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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Is it true that all particles that have a speed less than the speed of light must also have mass?

I've previously learned that massive particles cannot achieve the speed of light. But recently I read that, concerning the gels that refract and bounce light within around enough that it can travel ...
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5answers
314 views

Detecting absolute motion inside a box

This is not a contradiction and I know it is impossible but still consider a thought experiment by me and point out if something is wrong. See the following picture and then the explanation follows. ...
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1answer
36 views

Is there a spacelike curve connection two events in Minkowski space?

Assume two events in Minkowski Space (signature $(-,+,+,+)$) $p_1$ and $p_2$. One claims that there is a spacelike curve which connects these two points in Minkowski space. I have some trouble to ...
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1answer
24 views

Force on a moving charge in relative frame

Consider a particle of charge $q$ moving at velocity, $v$, enters a magnetic field $B$ which is perpendicular to its motion. Now consider two observers, one stationary and the other moving at the ...
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2answers
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Possible mechanics based on the known symmetries in the nature (investigating rumor)

Somewhere I've heard about a relative new mathematical result regarding mechanics. Specifically, there is a list of the known symmetries of mechanics (both Newtonian and relativistic), i.e. different ...
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2answers
547 views

Why does weak equivalence principle say gravity is equivalent to acceleration?

I am told that the weak equivalent principle, that $m_i=m_g$ (inertial and gravitational masses are equivalent) is equivalent to the statement that in a small system you can't tell whether you are in ...
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3answers
426 views

What is a body's momentum really equal to?

I know a body's momentum is equal to the product of its velocity and mass. But what kind of mass? Relativistic mass or rest mass?
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0answers
25 views

How to add together non-parallel rapidities?

How to add together non-parallel rapidities? The Lorentz transformation is essentially a hyperbolic rotation, which rotation can be described by a hyperbolic angle, which is called the rapidity. I ...
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1answer
66 views

Derivation of proper acceleration in terms of rapidity

In the Wikipedia page for proper acceleration, an equation for proper acceleration in terms of rapidity is given as $\alpha = \frac{\Delta \eta}{\Delta \tau}$, where $\eta$ is the rapidity of the ...
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0answers
37 views

General construction of equations of motion for free particles

I've got a question regarding the different Symmetrie-Lie-Groups of Newtonian Mechanics and special realtivity. Is there a canonical way to obtain the equations of motion for a free particle only by ...
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0answers
60 views

Lagrangian, geodesics and relativity

My background is in maths, but I have been studying some basic physics with occasional input from a friend who is studying for a physics PhD. Due to my background, I am keen to visualize things ...
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1answer
39 views

Extreme temperatures, relativity and kinetic theory

According to kinetic theory, average kinetic energy is proportional to temperature. Supposing $k_BT/2$ per particle, can we use relativity and kinetic theory to calculate, e.g., the temperature and ...
2
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1answer
256 views

Reunion condition in the Twin Paradox

In the Twin Paradox two twins initially at rest in the same reference frame are separated and take different journeys through spacetime. Eventually they are reunited. What is the condition for the ...
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1answer
132 views

Finding the total energy in centre of mass frame

I'm working through a problem in a special relativity textbook (Woodhouse) and I'm having some difficulty. I have to show that if I have a particle of rest mass $M$, total energy $E$ colliding with a ...
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0answers
27 views

Is Twin Paradox solved in Special Relativity or General Relativity? [duplicate]

I'm getting pretty frustrated about finding the true solution to the Twin Paradox. If I open 10 relativity books, they all tell that they have the correct solution and the other books are wrong. So I ...
0
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1answer
43 views

How to determine which object in a special relativity physics problem has proper time?

I'm having some difficulty determining which object/location should have proper time applied to it in relativity physics problems. Example: If an electron travels at 40% the speed of light then ...
4
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2answers
86 views

where is the logical hole in this reasoning? (special relativity)

I cannot see the problem in the following reasoning, so I'd be glad if you could help me out. The problem is defining a notion of "length" that is consistent with the constancy of the speed of light ...
2
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1answer
24 views

Polarization of light for a fast moving observer

For a fast moving observer the frequency of light becomes shifted due to the (relativistic) Doppler effect. But what about the polarization of the light? Could it be, that e.g. circular polarized ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms?

