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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A classical explanation of why there is a speed limit in the universe

The question is - is there any flaw in this explanation, or it is the right explanation in general language? Let me break the explanation into two parts - (1) Why there is a certain speed of ...
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5answers
2k views

Relativity and Current in Wire

If an observer is stationary relative to a current-carrying wire in which electrons are moving, why does the observer measure the density of moving electrons to be the same as the density of electrons ...
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3answers
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Does the force between two point charges change when inertial reference frame changes?

The two point charges are as below: Then the Coulomb force between them is: $$F_1=\frac{q^2}{4\pi\epsilon_0 r^2}$$ When the inertial reference frame moves left at $v$(or the point charges move ...
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1answer
68 views

Can a particle have an imaginary mass?

Now, I'm not very involved in the physical sciences, beyond some high-school classes - though I did listen to some college lectures for physics. I was reading "Do Tachyons Exist?" by John Baez, which ...
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2answers
44 views

Is the energy of a collision of two photons the same as one photon hitting a 'wall'?

Special relativity says that the speed of ligt is always the same. So when a photon meets another photon he will encouter it with the speed of light and also the other one. But in case of a wall, the ...
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1answer
48 views

Is there any description of a mechanism of curving of space-time fabric

Most of us know about famous line - "mass tells space how to curve and space tells mass how to move". There is quantitative description of the curving and its effects in Einstein's theory. Mass and ...
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20answers
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+50

Do we know why there is a speed limit in our universe?

This question is about why we have a universal speed limit (the speed of light in vacuum). Is there a more fundamental law that tells us why this is? I'm not asking why the speed limit is equal to ...
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0answers
39 views

Are objects like $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu \nu} b^{\mu \nu}$ consistent with Einstein summation?

I'm familiar with Einstein' summation notation and I understand objects like $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu \nu}$ just fine. But I'm wondering why I've never come across objects like this: $a^{\mu \nu} a_{\mu ...
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3answers
55 views

Twins paradox question [duplicate]

In the twins paradox, the twin that travels away from earth comes back to find that his (her) twin has aged much more due to relativity's effect on time. Why can't we posit that it is not the one twin ...
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0answers
31 views

Representations of spinors

I'm trying to understand spinors but I haven't found a good explanation of how to derive them. I'm generally interested. I read that there is a representation of SO(3) as spinors, and also that there ...
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0answers
31 views

What is conformal symmetry physically?

I'm reading a paper by t'Hooft http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.6675. There is an argument in the paper that I could not understand: "Now that system, described by Maxwell’s equations, does have conformal ...
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1answer
84 views

What am I doing wrong while proving time dilation using Minkowski space-time diagram?

Consider two events A and C. They have same value of x' and time interval between them is $\triangle \tau$. This is the proper time interval between the events. ...
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0answers
42 views

Identifying Lorentz Covariant Equations

Statement: $\phi , A^{\mu}, T^{\mu \nu}$ are a Lorentz scalar, vector, and tensor. Which of the following equations are Lorentz covariant. a. $\phi = A_{0}$ b. $\phi = A^{\mu}A_{\mu}$ c. $\phi = ...
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1answer
61 views

Small particle rotating around neutron star

First let me say I have read the article at "users.ictp.it › lns003 › Ruoff › Ruoff.ps.gz" about a small particles orbiting a neutron star and causing excitation of different modes of gravitational ...
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2answers
177 views

Doppler effect of matter waves

We all know that the relativistic mass of a moving object in Special relativity increases for an observer who is measuring it for a moving object. We also know the the concept of particle-wave ...
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2answers
55 views

Conversion of energy to matter? [closed]

Now, this answer has sort of been asked before. But I haven't really found the answer that I'm looking for. Exactly what is the mechanism by which energy can be converted into matter? By ...
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0answers
127 views

Cold Fusion and Black Holes [closed]

How does a magnetic field heat and Cool objects? Would an Atom rapidly cooled with a magnetic field release photons? Can solid magnets be used in the same manner? Einsteins cold fusion formula is ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Cold Solid Matter at the End of a Black Hole's Acceleration Disk?

Is it possible that black holes magnetic field are rapidly cooling matter using a type of magneto caloric effect and cold fusion creating new matter only possible with a black hole's gravity? A type ...
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2answers
150 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 $$ ...
3
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4answers
274 views

Up or Down? A Question about Relativity

The standard text discussion of the equivalence principle and the bending of light rays goes like this. We, as observers watch a glass elevator ascending. A light beam is fired from left to right. The ...
2
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0answers
50 views

Where other frame observer will put new stick [closed]

my question is with relativity, if we draw two circle of same radii and fill the perimeter with stick (very small so it cover whole perimeter) now if we rotate a stick with veey high speed ...
1
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1answer
98 views

Why does time stop its flow? [duplicate]

According to the "list verse" time gets to a pause when someone or something travels at the speed of light. But a question still lies in my mind, if time always travels forward and does not stop at ...
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3answers
723 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
289 views

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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1answer
199 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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2answers
61 views

When does travelling at a fraction of the speed of light appear to the traveler as if they're going the speed of light? [closed]

If a spaceship is travelling to Proxima Centari, there is a fraction of the speed of light that would make the spaceship appear to reach Proxima Centauri in four years' time. What fraction of the ...
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0answers
23 views

Decay of lepton into meson and neutrino using four-momentum

I'm learning about how to use four-momentums and am working through a problem involving the decay of a charged lepton into a charged meson and neutrino. The equation would be: $L^+ \to M^+ + \nu$ ...
2
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0answers
23 views

Which date the twin paradox was formulated first time? [migrated]

Any research about real measurements with faster moving than me systems - like GPS for example - leads to a mix of different sideway phenomenons like different gravitational potential on earth and in ...
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0answers
30 views

If humanity was to send a probe to Proxima Centauri, how long would the travel last?

