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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Confusion about Length Contraction (ex in Muon decay)

I am a bit confused about the implications of length contractions; For example, in the muon decay problem, we assume that the distance between the muon and the earth is contracted only in the frame ...
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1answer
184 views

Photons and proper time

Why is there no proper time without inertial frame? In question n°95054 I learned that there is no proper time zero and no proper distance zero for photons because they are no inertial frames. That ...
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0answers
38 views

Show that there exists a Lorentz transformation such that two events are happening at the same time? [on hold]

I'm havin problems with the following exercise in a theoretical physics course: Show that there always exists a Lorentz transformation such that the two events $P$ and $P^0$ in the figure are ...
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0answers
16 views

Is uncertainty in velocity via HUP reference frame dependent? [duplicate]

Simply put HUP involves position and momentum, further more consider a mass of 1kg. as momentum is mass X velocity = 1X velocity = velocity for calculation purposes. now for a stationary observer the ...
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1answer
46 views

Transformation to a uniformly rotating frame

I'm midway through a problem at the beginning of a GR course, my question is simply this: If $$ x=x'\cos\Omega t-y'\sin\Omega t $$ where $x'$ and $y'$ indicate the rotated frame of reference. What ...
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6answers
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Why does rotation simulate gravity if motion is relative?

In Einstein's theory of relativity, if motion is truly relative, then why would somebody in a rotating space station experience gravity? I mean, I get why they experience gravity IF the space station ...
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2answers
224 views

How to understand non-associative composition of velocities in STR?

In STR the composition of non parallel movements is in general non-associative. The formula is $\displaystyle\bar{u}\oplus\bar{v}= \frac{\bar{u}+\bar{v}_{\|}+\bar{v}_\bot/\gamma}{1+\bar u\cdot\bar ...
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0answers
41 views

Lorentz transformations on momentum space Weyl spinors

The Weyl spinor in momentum space can be given by the inverse Fourier transform: $$\psi_L(x) = \int \frac {d^4 p} {(2\pi)^4}\psi_L(p)e^{-ip\cdot x}, and we also have$$ $$\psi_L(x)=\int \frac ...
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1answer
117 views

Lever “paradox”?

Let's say we have a lever with two weights A and B with the same mass overlapping at the midpoint. Suppose they start to separate with each other at the speed of light simultaneously. From our point ...
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0answers
55 views

Ohm's Law for Accelerated Conductors

My questions are about the Ohm's law for a moving conductor in a stationary magnetic field. As we know this law is stated based on following relation with respect to the fixed frame of reference ...
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0answers
30 views

Maxwell's Equations for Accelerated Conductors

I asked a question about accelerated conductors in a magnetic field but nobody unfortunately answered. That is: Ohm's Law for Accelerated Conductors Maybe, I could not state my question well. I ...
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7answers
236 views

“Reality” of length contraction in SR

I was in argument with someone who claims that length contraction is not "real" but only "apparent", that the measurement of a solid rod in its rest reference frame is the "real length" of the rod and ...
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2answers
45 views

If a photon is exists in 'timeless' state, how can objects around it move? [duplicate]

My understanding is that light does not experience time. In attempting to understand what the universe would be like from the perspective of a photon, the answer I get is that the universe would be ...
3
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2answers
76 views

Why scalar function of vector can only depend on norm of vector?

In Field Quantization by Greiner and Reinhardt as well as The Qunatum Theory of Fields by Weinberg, concerning the spectral function, the authors say a scalar function of the four-vector $p^\mu$ can ...
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7answers
29k views

Would time freeze if you could travel at the speed of light?

I read with interest about Einstein's Theory of Relativity and his proposition about the speed of light being the universal speed limit. So, if I were to travel in a spacecraft at (practically) the ...
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2answers
281 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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0answers
23 views

Extreme temperatures, relativity and kinetic theory

According to kinetic theory, average kinetic energy is proportional to temperature. Supposing $k_BT/2$ per particle, can we use relativity and kinetic theory to calculate, e.g., the temperature and ...
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0answers
46 views

2 questions on 4-velocity

Firstly 4-velocity is defined by $u^\mu=\frac{dx^\mu}{d\tau}$ let us consider the component $x_i$ of $x^\mu$ then this derivative can be written as: ...
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0answers
49 views

$E=mc^2$ what is unique about the speed of light? [duplicate]

What unique property of light, makes it the conversion factor between energy and mass? It has to be more than a coincidence that the speed of light, just happens to be the correct number number to ...
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0answers
47 views

$E=mc^2$ is incomplete? [duplicate]

So I was going through youtube and I found out these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkiCPMjpysc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnMIhxWRGNw Can anyone here explain to me (with derivation if ...
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3answers
313 views

Link between Special relativity and Newtons gravitational law

If I make the two statements: General relativity is an extension of special relativity that accounts for gravity. Newton's law of gravitation is a special case of general relativity for when the ...
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0answers
36 views

Is time dilation a mechanical slowdown only? [duplicate]

I've recently read about the time dilation occurs at very high speeds. But I'm really wondering if it is just a mechanical slowdown of the clock only? What if we use clocks that does not use moving ...
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1answer
68 views

Einsteins idea about solving the ether problem [duplicate]

I'm struggling a bit with my Special Relativity course. Most exercises are quite trivial and can be done without much effort, but when you really start to think and analyse why and how certain things ...
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1answer
27 views

Does spinning actually decrease the time experienced by the spinner?

