Tagged Questions

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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Proper time in general and special relativity

For special relativity, Wald's GR states that timelike curves, with the norm $g_{ab}T^{a}T^{b} < 0$, can be parameterized by the "proper time" $\tau = \int (-\eta_{ab}T^{a}T^{b})^{1/2} dt$. This ...
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4answers
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“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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1answer
39 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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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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1answer
53 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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3answers
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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 ...
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2answers
296 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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64 views

Define what Einstein says [on hold]

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
39 views

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

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, ...
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0answers
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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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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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1answer
53 views

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

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 ...
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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 ...
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86 views

Natario warp drive [on hold]

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 ...
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3answers
138 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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4answers
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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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3answers
568 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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2answers
91 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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4answers
102 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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1answer
62 views

Applying Lorentz Transformations and Time Dilation

My question is based on a popular question, usually posed in introductory courses on the special theory of relativity. Two rockets are on a collision course. Rocket 1 is traveling at the speed ...
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2answers
197 views

Interferometers and Earth's motion relative to the Aether

Why was the Michelson and not the Fabry-Perot interferometer used to detect the motion of Earth relative to the Aether? Maybe the Fabry-Perot was used but we all know that the most famous experiment ...
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4answers
62 views

Question about dot product of four vectors?

I am looking back over some old notes and see that I have written $\bar{p}=\left(\overset{E}{\vec p}\right)$ and $\bar{x}=\left(\overset{t}{\vec x}\right)$ (using Plank units) And then $\bar{p} ...
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2answers
105 views

Does rotation increase mass?

If an object is rotated on its axis near the speed of light would its mass increase? Normally if the object was moving (in relationship to the Earth for example) I would agree that its mass would ...
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3answers
62 views

Is it really possible to create some mass only from equivalent energy? [duplicate]

From Special theory of relativity we know that $E=m_0 c^2$, which says about mass energy equivalency. But my question : **Is there any real experiment where some mass is created purely from energy? ...
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25 views

$2\to3$ Phase space Integration

I have a $2\to3$ process ($P=p_1+p_2 \to p_3+p_4+p_5$) where all particles in the initial state and one of the particles in the final state ($p_3$) are massless. The other two ($p_4$ and $p_5$) have ...
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2answers
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How to identify a “measuring rod”, and how to compare separated “measuring rods” with each other?

The notion of "measuring rod" has appeared in PSE here and there, and outside PSE as well. As far as I understand (and as perhaps all who refer to this notion do agree on), important constituents of ...
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Measuring speed of the moving train, if I'm inside it

So I am inside a coach in a train that is fully sealed (with no windows and a locked door). I have a torch, photo & time sensor and a scale with me. So, I place the sensor at one of the walls and ...
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2answers
92 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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2answers
51 views

Is it possible to propagate a relativistic system of particles in time using Verlet?

The Verlet algorithm and its derivations are very popular methods to integrate Newton's equations of motion in time and obtain a trajectory for a system with $N$ particles. I work with classical ...
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3answers
64 views

Circumference of a circle in a co-rotating frame of reference

According to Einstein it should be greater than $2 \pi R$ for a co-rotating observer, i.e. $L' = \gamma L$ where $L = 2 \pi R$ in a non-rotating frame and $\gamma$ is the usual Lorentz factor, which ...
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4answers
110 views

How does the Lorentz transformation $\Lambda^{\mu}{}_{\nu}$ transform?

For example the Four-velocity transforms as $$U^{a'}=\Lambda^{a'}{}_{\nu}U^{\nu},$$ the Faradaytensor as $$F^{a'b'}=\Lambda_{\,\,\mu}^{a'}\Lambda_{\,\,\nu}^{b'}F^{\mu\nu}$$ or in Matrixnotation: ...
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2answers
79 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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2answers
70 views

Does a Michelson-Morley experiment uphold mass-energy equivalence and special relativity?

