The special theory of relativity describes the motion and dynamics of objects moving at significant fractions of the speed of light.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

-1
votes
0answers
24 views

General Relativity: deriving invariance of interval

I'm reading a book called A First Course In General Relativity, and when I got to the invariance of the interval, the book didn't derive it. Also, when the book derived time dilation and Lorentz ...
-2
votes
0answers
30 views

Twin paradox without gravity

Suppose we have 3 people Person1 was already born on a spaceship that travels in the speed of 0.5c toward person2 Person2 was born in a point in point in the space also in the exact time of person1 ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Is mass relative? [duplicate]

This question has to do with the relativistic mass of an object. I have been reading that as energy increases, so does mass to a much lesser extent, and that this applies to kinetic energy as well. ...
0
votes
0answers
62 views

Lorentz transformation: Can distance between two observers depend on the observers?

Consider reference frames S and S'. S' is moving in positive x direction at speed v relative to S. Time measured by S is t and that measured by S' is t'. When t = 0, then t'= 0. Coordinate systems ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Proof of two Lorentz-algebra identities

I am currently working through the QFT introduction text by Peskin and Schroeder and try to fill in two identities that I wasn't able to prove (it should be fairly simple, but my experience with this ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

What is the irreducible decomposition of the tensor product of left and right weyl spinor representations, i.e. $(1/2,0)⊗(0,1/2)$?

What is the irreducible decomposition of the tensor product of left and right weyl spinor representations of the group $SL(2,\mathbb{C})$, i.e. $(1/2,0)⊗(0,1/2)$? I mean, the tensor product of two ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Length contraction in special relativity: can space be at rest in any frame?

Suppose a rod is moving at speed $v$ relative to me along its length. $L_0 = {}$length of the rod in the frame in which the rod is at rest $L = {}$length of the rod in my frame Then $$L = L_0 \sqrt{1-...
-3
votes
0answers
38 views

Special Relativity Problem: What's wrong here? [on hold]

Two 1 kg blocks float in space. After an explosion, they move left and right at 0.6 c. Consider their momentum relative to a frame of reference moving a 0.6 c to the right relative to their center of ...
3
votes
0answers
78 views

What is the geometric explanation for why the interior angles of a triangle sum to 180 degrees in both Euclidean space and Minkowski spacetime?

Four-dimensional Euclidean space has the same topology and affine structure as Minkowski spacetime, though the two have different metric structures. Given that the interior angles of a triangle ...
0
votes
2answers
119 views

Speed of light and relativity [duplicate]

Suppose there are two observers $A$ & $B$ both are in motion, now $A$ sees $B$ is moving with speed $'u'$. A says that another object $'d'$ is moving with speed $c+u$ w.r.t. A in the same ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

Reflection At Speed of Light

I have looked online to no avail. There is two competing answers and I am curious to know which one is right. Someone asked me this question. If you are traveling at the speed of light can you see ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

Why must $v$ be $< c$ in the Lorentz transformations? Do these equations not apply to light? [duplicate]

I was trying to understand how things look from the perspective of light. Looking at the Lorentz transformations, it seems that the universe would contract along the direction of movement into a plane,...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

A puzzler in induction and special relativity

Some reading I was doing jogged my memory about a puzzle in E&M that hit me back in my undergrad days, but I just let it go at the time and never found an answer. A pretty common undergrad E&...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Can orbiting a black hole 99.99% speed of light make other object with relatively fast clock travel faster than light, relative to me?

If i orbit a black hole, 99.9% speed of light, time for me is moving slowly, relative to me, planet earth is aging fast, and i have traveled 10 years into the future(relatively) in 1 second, suppose ...
-1
votes
0answers
40 views

Imagine I'm on a spacecraft that was accelerated to 1.0$c$ could I only move backwards? [duplicate]

Imagine I'm in a sapcecraft1 that is moving with 1.0$c$ or at least is so close to that speed that a few miles per hour would just be left to reach $c$. So when I'm traveling now in the direction ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

What exactly were the “asymmetries which do not appear to be inherent in the phenomena” in Einstein's 1905 SR paper?