Is there a time dilation between my left and right arms when walking? due to special relativity I guess Thanks
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1answer
30 views

Is there serious research on superluminal travel? [on hold]

I was wondering if there are any serious attempts, or any ideas for loopholes in the current theories, that would enable us humans to travel with a speed greater than the speed of light?
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1answer
24 views

Perpendicular doppler effect photons

If I have a photon with frequency f in the lab frame and the observe it in a inertial frame moving perpendicular to the photon. The direction of the velocity of the photon must change but does this ...
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7answers
393 views

“Reality” of length contraction in SR

I was in argument with someone who claims that length contraction is not "real" but only "apparent", that the measurement of a solid rod in its rest reference frame is the "real length" of the rod and ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Massless particle that have momentum not equal to 0

I saw some problems in special relativity that use conservation of total energy and momentum and the conclusions are spectacular. My problem is the following: how can a massless particle like neutrino ...
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1answer
48 views

Space Contraction [duplicate]

Is there any experimental evidence of space contraction which theory of spacial relativity predicts? You should bear in mind that GPS & muon detection beyond the distance permitted by its half ...
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1answer
60 views

Derivation of lorentz transforms relativity - Problem understanding one step [on hold]

Hi, I'm confused about how to move from the third equation to the fourth equation. Why do we need to substitute every term in? That is, why would ct' = (gamma)(x-vt) be wrong? Thanks in ...
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2answers
289 views

What would happen to electronic circuits when traveling near the speed of light?

Imagine a space ship, loaded with all sorts of computer systems, traveling near the speed of light. Electricity itself is very fast, and can reach speeds close the speed of light. (up to 99% ...
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0answers
124 views

What is the proper time used in relativistic non-equilibrium statistical physics?

In the literature one often finds covariant relativistic generalizations of classical non equilibrium statistical equations (Boltzmann, Vlasov, Landau, Fokker-Planck, etc...) but I wonder what is the ...
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1answer
35 views

special theory of relativity-time dilation [on hold]

What is actual mathematical relation for time dilation?Is the time recorded by th moving frame greater than time recorded by stationary frame or is it opposite..? tell me answer.....
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2answers
101 views

Does time dilation imply that events do not take place?

I take two mirrors parallel and facing each other. A light pulse is being infinitely reflected between the two mirrors $M_1,M_2$. $E_1,E_2$ are the events when the pulse is reflected by $M_1,M_2$, ...
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2answers
128 views

Is it OK to see time dilation and (relativistic) mass increase as phenomena that avoid $c$ being reached? And how about length contraction?

I think I have been exposed since years ago to this line of reasoning: if $ v\to c $, then $ \Delta t \to \infty $. As $\displaystyle v=\frac{\Delta s}{\Delta t} $, it's like a natural reaction to ...
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1answer
1k views

Would travelling at relativistic speeds have any impact on human biology?

If a person was sitting on a craft that has accelerated to near light speed speed from Earth (e.g. 99.999% of light speed) would there be any impact on his or her human biology due to relativistic ...
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1answer
41 views

Can we travel faster than the speed of light? [duplicate]

So my question is completely a theoritical question. For example i have a stick made of the strongest material and lightest material and its lenght is as long as the solar system's diameter. The end ...
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2answers
1k views

Is Einstein's characterization of “time” as “the position of the little hand of my watch” definitive and binding in the RT?