If there is an experiment that best supports $E=mc^2$, is it the Michelson-Morley experiment?
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2answers
64 views

A simple quantum mechanics question [closed]

Here is the problem: Find the energy of neutron, electron and electromagnetic waves of wavelength 0.1nm. English is my second language, so I am kind of confused about the meaning of problem ...
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3answers
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How to describe arbitrary accelerations in special relativity

Describing acceleration in special relativity is in principle straightforward, and for simple cases the resulting transformations are simple. Examples include circular motion and constant acceleration ...
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3answers
126 views

Can length contraction really be derived from time dilation? Does speed equal speed?

I am referring to Wikipedia: "Length contraction can also be derived from time dilation." with the following proof which seems to be the result of a circular reasoning. The proof uses only one and ...
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2answers
55 views

Tangent vector norm squared conservation in special relativity

I'm trying to analyse non-inertial motion in special relativity. First I'll start off with inertial motion. In my reference frame, my particle has coordinates $x^\mu = (t, x)$ And in the particle's ...
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Can “uniform motion” (or “mutual rest”) be determined intrinsically, by members of Synge's “five-point curvature detector”?

In his description of a "five-point curvature detector" [1], J. L. Synge exhibits a Cayley-Menger determinant in terms of "optical distances" between five distinct participants; and he states that the ...
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Does mass increase at relativistic OUTSIDE of the mass's frame of reference? [duplicate]

There are other questions on here with responses saying that the mass does not change from its own frame of reference. But those answers were somewhat unclear if the mass changes to someone observing. ...
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1answer
92 views

If we could not see, would we think that nothing can go faster than sound?

And if so, then why does everybody keep asserting nothing can go faster than light speed (I'm implicitly assuming there could be something which we do not observe, which goes faster than light)?
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Is it OK to see time dilation and (relativistic) mass increase as phenomena that avoid $c$ being reached? And how about length contraction?

I think I have been exposed since years ago to this line of reasoning: if $ v\to c $, then $ \Delta t \to \infty $. As $\displaystyle v=\frac{\Delta s}{\Delta t} $, it's like a natural reaction to ...
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2answers
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Scalar operators In Quantum Field Theory

I am trying to learn Quantum Field Theory and I am stuck in a basic point. What is the definition of a scalar operator in QFT? That is, how does it transform under a Poincare transformation? Why do ...
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0answers
97 views

Stress Energy Tensor of EM Field

Stress energy tensor for electromagnetic field is given by $$T^{\mu\nu}=\frac1{4\pi}(F^{\mu\alpha}F^{\nu}{}_\alpha-\frac14 g^{\mu\nu} F_{\alpha\beta}F^{\alpha\beta}).$$ My textbook (unpublished ...
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1answer
48 views

Proof of equivalence of two different covariant notations of Maxwell's equations [closed]

My homework assignment is Prove that $$\partial_\beta F_{\gamma \delta} + \partial_\gamma F_{\delta \beta} + \partial_\delta F_{\beta \gamma} = 0$$ with the electromagnetic tensor ...
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1answer
64 views

Effects of travel greater than speed of light [closed]

What will happen if a person with say weight of 100 kilograms, starts to travel with, a) equal to speed of light? b) greater than speed of light?
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Is it possible to measure relativistic mass of a body moving towards or from an observer?

It is clear there is no problem in measuring relativistic mass via magnetic field: “Suppose you know the strength of a uniform magnetic field B. Launch a charged particle, of magnitude charge q, ...
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3answers
365 views

How does a single charge produce magnetic field?

I have studied in Introduction to electrodynamics (Griffiths) that magnetic field is actually due to effects of relativity unequal Lorentz contraction of the positive charge and negative lines, a ...
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2answers
60 views

What is energy of light, as we know speed of light?

1.What is total energy of EM waves, as all got same speed? If two em waves has same energy, do they have same mass? If same mass and energy, do they have same frequency or wavelength still ...
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1answer
52 views

Special Relativity: Four possible time spans between events?

I've got another question regarding time in special relativity. I'll start with the standard configuration: there are two observers O and O', their x-axis are aligned, in the rest frame of O observer ...
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0answers
48 views

Hardy's paradox (see the article “Quantum Mechanics, Local Realistic Theories, and Lorentz-Invariant Realistic Theories”)

Does this thought-experiment (Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 68, No. 20, page 2981, year 1992) represent a proof against Bohm's interpretation of the quantum mechanics? The analysis of Hardy rules out local ...