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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The limited computing capacities of space lead to time-dilation near mass and with movement? [on hold]

Has anyone tried to approach physics using space as a computing medium? It seems like a lot of things could be explained with this approach. With the acceleration of the expansion of the universe as a ...
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99 views

Time-reversed twin paradox

This started with wondering about the nature of certain physical quantities under time-reversal - chiefly, that acceleration retains its magnitude and direction at a given time regardless of the ...
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Special relativity: can the velocity of a free object be discontinuous relative to an accelerated observer who stops accelerating?

Suppose an observer ${\it {\mathcal O}}$ leaves point O*, origin of the Minkowski frame K*, in the $O^{*}x^{*} $ direction, with a uniform acceleration $a_{0} $ (as measured by himself) ...
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Explain the notion of light/electromagnetic waves/photons to a non-physicist

A non-physicist asked me about special relativity. My explanations naturally were based on gedankenexperiments involving light. This forced the question: "What is light? It is particles, isn't? Or is ...
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28 views

Relativistic addition of velocities in the y-direction? [on hold]

I've been having some difficulty with the problem described below, please have a look: Two particles with identical masses (m) undergo a collision. Before the collision they move with velocities ...
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The limited Computing Capabilities of Space, Increased quantized info leads to time-dilation?

Are there any approaches to Special and General Relativity using space as a computing medium? With space having a maximum computing capability and time dilation as lag? Could this idea describe the ...
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25 views

Length contraction alongside acceleration

Let's have a ship, a target and a ship traveler which we use as point of view. Assuming no other object are observed and we are so far from any other object that gravity distortion are negligible, I'm ...
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2answers
51 views

Behavior of mass approaching the speed of light

I would like some clarification on the behavior of relativistic mass as it approaches the speed of light. I am a high school student with an interest in physics so chances are I will have a hard time ...
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1answer
40 views

Simultaneous observations in relativity

Consider an object which responds to two different signals A and B: it responds to signal A with blue color and signal B with red color. Also, it responds only to the signal that reached first. In ...
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3answers
46 views

Doppler shift and special relativity

I have been listening to an audio course on Special Relativity. In the course the teacher repeatedly says that the "laws of physics are equally valid for all uniformly moving frames of reference". ...
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34 views

Minkowski Diagram for Time-Like Separated Events

A while ago, I asked a question if two events are always simultaneous in some reference frame. I received excellent answers. The point is that if $E_1$ and $E_2$ are time-like separated with time ...
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Do the integral forms of Maxwell's Equations have limited applicability because of retardation?

In the usual bookwork treatment, it is easy to show that the differential and integral forms of Maxwell's equations are equivalent using Gauss's and Stokes's theorems. I have always thought that ...
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Proving the Lorentz invariance of the Lorentz invariant phase space element

I have been looking around for a satisfactory answer to prove that $$\frac{d^3\vec{p}}{2E_{\vec{p}}}$$ where $E_{\vec{p}}=+\sqrt{(|\vec{p}|c)^2+(mc^2)^2}$, is Lorentz invariant. The standard answer ...
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How did special relativity change physicists views on the two prominent inverse square laws (ie Newton grav and Coulomb's law)?

On page 107 in Hartle's Gravity -- An introduction to Einstein's General Relativity, he says the following With the success of special relativity it became apparent that the Newtonian theory of ...
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137 views

Twin paradox…what happens to the ship?

The earth bound twin looks up and sees his travelling twin moving slower inside his spaceship because he is whizzing by at some percent speed of light. But what does the motion of the ship itself ...
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1answer
131 views

Doppler shift for a uniformly accelerating observer

This was given in textbook as an example. An observer on a spaceship with a four velocity $u$ is approaching from $x = +\infty$ a star at rest in the reference frame $S$ while undergoing constant ...
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71 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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3answers
360 views

Are length contractions limited by Planck length?

While we are getting closer to speed of light our length in the direction of the movement is according to Lorentz transformation getting shorter. But we can not (even theoretically) consider length ...
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430 views

Why is the scalar product of four-velocity with itself -1?

My GR book Hartle says the scalar product of four-velocity with itself $-1$? Consider the definition of four velocity $\mathbf{u} = \frac{dx^{\alpha}}{d\tau}$. Suppose I take the scalar product of ...
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Why is the relativistic Lorentz factor defined this way? [duplicate]

My question is: why has the Lorentz factor the form $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v^2}{c^2}}}$$ and not, for example one of those: $$\gamma = \dfrac{1}{\sqrt{1 - \dfrac{v}{c}}}$$ or ...
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564 views

Do tachyons move faster than light?

I am trying to understand whether or not tachyons travel faster than light. The linked Wikipedia page shows some seemingly contradictory statements, and they are confusing. For instance, the first ...
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53 views

Newtonian oscillator in a box [on hold]

To help me understand relativistic momentum and gravity effects, I would like comments on this artificial example. Inside a box, two equal masses m are connected by an ideal spring and allowed to ...
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2answers
199 views

Does space between objects contract?

