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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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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3answers
81 views

The relation between mass and speed

Massless particles (or luxons) have no (rest) mass ($m = 0$) and a speed equal to the speed of light ($v = c$). Massive particles (or bradyons) have mass ($m > 0$) and a speed lower than the speed ...
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2answers
119 views

Simple Harmonic Motion in Special Relativity

I was trying to see what results I would get if I were to incorporate relativistic corrections into the case of a harmonic oscillator in one dimension. I thought that if the maximum velocity of the ...
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6answers
355 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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58 views

Is it possible for the light (photons) to turns into normal electromagnetic signal?

I want a theoretical opinion about this question: The relativistic Doppler Shift equation for the light is $$\frac{f_s}{f_o}=\sqrt{\frac{1+\beta}{1-\beta}}$$ where $\beta=v/c$ is the velocity of the ...
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2answers
101 views

Proof of conservation of energy with the relativistic definition of force

Professor Susskind proved conservation of energy in one of his lectures by taking the classical definition of force ($F = ma$) and by showing that its time derivative is zero. How can we do that with ...
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50 views

Proving the speed of light to be an invariant and the “ultimate” speed limit using Minkowski diagrams

Can one show that a certain speed, denoted $c$, is invariant and the ultimate speed limit in all reference frames using Minkowski diagrams? As we define $c = 1$, one can find the angle $\tan^{-1}(1) ...
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1answer
76 views

On the Lorentz Group representation [on hold]

I am going through the notes on QFT by Srednicki (which is certainly a worth reading on the subject, and can be found online, see http://web.physics.ucsb.edu/~mark/qft.html). When describing ...
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1answer
177 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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0answers
57 views

Is it true that whenever any non rigid body moves, there must be a delay between the ends? [duplicate]

Very sorry if this is still considered a duplicate to this, but unfortunately the answer to this question cannot address this because mine is a nonrigid body and involve biological locomotion concepts ...
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2answers
70 views

Is this an inertial frame of reference in relativistic context?

What I've learned from our special relativity lectures is that an inertial frame of reference in relativity is one that experiences no gravitational forces. Also, it is a frame where if a particle is ...
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0answers
89 views

Two apparent contradictions in SR involving time dilation and length contraction

So I've encountered the site "Alternative Physics" – a website proposing "alternative" theories to theories in modern physics. Of course, the site claims that both SR and GR are wrong. To show "why" ...
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87 views

Closed timelike curves in the spin-2 gravity formalism

Let's say we take some topologically trivial CTC spacetime, like the Gödel metric : $ds^2 = -dt^2 - 2e^{\sqrt{2}\Omega y} dt dx - \frac{1}{2}e^{\sqrt{2}\Omega y} dx^2 + dy^2 + dz^2$ And then I ...
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47 views

Question on time dilation [duplicate]

When i studied physics we had this example where someone climbes into a rocked flyes into space comes back the time that passes for him one year time on earth 86 years. I think most know what thinking ...
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90 views

Lorentz transformation of Gamma matrices $\gamma^{\mu}$

From my understanding, gamma matrices transforms under Lorentz transformation $\Lambda$ as \begin{equation} \gamma^{\mu} \rightarrow S[\Lambda]\gamma^{\mu}S[\Lambda]^{-1} = ...
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1answer
118 views

Perfect fluid and Cauchy momentum equation

The stress-energy tensor of a perfect fluid is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\left(\rho+pc^{-2}\right)u^\mu u^\nu+pg^{\mu\nu}$$ The divergence of the stress-energy tensor is zero: $\nabla_\mu T^{\mu\nu}=0$. ...
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3answers
574 views

Why does nonlinearity in quantum mechanics lead to superluminal signaling?

I recently came across two nice papers on the foundations of quantum mechancis, Aaronson 2004 and Hardy 2001. Aaronson makes the statement, which was new to me, that nonlinearity in QM leads to ...
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1answer
32 views

Energy and momentum of a relativistic electron

The question is to find the magnitude, $p$ of the electron's momentum in the unit of MeV/$c$, given that the kinetic energy of the electron is 2.53 MeV. The answer provided by the book says, ...
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Need help please [closed]

An electron's speed is doubled from $0.2~c$ to $0.4~c$. By what ratio does its momentum increase? What happens to the momentum ratio when the electron's speed is doubled again from $0.4~c$ to $0.8~c$? ...
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1answer
119 views

Plane curve transform to moving inertial system coordinates

As a non-phycisist I hope my question makes sense and is understandable. It deals with special relativity. I suppose there is a e.g. plane curve ( e.g. a circle ) given in the x-y plane of of an ...
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4answers
103 views

Can a photon have little to no energy and/or speed?

Can a photon move more slowly than the speed of light and behave 'non-relativistically,' so to speak. Perhaps another way to express my thought is: could we stop a photon from moving?
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2answers
602 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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1answer
67 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 ...
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5answers
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I know light's speed in vacuum is constant, but what about its velocity?

