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Special Relativity

Special relativity is a theory of an inertial reference frame. The theory investigates measurements in different reference frames. It can be studied in a variety of aspects which include length contraction, time dilation and relativity of simultaneity. Special relativity is most commonly known for Einstein's famous equation of mass-energy equivalence, E=mc2 where c is the speed of light in a vacuum.

This theory was originally deemed “special” because it applied the principle of relativity only to the special case of inertial reference frame. For example, frames of reference in uniform relative motion with respect to each other. Einstein developed general relativity to apply the principle in the more general case. The term is currently used more generally to refer to any case which gravitation is not significant. 

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Categories within Special Relativity

Lorentz Transformation

Postings: 31

The transformation to explain how the speed of light is observed independently of the reference frame.

Galilean Transformation

Postings: 2

Galilean Transformation is used to transform between the coordinates of two reference frames.


Postings: 2

The Michelson-Morley experiment tried to detect relative motion of matter.


Postings: 4

A muon is an elementary particle.

Aberration of Starlight

Postings: 2

Abberation of starlight is a phenomena where the motion of celestial objects depends on the velocity of the observer.

The Linguistic Approach

1. What other research(s) that differs with Lord Zuckerman's view that apes are qualitatively unlike humans with respect to language capabilities. Zuckerman suggests that humans have it and apes do not despite the fact that they can learn semantic content of individual words. Choose a view (apes are or apes are not like us) and

A general overview of the Chinese 5 Element theory.

What are five basic elements in traditional Chinese belief? Describe the origins of Daoism (Taoism) and identify its key teachings (in particular, the Dao). Describe key events in the life of Confucius and evaluate the role of Confucianism in contemporary East Asian societies. An introduction to the founding texts of Tao

Creativity and Critical Thinking

"Without changing our pattern of thought, we will not be able to solve the problems we have created with our current pattern of thought." ~Albert Einstein What important message is Einstein attempting to convey?

Time Dilation and Mass Increase in Special Relativity

This question illustrates the problem of long distance space travel. Let us say that we want to travel to a planet that is 200 light years away. a) How fast (fraction of c) must we travel if we want to age only 10 years on the trip? b) Assume the spacecraft's mass is 5 tons. What will be the mass (MeV) be in-flight?

Relativistic mechanics kinetic energy

1. State the conservation of momentum and kinetic energy in collisions in classical mechanics and relativistic mechanics 2. derive the relativistic kinetic energy. 3. Derive the total relativistic force as a function of momentum. please show the solutions in detail, stepwise.

Solution to determine the velocity of relativistic particles

This solution shows how to develop the algebra to determine the velocity of a nuclear particle fragment resulting from the fragmention of a nuclear particle into two fragments. An example is shown whereby a particle initially at rest fragments into two fragments one of mass (m1) = 1.67 x E-27 Kg. and velocity of (v1) = 0.8c, the

Basic concepts of special relativity

Relativity Basics Which of the following statements are true about the basic concepts of special relativity? 1. The special theory of relativity deals only with both inertial and non-inertial reference frames 2. The second postulate of special relativity states that the speed of light may vary depending upon the inert

Special Relativity: Speed of Spaceship, Galilean Velocity

(a) A spaceship moves with speed vs = 0.80c directly towards a space station. It dispatches a food supply package (containing all the main courses) to the station with speed vr = 0.406 with respect to itself. What is the supply package's speed v'r with respect to the station? Your answer for v'r should be greater than either vr


1) How is language linked to gender and what are some examples of this? 2) How do you explain the theory of linguistic relativity? 3) What are some examples of a morpheme? 4) How was anthropological linguistics applied to language development among the Ute? 5) Would it be correct to claim language as a distinguishing

Schwarzschild Radius and Black Hole Formation

The Schwarzschild radius describes the critical value to which the radius of a massive body bust be reduce for it to become a black hole what is the schwarzschilld radius of the sun please explain in steps. M=2x10^30(true raidus of the sun is 700,000.)r=2gm/c^2 where g= gravitional constant 6.7x10^-11 M= mass of object, c=

Free-Falling Objects and Vectors

1.) While riding on an elevator descending with a constant speed of 2.4 m/s, you accidentally drop a book from under your arm a.) How long does it take for the book to reach the elevator floor, 1.4 m below your arm? b.) What is the book's speed relative to you when it hits the elevator floor? 2.) A passenger walks

Special Relativity Velocity Equations

A space ship, at rest in a certain reference frame S, is given a speed increment of 0.46c (call this boost 1). Relative to its new rest frame, the spaceship is given a further 0.46c increment 12s later (as measured in its new rest frame; call this boost 2). This process is continued indefinitely, at 12s intervals, as mea

Addition of velocities in special relativity.