In Einstein's very first publication dealing with the Theory of Relativity, effectively as a preamble to all subsequent thought-experimental considerations and descriptions, Einsteín put the ...
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2answers
161 views

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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0answers
20 views

Fraction of kinetic energy carried by neutrons after D-T fusion [closed]

I am trying to answer the following question: Ignoring the initial kinetic energy and momentum of both particles in a D-T fusion reaction calculate the fraction of the released kinetic energy ...
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1answer
42 views

Tachyons and the light barrier

I read somewhere that if something breaks the light barrier, i.e. a tachyon, that it will take infinite energy to make it go slower than the speed of light. So, does that mean that the object will ...
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0answers
30 views

Why direction of Light is considered perpendicular to the motion of the objects in S.Relativity Equations? [closed]

When I look at Special Relativity Equations(Time Dilation/ Length Contraction), I see the direction of light is considered perpendicular to the motion of the object and then the Pythagoras theorem is ...
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0answers
35 views

Clock ticks slower [closed]

Why does our clock tick slower in a deep gravitational well or when we travel at near the light speeds?Why is it said(theoretically) that we will be able to go backwards in time when we travel at ...
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0answers
16 views

At the speed of light [duplicate]

Is it possible to accelerate a body to the speed of light?Why is is said that at the speed of light,the mass of a body would be converted to energy?
2
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2answers
429 views

Exact definition of momentarily comoving reference frame (MCRF)

Consider a particle $P$ in the framework of special relativity with position $r(t)=(ct,x(t),y(t),z(t))$ respect to an inertial reference frame $\Sigma=(ct,x,y,z;O)$. I need to know if the following ...
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0answers
41 views

Special relativity : time dilatation [on hold]

A space shuttle is flies away from the earth with $v=0.8c$ . When it has reached a distance of $d=6.66\cdot 10^{11}m $, a light flash is sent from the earth. How long does the signal need to reach ...
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4answers
244 views

Causality principle and Entropy (Second Law)

I was reading about the light cone in relativity and I got to the point where in order to avoid paradoxes one can introduce the causality principle: Causality Principle: For every inertial ...
2
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1answer
140 views

Graphene and relativistic dynamics

Is it possible to rewrite the Lorentz-transformations (for quantum particles) in terms of effective mass m* known from condensed matter physics? "From pencil lead to relativistic quantum physics" "A ...
2
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2answers
95 views

To what fraction of the speed-of-light has any multi-atom molecule (or polyatomic ion) been accelerated?

Of course photons go $c$ in a vacuum, and seems there's data on electrons getting to $0.999999999976c$ and protons to $0.99999912c$. For the twins paradox to be plausible, one of the twins must ...
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1answer
288 views

Theoretically if you passed the speed of light in a medium, would there be a sonic boom equivalent?

I know that it is technically impossible to reach the speed of light in vacuum since the mass of the object traveling would reach infinity. However in a medium, would there be some sort of theoretical ...
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1answer
91 views

Physical interpretation of distances

Suppose we have a universe with only two distinguishable particles, neglecting gravitation. These particles start off next to each-other, ostensibly "touching" each-other and at rest. If it takes ...
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0answers
39 views

The Lie algebra of the Lorentz group is $su(2) \oplus su(2)$. Is there a similar relation for the algebra of the Poincare group?

It can be shown easily, by introducing new generators from the usual ones that we can think of the Lie algebra of the Lorentz group as being built up by two copies of the $SU(2)$ Lie algebra: $$ ...
3
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1answer
94 views

How do I transform onto a relativistic rotating frame of reference?

In classical mechanics, the usual formula to translate the evolution of a quantity as seen from an inertial frame of reference to a rotational frame is: $$\frac{d \textbf{A} }{dt} \vert_{Inertial} = ...
3
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2answers
324 views

Why time is considered a dimension?

Why is time considered to be a dimension? And the other 7 (except the 3 dimensions of space, and the dimension of time) dimensions that string theory suggests, why can't they be realized?
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2answers
93 views

What would a nuclear explosion look like at relativistic speeds where time dilation and length contraction become significant?

Suppose a rocket carrying a nuclear weapon is moving past our planet at very near the speed of light while a stationary observer watches from here on Earth. As the rocket passes directly overhead, an ...