The first ¶ of Einstein's "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" says (my emphases): It is known that Maxwell's electrodynamics—as usually understood at the present time—when applied to moving ...
4
votes
1answer
242 views

What is problematic about the Moving magnet and conductor problem?

The problem is posed as follows: There is a conductor and a magnet in relative motion. This motion induces emf in the conductor. The value of the induced emf is independent of whether it's the ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Did Einstein know about Michelson-Morley experiment?

The second postulate of special relativity deals with constancy of light in inertial reference frames. But, how did Einstein came to this conclusion? Did he knew about the Michelson-Morley experiment?
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Hafele-Keating revisited with a gravity clock

Most modern clocks use electromagnetic phenomena to measure time. There are perhaps some older clocks that involve gravity to some degree (hour glass, pendulum), but I believe they still have a ...
15
votes
7answers
663 views

Relativity of temperature paradox

The imagined scenario: Part A: From special relativity we know that velocity is a relative physical quantity, that is, it is dependent on the frame of reference of choice. This means that kinetic ...
0
votes
1answer
248 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 ...
-2
votes
0answers
48 views

What did Einstein contribute to Special Relativity that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in 1904 and Poincaré in 1905? [duplicate]

What did Einstein contribute to what is now called Special Relativity theory that hadn't already been done by Lorentz in his 1904 "Electromagnetic Phenomena in a System Moving with any Velocity ...
-4
votes
0answers
39 views

Do Physical Singularities Exist? Is Mass Infinite at $v=c$? [closed]

Looking at the Minkowski light cone and the STR on the Boundary at $v=c$. STR calculates infinite mass/infinite energy which would burn the universe to a crisp. Aren't we simply saying Undefined; and, ...
3
votes
2answers
38 views

Kinetic Energy Relativistic Correction

When trying to add relativistic corrections to the standard Schrödinger equation, the kinetic energy correction is given as $H'=-\frac{p^4}{8m^3c^2}$ (e.g. page 14 https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/people/...
-6
votes
0answers
62 views

Relativity - Twin Paradox and Absolute Frame of Reference - Why Not? [closed]

Absolute Reference Frame is a very discussed topic here and at other forums. For me it seems natural that the Relativity twin paradox should be explain in respect to such frame. The wikipedia article ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Special Relativity - oscillator paradox

I am reading about the Special relativity and the original Einstein papers from 1905 and 1920 where he derives the Lorentz transformation and the effects of the time dilation and space contraction ...
-7
votes
1answer
70 views

Speed of light from moving source evidence [closed]

The speed of light in a vacuum is taken to be a constant $c$ from a light source moving in our frame. What experiment(s) provide direct evidence for this. To what level of precision do we know this ?
3
votes
5answers
426 views

Could velocity be taken as fundamental instead of time?

In physics time and length are taken as fundamental in the SI system and, as it seems, in the thinking of physicists. Could one instead take velocity, with c as its unit, together with length as ...
-1
votes
1answer
75 views

Why cannot Paul be the observer? (Questions about Twin Paradox)

Here is the explanation to the Twin Paradox in Feynman's Lecture on Physics 16–2. we consider a famous so-called “paradox” of Peter and Paul, who are supposed to be twins, born at the same time. ...
1
vote
3answers
247 views

Spacelike to timelike four vectors

First at all, let me just say that I'm not a Physicist, I study mathematics. So, I have this question. If you have a spacelike four vector, is there any transformation that could change it to be a ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

Watching a live stream in spaceship traveling away from earth close to speed of light

My name is Dennis. This might sound just straight up ignorant of basic concepts of physics. I was having a conversation with my friend in regards to streaming a live event on earth to a spaceship ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Fierz identity for chiral fermions [closed]