[Feb 3 2016] (I am including the date I asked this as a reference, since technology evolves with time, this question's answer will change in time...) If humanity was to send a probe to the nearest ...
2
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1answer
54 views

How do I know which observer is running the time faster or slower

Ok, I'm not a physicist, so I don't know if my question is silly (probably yes), but there is something in special relativity that I can't understand and I would really like it to be clarified. If ...
4
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3answers
255 views

How is it possible for the wavelength of light to change in a medium?

So my physics class has just finished a long unit on optics while at the same time I've been trying to teach myself relativity. I admit my understanding is probably rudimentary, but I figured all the ...
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1answer
55 views

What makes things move in a universe with blocktime? [closed]

In a universe with blocktime the past, present and future all exist at the same time. But what makes it appear that for example my body is going from one movement ...
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2answers
143 views

Why acceleration cannot vanish everywhere?

In attempt to introduce gr concepts When there are gravitational accelerations present, as for example in the gravitational field of the earth, the space cannot be the flat Minkowski space. Indeed, ...
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0answers
32 views

Time Travel Plausible? [closed]

The question of possibly achieving time travel has been exhaustively deliberated over and over again but in the modern era of new discovery and technological advancment, can we reexamine/rethink its ...
0
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1answer
51 views

Special Relativity problem - proper time interval

The supernova 1987A explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud 170 000 light years from Earth produced a burst of anti-neutrinos ν ̄e which were observed in terrestrial detectors. If the anti-neutrinos ...
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1answer
94 views

Scattering Amplitude Not Invariant under Little Group?

I am trying to make sense of scattering amplitude recently. In some literature people say that if some number of massless particles collide together, one can theoretically express the scattering ...
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0answers
36 views

Is any photon really moving? [duplicate]

I read that when something moves at the speed of light, length contracts at the direction of motion. Now consider a photon traveling in the z axis. Since it is travelling at the speed of light, the z ...
3
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2answers
133 views

Confusion with Weinberg's QFT book, volume 1, chapter 3: time translation and Heisenberg picture

Sorry if this is a naive question, but I am new to QFT. In the treatment of scattering in section 3.1 of The quantum theory of fields, vol.1, Weinberg first presented the general transformation rule ...
3
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4answers
443 views

What truly is mass, and is there a direct way to measure it?

We know a mass of an object of one kilogram as an object that weighs W = mg = 9.8 N and we reference it to that, (when it should as a fundamental parameter describe weight not the opposite). But if we ...
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1answer
56 views

Minkowski's dot product

I am trying to deduce the Minkowski's dot product for two dimentional space: $$g=x^1y^1-c^2t_xt_y$$ If $f$ denote the Lorentz's transformation for two dimentional case: $$\begin{array}{rcll} ...
3
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2answers
76 views

Help understanding why can't we measure absolute velocity?

(This is probably a clone of some other question, but I haven't been able to find a satisfactory answer, so I hope this is okay.) So, I know that in special relativity, there's no such thing as a ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Time and velocity

Suppose two cars are traveling at a velocity of $c/2$ ($c$=speed of light) in two straight lines parallel to each other but in opposite direction in vacuum. Then what will a person sitting in one of ...
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1answer
65 views

Constancy of speed of light in vacuum? [closed]

Have scientists tried their best to calculate speed of light in vacuum? It seems very absurd to me that light of all frequencies have same velocity in space. Can someone find in future if this speed ...
1
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1answer
42 views

Are there certain reference frames where proper length of proper time are supposed to be measured?

Let's say we have two frames: Bob on Earth and Alice in a rocketship. Let's say Alice is traveling at a relativistic speed away from Bob. With that in mind. Is there a certain frame where we should ...
4
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2answers
561 views

Introduction to relativity books for an engineer [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Getting started general relativity I am an engineer who loves to read science fiction books especially when there's more science than fiction but usually I see that I ...
3
votes
3answers
281 views

Why isn't a Photon justified in concluding that it is at rest and everything else is moving past it at c? [duplicate]

Why isn't a photon moving at c not justified in concluding that it is at rest and everything else is moving past it at c since relativity postulates that the laws of physics are invariant (i.e. ...
2
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1answer
51 views

Visual pictures of Lorentz transformations

How can I visualize Lorentz transformations? I know it's four dimensional, but without a visual picture in my mind I can't understand any of this. For example how do: Time reflection Space ...
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0answers
55 views

QFT: Ground State Momentum - Normalisation of States

In my notes I have, $$ \left\langle \mathbf{p} \left| \mathbf{q} \right.\right\rangle = \left\langle 0 \left| {a(\mathbf{p})}\ {a(\mathbf{q})}^{\dagger} \right| 0 \right\rangle $$ I am not sure how ...
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0answers
16 views

Show that an isolated photon cannot undergo pair production [duplicate]

I need to see the mathematical details as how the conservation of four momentum is violated.
0
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0answers
71 views

Equation of motion of a free particle

We know that the equation of motion of particle can be derived from the respective action. But in the book I am reading, the author is saying: ... timelike worldline of a massive particle is ...