Is the velocity of light in vacuum constant? It seems it would be different depending on whether it is coming toward you or away from you, but I just want to make sure. Does the direction of light ...
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1answer
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Lorentz Invariant Integration Measure [closed]

When we canonically quantize the scalar field in QFT, we use a Lorentz invariant integration measure given by $$\widetilde{dk} \equiv \frac{d^3k}{(2\pi)^3 2\omega(\textbf{k})}.$$ How can I show that ...
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198 views

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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3answers
134 views

What can change a photon's frequency?

I found this question: Is it possible to apply force to a light particle? As it states, gravity can change the frequency of light by changing its momentum. My question regards other phenomena that ...
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1answer
49 views

Polarization vector identity in Minkowski space?

Playing around with numerical light-like momenta $p^\mu_1,p^\mu_2$ (light-like meaning ${p_1}^\mu {p_1}_\mu={p_2}^\mu {p_2}_\mu=0$) and corresponding polarization vectors ...
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1answer
67 views

How to prove $\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E}$ is Lorentz invariant? [duplicate]

To prove $\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E}$ is Lorentz invariant is to prove $$\frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}}{E} = \frac{\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p}'}{E'} \qquad(\mathrm{d}^3\vec{p} := \mathrm{d}p_x \mathrm{d}p_y ...
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2answers
78 views

Electric field energy of two parallel moving charges at relativity speeds

Assume two particles of the same charge $q$ moving in parallel trajectories on the x,y plane. The distance between them is $d$ and it's defined in the y axon. The problem is to calculate the energy of ...
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63 views

Analytical mechanics with SR

Is there an analytical mechanics with SR? Of course you can write down the Lagrangian and Hamiltonian of a free particle. What about non-free? Are there any problems? To be specific: what would the ...
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How is quantum mechanics compatible with the speed of light limit?

Consider a free electron in space. Let us suppose we measure its position to be at point A with a high degree of accuracy at time 0. If I recall my QM correctly, as time passes the wave function ...
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5answers
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Can we find actual rest mass of things on Earth

Earth moves around the Sun and the Sun moves around the galaxy and the galaxy moves with unknown speed and direction. We have speed so the mass of us all altered. Can we know the real rest mass? If ...
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2answers
142 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} = ...
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1answer
333 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
31 views

Entanglement and Special Relativity [closed]

There are 2 particles entangled and move far apart to 2 measuring devices . The first measurement of either particle will collapse the wave function and set spin up and spin down on the particles. 2 ...
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1answer
50 views

Derivation of magnetic force for a charge in motion relative to a wire (M. Purcell's Electricity and Magnetism)

I have a question regarding the derivation of magnetic force in M. Purcell and David Morin's Electricity and Magnetism. In the first part, they derived the force first by assuming that a charge q is ...
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3answers
112 views

Why does a violation of locality not imply a violation of relativity?

This question is closely related to: What counts as information? Taking the specific example, again, of the EPR experiment. I think everyone agrees on the following: The act of measuring the ...
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4answers
197 views

Why is the momentum of a particle $\gamma mv$?

I am very new to relativity, and as I was going through Resnick & Halliday, I saw that momentum was no longer $mv$, rather $\gamma mv$. This was the proof: $$p = mv = m \frac{\delta x}{\delta ...
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1answer
50 views

Trying to derive compton scattering using 4-vectors [closed]

I'm trying to derive the energy of a photon after compton scattering: $$ E_\gamma' = \frac{E_\gamma}{1 + \frac{E_\gamma}{m_ec^2} (1-\cos \theta)}$$ where $E_\gamma'$ is the photon energy after ...
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0answers
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Motion decomposition (Relativistic case)

When an electron moves at very close at $c$ (speed of light), is it physical to decompose the motion in two other directions (like what we do in classical case). If so, the motion in each direction ...
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Determining the range of values for separation angle (Landau problem)

I encountered a problem while reading the following exercise from the second Landau & Lifshitz volume: Determine the range value in the $L$-system for the angle between the two decay particles ...
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2answers
54 views

Can a spaceship increase velocity “infinitly” [duplicate]

This keeps me awake at night, and i can't seem to find the solution. Introduction: Suppose an observer is currently at rest, and a space ship accelerates close to the speed of light (current velocity ...
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36 views

Don't photons pass photons move away at speeds faster than light? [duplicate]

I understand there is a longstanding rule that nothing travels faster than the speed of light... but if you had two flashlight aimed at each other and turned them on inside a vacuum the photons from ...
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1answer
61 views

Calculate Time travel with Time Dilation [closed]

Does the following hold: If we have: person A moving at a speed of $0$; person B moving at a speed of $xC$ (where $C$ is speed of light, $x$ a fraction) And if time passes for $m$ ...
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1answer
86 views

Since the Earth is moving through space, do we experience time dilation?

What I mean is, the Earth orbits around the sun at around 30km/s, while I understand that this isn't a very high velocity does time dilation still occur to say a person who is completely stationary in ...
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Travelling faster than the speed of light

Let's say I fire a bus through space at (almost) the speed of light. If I'm inside the bus (sitting on the back seat) and I run up the aisle of the bus will I in fact be traveling faster than the ...
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2answers
503 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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3answers
136 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 ...