I had a question, let us assume a coordinate system where there is 2 objects moving at relativistic speeds (at same velocity) for the observer therefore the observer will observe the length ...
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Confused about Lorentz contraction

My son asked me the following question which I can't answer in a simple way. A frame $O'$ has speed $v$ relative to $O$. A photon travelling along the $x'$-axis in frame $O'$ over a distance $L'$ ...
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Observed speed of light [duplicate]

Suppose two very fast trains, train $A$ traveling a constant speed of $.5c$ and train $B$ traveling at a constant speed $.75c$, are on the same straight track heading straight towards one another. If ...
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2answers
67 views

What is the fastest speed that a massive object can travel at? [duplicate]

What is the fastest speed (in miles per hour) that a massive object can travel at? I have heard that an object can travel at the speed of light, but I've also heard that massive objects cannot travel ...
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48 views

Quantum relativistic effects

I was performing a thought experiment: let us assume an object is traveling so close to the speed of light that the length of the object is small enough for quantum effects to become noticeable to a ...
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104 views

States in light cone string theory

Currently I'm trying to understand string theory in the light cone quantization. I just have had a look into Polchinski (Vol. 1, Introduction to the bosonic string), because – as far as I could see – ...
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Time dilation due to change in speed

I can't get something strait... Lets use the usual example: A man is flying away from earth on a very fast spaceship. So, His time is now not moving in the same "speed" like earth time but slower. But ...
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178 views

Proving Relativity of Simultaneity by contradiction [closed]

I am trying to show that the 2 governing postulates of Special Relativity imply simultaneity by doing a proof by contradiction. I just want to make sure that this is valid and that the Lorentz ...
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40 views

Has light been used to measure relative velocity?

Here we have 2 lasers. Both are in the same frame of reference as is top box. Laser #1 sends the light directly through the hole in the top box on one side and the light eventually exits the hole ...
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Mass-velocity-relation for tachyon

Suppose that $m = \gamma m_0$ with $$\gamma = \left(1-\frac{u^2}{c^2}\right)^{-\frac{1}{2}}$$ is valid for tachyons, where $m$ is the mass of the tachyon and $u$ its velocity. Since $u>c$, the rest ...
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Proof of Lorentz contraction?

The measurement of the flux of muons at the Earth's surface shows that many more muons are detected than would be expected, based on their mean half-lifetime of 2,2 microseconds. This is a good proof ...
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Violation of Newton's 3rd law and momentum conservation [closed]

Why and when does Newton's 3rd law violate in relativistic mechanics? Check this link.
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Increased mass from signals traveling close to the speed of light

As you travel close to the speed of light, it is to my understanding you gain mass. Does this also apply when the brain sends electrical signals to the muscles? Do the signals (that are traveling at ...
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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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30 views

Time dilation as an inverse correlate of “spatial friction” [closed]

am i wrong to think of space as either having a density and or a velocity? It seems that higher "spacial friction" is inversely correlated with rate of time. example: traveling through more space in ...
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48 views

Only one invariant speed in special relativity

This is taken from Rindler's Special Relativity: Any effect whose speed in vacuum is always the same could have used to derive the Lorentz Transformation, as light was used in our derivation. Only ...
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Homogeneity of the Lorentz Transformation

The standard Lorentz transformation is linear and homogeneous. This fact implies the following: $\Delta t'= \gamma\ (\Delta t - \frac{v \Delta x}{c^2}),\ \Delta x'= \gamma\ (\Delta x - v \Delta t),\ ...
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40 views

Action principle for a faster-than-light point particle in special relativity [closed]

When we have principle of stationary action in the Newtonian physics, we can safely choose any smooth trajectory connecting the initial and the final points because any velocity $\textbf{v}$ is ...
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102 views

Special relativity - twin paradox explored

A thought experiment. A person on the Earth has a clock. Another person who also has a clock is in a rocket ship passing the Earth travelling at 50% the speed of light. They synchronise watches as ...
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Special Relativity: observation of simultaneity [closed]

I have a question about special relativity, simultaneity and observation. I can't work with Markdown, so I have take screenshots of my Word-doc. Hope it works.
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3answers
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Do objects have energy because of their charge?

My gut feeling tells me things should have energy because of their charge, like they have energy because of their mass. Is this possible? Has it been shown? If not then what is missing to make such ...
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1answer
29 views

At what velocity would a body need to travel at to experience noticeable (couple minutes) time distortion?

When a person experiences higher speeds, the light must travel a greater distance to reach the person whom is moving compared to that whom is staying still. Right? So therefore, light takes slightly ...
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228 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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3answers
278 views

Understanding bending light beam perpendicular to motion

I'm just reading a book about gravity. An example it gives is a spaceship accelerating. A beam of light travelling at right angles to the direction of movement of the spaceship enters it via a small ...
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2answers
48 views

Why does the thought experiment of a photon bouncing of a mirror imply anything for other objects?

Okay, so I am reading a book, "The Elegant Universe" by Brian Greene, which talks about motion and its effect on time. Greene makes the point that time changes with motion by saying that if you have ...
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Relativity of Simultaneity

Relativity of Simultaneity seems to be about OBSERVING two events simultaneously (please correct me if I am wrong). However, as long as the two events are separated by a distance (any distance) then ...
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I'm having trouble interpreting the Lorentz transformations

There are two frames which I will call O and O'. Suppose I'm someone in O. Are the lorentz transformations a means by which to calculate coordinates on O' in a way that only frames like me would ...
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What is Minkowski spacetime?

I was browsing through an article on spacetime when I caught the words Minkowski Spacetime. A Wikipedia search brought me an article too complex for me to totally understand. So what is Minkowski ...