First of all I define the convention I use. The matrices $\bar{\sigma}^\mu$ I will use are $\{ Id, \sigma^i \}$ where $\sigma^i$ are the Pauli matrices and $Id$ is the 2x2 identity matrix. I will use ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Strange implication of the relativistic invariance of the Dirac equation

At least as normally formulated, the law of transformation of a wave function solution of the Dirac equation to another inertial frame seems to indicate that if observer 1 is certain the particle is ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

Performing Wick Rotation to get Euclidean action of scalar field

I'm working with the signature $(+,-,-,-)$ and with a Minkowski space-stime Lagrangian $$ \mathcal{L}_M = \Psi^\dagger\left(i\partial_0 + \frac{\nabla^2}{2m}\right)\Psi $$ The Minkowski action is $$ ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

By special relativity, a particle can only couple to an EM field? [closed]

By special relativity, the Lagrangian for the coupling must be $$ u_i A^i . $$ Here $u_i $ is the four-velocity, and $A^i$ is the four-potential. So, a particle can only couple to an EM field? ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

What is physical meaning of Lorentz boost?

Physical meaning of spatial part of Lorentz transform is, obviously, rotations in R-space. Does anybody have a nice physical interpretation of boosts though? I can understand to some extent off-...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Symmetry, Space-Time interval, and Coordinate Time

I had the following question I was working from a book: Question: A physics professor runs across the hallway covering 120 ns of distance in 150 ns of time as measured in the frame of the earth....
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Conceptual interpretation of the left- and right-handed spinor representations of the Lorentz group

I understand mathematically that the Lorentz group's Lie algrebra $\mathfrak{so(3,1)}$ (given by eqns. (33.11)-(33.13) in Srednicki's QFT book) is isomorphic to $\mathfrak{su(2) \times su(2)}$ (given ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Four Vectors in SR and QFT

I'm covering both special relativity and quantum field theory in the summer. I'm currently using Spacetime Physics by Taylor and Wheeler to cover SR. Since I'm covering SR on the side with QFT, I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

How does the comparison of rates depend on mutual speed?

If I'm moving with a considerable fraction of speed of light, the time and any process in my system will be going slower. If B is an outstanding person that is watching me passing by, he will see ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

From gauge invariance to charge conservation in covariant electrodynamics

I tried to solve the equations of motion using the action for the electromagnetic field interacting with a current, like $$ L = F_{\mu\nu}F^{\mu\nu} + A_{\nu}j^{\nu} $$ getting the right Maxwell's ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Speed of light when accelerating

I'm studying special relativity and saw the 2 postulates of Einstein. The most remarkable one for me is the universal speed of light. Einstein postulated that the speed of light in vacuum is the same ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Can the momentum of a system be spacelike?

For a particle, we always have $Eu=p$ where $u$ is the speed of the particle and correspondingly the momentum is always timelike. For a system of particles, if the potential energy is not considered ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Does increasing the energy of a relativistic particle increase thrust?

I know this particular chestnut has been asked before, but I have a specific variation on the theme: Particle accelerator space thrust. Specifically, cyclotrons to generate the thrust. They are ideal ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What happens to forces when a charge travels at near c?

Suppose 3 electrons are travelling at $c - 1$mm at 1 cm distance The charges are at rest relative to one another in their frame, but what happens to fundamental forces Fe and Fg? What Fe does A get ...
22
votes
2answers
7k views

Is it really possible to break the speed of light by flicking your wrist with a laser pointer?

Minutephysics has a popular YouTube video called "How to break the speed of light". In the video it states that if you flick your wrist while pointing a laser that reaches the moon, that the spot of ...
7
votes
2answers
76 views

Special Relativity, refractive index and catching up with a wave

Einstein was partially motivated by the following: With Maxwell's equations, a plane wave is a sinusoidal wave that varies in space in time and moving with speed $c$. These variations are linked by ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

A method of showing how mass increases with higher velocity. I don't get it

I am a high schooler interested in physics and recently started reading a book about relativity. The name of the book is "What Is Relativity" by Jeffrey Bennet. In page 54 there is a paragraph that ...