In this xkcd, Megan spins around to attempt to take momentum away from the Earth to slow its spinning. I was wondering, if Megan spinned around, wouldn't this cause her relative velocity to the rest ...
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1answer
60 views

Decoherence, collpse, and WHEN does the collapse occur?

The idea that decoherence stands behind the so-called collapse (reduction) of the wave-function doesn't seem satisfactory. Consider a quantum particle whose wave-function is of the form (1) ...
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1answer
99 views

Electron distribution around atom when moving

I do not have much experience on this but if an atom has some electrons around nucleus and the atom itself it is moving at some speed does that affect the distribution of electrons around? I am ...
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6answers
2k views

Double light speed

Let's say we have $2$ participles facing each other and traveling at speed of light Let's say I'm sitting on #$1$ participle so in my point of view #$2$ participle's speed is $c+c=2c$, double light ...
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3answers
711 views

If a neutrino has a rest frame, why can't a photon have a rest frame as well?

Concerning Rest Frame Wikipedia states: For example, in the rest frame of a neutrino particle travelling from the Crab Nebula supernova to Earth the supernova occurred in the 11th Century AD ...
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1answer
51 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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3answers
143 views

How to theoretically define a concrete operation to perform in order to measure the length of an object?

EDIT: Some answerers pointed out that the title of this question is in contrast with what is actually been asked in the body of the question, so I changed the title accordingly. The original title was ...
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0answers
97 views

Natario warp drive [closed]

There are two solutions to Einstein's equations that allow for warp drive. One is the Alcubierre warp drive and the other is the Natario warp drive. What is the difference? Is the Natario warp drive ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Field of moving charge / Lorentz;Lienard-Wiechert

First question here. I'm really confused at the moment. An electron moves at constant velocity, no acceleration Wikipedia says here Lorentz: Which yields something like this: Wheras here, ...
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2answers
449 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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0answers
31 views

Books on special and general relativity? [duplicate]

I have idea about all the theories related to space and time and stuff. But I wanna dig deep into it and understand all the theories like special and general relativity to begin with for now. Can ...
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3answers
59 views

Center of mass of two $\gamma$ rays moving in opposite directions

Suppose there are two $\gamma$ rays with frequencies $\nu_1$ and $\nu_2$ moving in opposite directions according to a reference frame $S$. I want to find the velocity of the center of mass of this ...
2
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2answers
307 views

Are virtual particles limited by the speed of light? [duplicate]

I have recently been reading about Quantum Electrodynamics which I found very interesting, but even more confusing. I understand photons mediate the electromagnetic force and interactions between ...
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0answers
65 views

Define what Einstein says [closed]

I came across an equation $E^2=(m_0c^2)^2 + (pc)^2$ Could you please explain each term and how to use this equation? Also substituting the left side of the equation ie, $E = mc^2$ gives another ...
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1answer
119 views

Proving Relativity of Simultaneity by contradiction

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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2answers
97 views

If the vacuum is not “emptiness” why the speed of the electromagnetic wave is independent of the frame of reference?

If the vacuum were "emptiness" it were easy to accept that there is no "preferred frame of coordinates" and the light velocity is the same in any inertial frame of coordinates. But the vacuum is an ...
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1answer
46 views

Passage of time on a faster-than-light (FTL) vessel [closed]

Yes, this is already wild speculation. I'll retract this question if it isn't well received. As I understand, within an event horizon, spacetime gets rotated so that the singularity is in the future, ...
0
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1answer
54 views

What would be observed by two observers traveling away from one another at 0.75c? (And why?) [closed]

What would be observed by two observers traveling away from one another at 0.75c, and why? Suppose that two observers O1 and O2 are at a point S. Then, they begin traveling away from one another at ...
17
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2answers
2k views

What do physicists mean by “information”?

On the question why certain velocities (i.e. phase velocity) can be greater than the speed of light, people will say something like: since no matter or "information" is transferred, therefore the ...
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2answers
7k views

Do light and sound waves have mass

I have been reading Hawking's 'A Brief History of Time' and it has gotten me thinking about Einstein's theory of relativity, in that it assumes that an object must have infinite mass if it is to be ...
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4answers
103 views

Twin paradox where the twins start at different locations

Suppose we have this scenario with twins A and B: 1) Instead of the twins starting at the same location, let's say the twins start out some distance apart, in the same reference frame. 2) The ...
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0answers
22 views

Recommendation for contra-variant and contra-variant vectors in the context of special relativity [duplicate]

I have just started studying covariant and contra-variant vectors in special relativity. I am finding difficulty understanding this topic. Can anyone recommend a book (with a detailed chapter) or ...
0
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2answers
92 views

Bound electrons don't move, right?

I've never been satisfied with the explanation that electrons have a “speed” and move close to the speed of light, thus incurring relativistic effects that make gold pretty and mercury wet. I learned ...
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3answers
577 views

If we traveled at almost light speed with a mirror in hand [duplicate]

What would we see if we hold the mirror in front of us and behind us.
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4answers
107 views

How, in practice, could instantaneous signalling violate causality?

I know that instantaneous signalling can result in different observers not agreeing on the order of events, but how can that result in causality violation in practice? In other words, if one had two ...
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10answers
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Why and how is the speed of light in vacuum constant, i.e., independent of reference frame?

I was told that the Galilean relative velocity rule does not apply to the speed of light. No matter how fast two objects are moving, the speed of light will remain same for both of them. How and why ...
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1answer
80 views

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 ...