14 billion years, from the perspective of a hypothetical observer moving in a galaxy, ...
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22 views

Ultrarelativistic limit of helicity values

Let's have helicity operator: $$ \hat {h} = \frac{(\hat {\mathbf S} \cdot \hat {\mathbf p})}{|\mathbf p|}. $$ For massive case spin $s$ representation it has $2s + 1$ eigenvalues $s, s - 1,..., -s$, ...
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Problem in the Ladder paradox in relativity?

The ladder paradox consists of a ladder rushing towards a garage with two open doors. In the actual paradox, proper length of the ladder is greater than that of the garage, but in this case lets ...
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Help getting my head around frames of reference in special relativity

OK, so my textbook says that in time dilation and length contraction, the proper time and the proper length is "That which is in the frame of reference of the observer at rest relative to the event". ...
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245 views

Why the generators of boosts transform like a vector under rotation?

$$\left[J_i,J_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ $$\left[J_i,M_j \right]=i\epsilon_{ijk}M_k$$ $$\left[M_i,M_j \right]=-i\epsilon_{ijk}J_k$$ where $J_i$ is the generator of rotation of Lorentz group, $M_i$ ...
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84 views

What Did Nobelaureate Smoot Mean by “Modern Efforts to Find Violations of Special Relativity”

In George Smoot's 2006 Nobel Lecture, having won the Nobel prize for his research on the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), he refers to the possibility of the CMB being a special frame stating ...
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143 views

Energy-Momentum Tensor under Lorentz Transformation

In relativity, the symmetric energy-momentum tensor is given by $$ T^{ij}, $$ where $T^{00}$ is the energy density and $\frac{1}{c}T^{10}$ is the momentum density. Thus: $$ \left(\frac{1}{c}T^{00}dV, ...
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119 views

Lorentz transformation of electromagnetic 4-potential

I'm looking for the exact correspondence between Lorentz transfer four vector and the four vector of scalar and vector potential $A^\mu = (\phi(t,\vec{x}),\vec{A}(t,\vec{x}))^{T}$. Does $ct=A(t), ...
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Why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E = pc$?

See, the energy of a photon is given out by $E = pc = hv$ why don't we substitute for $p$ in $E ^2= p^2 c^2 + m^2 c^4$ by putting $p = \gamma mv$ and then get a value for $m$ (which will be $0$ for a ...
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335 views

Uncertainty of permittivity of vacuum [duplicate]

Question: The value of permittivity of vacuum, $\epsilon_0$, is given with absolutely no uncertainty in NIST Why is this the case? More details: The permeability of vacuum can be given by ...
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2answers
89 views

How much of Minkowski spacetime structure can be recovered from its causal structure?

A beginner's question: I have always understood that (four-dimensional) Minkowski spacetime can be recovered up to a constant factor—i.e. 'up to a dilation' or 'up to global scale'—from its causal ...
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67 views

Electric Magnetic potential and Lorentz transform [closed]

I have heard that the scalar potential and the magnetic vector potential in the electromagnetic four potential become the four vector by the Lorentz transform. Thereafter, the Lorentz transform leads ...
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161 views

What's the purpose of the speed of light in $E = mc^2$?

Is $E=mc^2$ not just $E=m$. What does the speed of light have to do with this other than to give it a really big number so it looks cool? What spectrum of light is used? How can we test the speed of ...
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1answer
53 views

Speed=mass=time? [closed]

I was wondering why objects gain mass with speed? How can we measure speed if there is no truly stationary point to measure from? And if an object comes to a stand still will it loose its mass? ...
4
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1answer
203 views

What are the eigenvalues of the Lorentz matrix?

The Lorentz matrix defines the transformation of a four-vector between different frames of reference, such that $$ p^{'\mu} = \Lambda^{\mu}_{\ \ \nu}p^{\nu} $$ where in this example $p^{\mu}$ is the ...
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112 views

The speed of light and unstable matter

Mr.E is on a luxury spaceship travelling about 1/2 the speed of light and finds a cubic lump of unstable matter(attached to a bomb) in his cabin. He of course is an expert with bombs but this device ...
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95 views

“Imaginary” Perfect Time

In the definition (in one spatial dimension) of $\Delta \tau$ there is the relation: $(\Delta \tau)^2 = (\Delta t)^2 - (\Delta x)^2$ which is invariant. If $(\Delta x)^2 > (\Delta t)^2$ then there ...
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48 views

Electromagnetism and the principle of relativity

I'm reading the book "Fundamental Physics 2: Electromagnetism" by Alonso and Finn. I understand everything up to the point where everything is "unified". The following example is given in the book: ...
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2answers
534 views

What's the relationship between $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$, $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ and $SO(1,3)$?

I'm a beginner of QFT. Ref. 1 states that [...] The Lorentz group $SO(1,3)$ is then essentially $SU(2)\times SU(2)$. But how is it possible, because $SU(2)\times SU(2)$ is a compact Lie group ...
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Relativistic Transverse Doppler Effect

In Minkowski spacetime, two observers, A and B, are moving at uniform speeds u and v, respectively, along different trajectories, each parallel to the y-axis of some inertial frame S. Observer A emits ...
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63 views

What is the resolution to this apparent contradiction?

Momentum is defined as $$p = \gamma m_0 v$$ And here is another law $$E^2=(m_0c^2)^2+(pc)^2$$ And this website says the energy of a red photon is $1.9074 eV$. Also, light has a rest mass of $0$. The ...