Suppose the speed of light were 100 mph. Trains on parallel tracks are approaching each other at speeds of 92.64 mph and 87.89 mph. A person on one of the trains sees the two trains approaching each other at what speed? Answer in units of mph. After the trains pass a crazy person on the 92.64 mph train fires a rifle with

Special Relativity

A spaceship moves away from Earth at a speed 0.874c and fires a shuttle craft that then moves in a forward direction at 0.21c relative to the ship. The pilot of the shuttle launches a probe forward at a speed of 0.412c relative to the shuttle. Determine the speed of the shuttle relative to Earth. Answer in units of c. Part

Special Relativity: Speed

The proper length of one spaceship is 5 times that of another. The two spaceships are traveling in the same direction and, while both are passing overhead, an Earth observer measures the two spaceships to be the same length. If the slower spaceship is moving with a speed of 0.332 c, determine the speed of the faster spaceship. A

Relativistic Physics Understanding

A spaceship travels with a speed of 0.6 c as it passes by the Earth on its way to a distant star, as shown in the diagram below. The pilot of the spaceship measures the length of the moving ship as 10 m. Determine its length as measured by a per- son on Earth. Answer in units of m. The pilot of the spaceship ob

Potential Energy

In a television picture tube, electrons strike the screen after being accelerated from rest through a potential difference of 25000 V. The speeds of the electrons are quite large, and for accurate calculations of the speeds, the effects of special relativity must be taken into account. Ignoring such effects, what is the electr

Light signals and time differences in Schwarzchild geometry.

An observer at r = r1 in Schwarzchild geometry sends a light signal in the radial direction toward r = r2 where r2 > r1. (a) Determine the instantaneous coordinate velocity dr/dt of the signal. (b) Suppose the signal is reflected at r = r2 and returns to r1. Determine how long, as measured in coordinate time t, it takes the

Seeing Fireworks from a Spaceship

Fireworks go off at the same time according to earth clocks in two cities, Alum and Boron, that are 300 km apart. The people in a space ship that is flying in a straight line from Alum to Boron at 0.8 c also observe the fireworks. Do they see the fireworks in the two cities simultaneously? If not, how long before or after the se

Special relativity - timelike and spacelike events

See attached file for full problem description. 1. Show that for two timelike separated events, there is some inertial frame in which t does not equal zero, x = 0. Show that for two spacelike separated events there is an inertial frame where t = 0, x does not equal zero.

Moving Observer and Angle Expression

Consider a right triangle with sides of length x and y, a hypotenuse of length r, and an interior angle theta, such that tan(theta) = y/x. To an observer moving parallel to side x with speed v, the triangle has sides of length x' and y', a hypotenuse of length r', and an interior angle "theta prime". (a) Does the moving obs

Special theory of relativity: Moving away from Earth

If you were moving away from Earth at nearly lightspeed without acceleration, according to Einstein's special theory of relativity, would you notice any change in your pulse? Any change in your breathing rate? Anything unusual about your clocks? Why? (Note: explain why, pls.)

Time dilation question.

If you were moving away from Earth at nearly lightspeed without acceleration, according to Einstein's special theory of relativity, would you notice any change in your pulse? Any change in your breathing rate? Anything unusual about your clocks? Why?

Speed of light relative to moving observers.

Tom's rocket ship is moving away from Kathy at 0.75c. He fires a laser beam in the backward direction, toward Kathy. According to Galilean relativity. How fast does the laser beam move relative to Kathy, assuming that Tom observes the beam to move away from him at speed c? How fast according to Einstein's relativity? Why?

Special Theory of Relativity of a Coin Drop

If you drop a coin inside a car that is slowing down, will will the coin land? Why? If you drop a coin inside a car that is turning a corner to the right, where will the coin land? Why?

Special Relativity problems

Two events in reference frame S occur 10 *(10^-6) s apart at the same point in space. The distance between the two events is 2400 m S'. 1. What is the time interval between the events in reference frame S'? 2. What is the velocity of S' relative to S? Hi. I've been trying to solve the above question for quite some time

Distances between events in different frames

(See attached file for full problem description with symbols and diagram) Two events are observed in a frame of reference S to occur at the same space point, with the second event occurring after a time of 1.70 . In a second frame S' moving relative to S, the second event is observed to occur after a time of 2.25 . What is

Special relativity - length contraction, time dilation, relativistic velocity

When Time Flies...It Runs More Slowly Learning Goal: To understand length contraction and time dilation. In classical physics, and in your everyday experience, lengths and times seem to be the same no matter who measures them. In fact, the notion that lengths or time intervals might be different depending on who measures t

Special theory of relativity

Suppose the speed of light were infinite, what would happen to the Special Theory of Relativity (length contraction, time dilation and Lorentz transforms)?