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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Sign choice for sigma-matrices

I'm trying to figure out the consequences of the sign choice $$ \sigma^\mu = (\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma)\qquad\text{vs.}\qquad \sigma^\mu = (-\mathbf{1},\vec\sigma) \,. $$ This choice does not affect the ...
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1answer
258 views

Lorentz invariance, energy-momentum conservation & the locality of interactions

I have been reading these notes ("Minkowski Spacetime: A Hundred Years Later", by Vesselin Petkov) 1, in which the author states (in the middle of the text on page 137) that "The only Lorentz ...
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26 views

Total dilation of a signal from Tau Sagittarii [on hold]

Please forgive my ignorance, but I'm attempting to figure out how to do this... I want to learn how to evaluate the total dilation of a signal (waveform) leaving Tau Sagittarii to us. This assumes ...
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5answers
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Is special relativity axiomatic?

Can special relativity be somewhat described by the following statement? If the speed of light is a universal constant, and if light can be placed in separate frames of motion, then time must be ...
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2answers
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What axiomatizations exist for special relativity?

Einstein 1905 gives the following axiomatization of special relativity (Perrett and Jeffery's translation): The laws by which the states of physical systems undergo change are not affected, whether ...
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What is the irreducible set of fundamental principles of Special Relativity? [duplicate]

This is something that I have been pondering for some time. The fundamental principles of special relativity are usually presented as forming a twofold: There is no absolute reference frame of ...
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1answer
34 views

Maximum Angular Momentum for an orbit in GR

[The reference for this question is the book Gravitation by Misner,Thorne, & Wheeler.] The trajectories of massive particles around a spherically symmetric body is governed by the effective ...
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1answer
39 views

use of earth magnetic field [on hold]

If we use earth magnetic field as a big magnet and take earth opposite charged electromagnet than it is possible that earth opposite charged electromagnet repel from earth surface.
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3answers
770 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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2answers
203 views

Relativity gedanken experiment

Lets consider the following thought experiment: A spaceship is in circular orbit around Earth traveling at 99% of $c$ (the orbital distance is chosen in such a way that inside the ship there are no ...
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1answer
37 views

Why speed of light is constant with respect to any inertial frame of reference? [duplicate]

Its getting too difficult to think.if we travel at the speed of light then will light will cross us at same speed or travel with us adjacent (special theory of relativity)
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2answers
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Why do single particle states furnish a rep. of the inhomogeneous Lorentz group?

Following up on this question: Weinberg says In general, it may be possible by using suitable linear combinations of the $\psi_{p,\sigma}$ to choose the $\sigma$ labels in such a way that $C_{\...
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Question on the Derivation of Lorentz Invariance of Electric Charge

On Zwiebach's "A First Course in String Theory" textbook, there is a problem 8.2 that derives the invariance of electric charge given a few assumptions: 1. Conservation of Maxwell 4-current $j = (c\...
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2answers
135 views

(Hyper)Surface of Simultaneity

How can I determine the surfaces of simultaneity if I know the metric? In particular, what are the surfaces of simultaneity for rotating disk with Langevin metric: $$ ds^2=-(1-\omega^2r^2)dt^2+2r^2\...
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2answers
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Why does time dilation cause you to age slower? And is time considered relative to the observer?

I understand that the higher your velocity the slower light will move. But how does time itself slow down while you are moving faster?
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If the four velocity of a photon is undefined, what can we say about the velocity of a photon? Is Brian Greene right about motion through spacetime? [on hold]

Edit: THIS QUESTION IS ASKING ABOUT THE FOUR VELOCITY OF A PHOTON. THE PREVIOUS QUESTION DOES NOT. PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION, WHICH HAS NOT BEEN ASKED. If the four velocity of a photon is ...
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Do electronic energy levels of an atom effectively shift for scattering processes if the atom is moving in the lab frame?

When an electron of low energy scatters off an atom it interacts with one of the electrons in its shell and can transfer energy to it. The energy transfers would be discrete, since the shell electron ...
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1answer
68 views

One particle states in an interacting theory

Question: What is the general definition of one particle states $|\vec p\rangle$ in an interacting QFT? By general I mean non-perturbative and non-asymptotic. Context. 1) For example, in Weigand'...
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2answers
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4answers
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If a photon has no mass why doesn't it have infinite speed? [duplicate]

Please help a naïve layperson understand -- if a photon has no mass, why is its velocity limited at all? Shouldn't a particle with no mass be able to travel at an infinite speed?
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1answer
58 views

Lorentz Transformations in Minkowski space

If $\Lambda$ represents the Lorentz transformation matrix, then the transformation of contravariant components $x^\mu$ is given by $$x'^\mu=\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu} x^\nu$$ and that of the covariant ...
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1answer
198 views

Hidden momentum

I'm trying to learn about hidden momentum. After reading what I could find with a google search, I understand that it is equal to the momentum carried by radiation, calculated with the Poynting vector....
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1answer
52 views

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 ...
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2answers
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Special relativity paradox and gravitation/acceleration equivalence

One of the features of the black hole complementarity is the following : According to an external observer, the infinite time dilation at the horizon itself makes it appear as if it takes an ...
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Twin paradox without gravity [on hold]

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 ...
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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. ...
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67 views

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

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 ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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34 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 ...
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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-...
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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 ...
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81 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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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,...
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1answer
41 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&...
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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 ...
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0answers
53 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
243 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
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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 ...
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669 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 ...
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1answer
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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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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/...
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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 ...