FACTOID # 7: The top five best educated states are all in the Northeast.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Special relativity

Special relativity (SR) (also known as the special theory of relativity (STR)) is the physical theory of measurement in inertial frames of reference proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein (after considerable contributions of Hendrik Lorentz and Henri Poincaré) in the paper "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies".[1] It generalizes Galileo's principle of relativity – that all uniform motion is relative, and that there is no absolute and well-defined state of rest (no privileged reference frames) – from mechanics to all the laws of physics, including both the laws of mechanics and of electrodynamics, whatever they may be. In addition, special relativity incorporates the principle that the speed of light is the same for all inertial observers regardless of the state of motion of the source.[2] The special theory of relativity was first put forward by Einstein in 1905[1]. His aim was to take care of some theoretical concerns about classical electrodynamics, but ultimately he came up with a modification of the laws of mechanics itself. ... Theoretical physics attempts to understand the world by making a model of reality, used for rationalizing, explaining, predicting physical phenomena through a physical theory. There are three types of theories in physics; mainstream theories, proposed theories and fringe theories. ... Measurement is the estimation of the magnitude of some attribute of an object, such as its length or weight, relative to a unit of measurement. ... All frames of reference that move with constant velocity with respect to any other inertial frame of reference are members of the group of inertial reference frames. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... Hendrik Lorentz by Jan Veth Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (born July 18, 1853 in Arnhem, Netherlands; died February 4, 1928 in Haarlem, Netherlands) was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. ... Jules Henri Poincaré (April 29, 1854 – July 17, 1912) (IPA: [1]) was one of Frances greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science. ... Einstein, in 1905, when he wrote the Annus Mirabilis Papers The Annus Mirabilis Papers (from Latin, Annus mirabilis, for extraordinary year) are the papers of Albert Einstein published in the Annalen der Physik Scientific journal in 1905. ... Galilean invariance is a principle which states that the fundamental laws of physics are the same in all inertial (uniform-velocity) frames of reference. ... An inertial frame of reference, or inertial reference frame, is one in which Newtons first and second laws of motion are valid. ... In theoretical physics, a preferred or privileged frame is usually a special hypothetical frame of reference in which the laws of physics might appear to be identifiably different from those in other frames. ... For other uses, see Mechanic (disambiguation). ... A physical law or a law of nature is a scientific generalization based on empirical observations. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, composed of the electric field and the magnetic field. ... A line showing the speed of light on a scale model of Earth and the Moon, taking about 1â…“ seconds to traverse that distance. ...


This theory has a wide range of consequences which have been experimentally verified. Special relativity overthrows Newtonian notions of absolute space and time by stating that time and space are perceived differently by observers in different states of motion. It yields the equivalence of matter and energy, as expressed in the mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc2, where c is the speed of light in a vacuum. The predictions of special relativity agree well with Newtonian mechanics in their common realm of applicability, specifically in experiments in which all velocities are small compared to the speed of light. Classical mechanics is a model of the physics of forces acting upon bodies. ... This article is about the concept of time. ... This article is about the idea of space. ... This article is about matter in physics and chemistry. ... 15ft sculpture of Einsteins 1905 E = mc² formula at the 2006 Walk of Ideas, Germany In physics, mass-energy equivalence is the concept that all mass has an energy equivalence, and all energy has a mass equivalence. ...


The theory is termed "special" because it applies the principle of relativity only to inertial frames. Einstein developed general relativity to apply the principle generally, that is, to any frame, and that theory includes the effects of gravity. Strictly, special relativity cannot be applied in accelerating frames or in gravitational fields. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Relativity: The Special and General Theory A principle of relativity is a criterion for judging physical theories, stating that they are inadequate if they do not prescribe the exact same laws of physics in certain similar situations. ... In physics, an inertial frame of reference, or inertial frame for short (also descibed as absolute frame of reference), is a frame of reference in which the observers move without the influence of any accelerating or decelerating force. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ...


Special relativity reveals that c is not just the velocity of a certain phenomenon, namely the propagation of electromagnetic radiation (light)—but rather a fundamental feature of the way space and time are unified as spacetime. A consequence of this is that it is impossible for any particle that has mass to be accelerated to the speed of light. For other uses of this term, see Spacetime (disambiguation). ...


For history and motivation, see the article: history of special relativity To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

Postulates

In his autobiographical notes published in November 1949 Einstein described how he had arrived at the two fundamental postulates on which he based the special theory of relativity. After describing in detail the state of both mechanics and electrodynamics at the beginning of the 20th century, he wrote


"Reflections of this type made it clear to me as long ago as shortly after 1900, i.e., shortly after Planck's trailblazing work, that neither mechanics nor electrodynamics could (except in limiting cases) claim exact validity. Gradually I despaired of the possibility of discovering the true laws by means of constructive efforts based on known facts. The longer and the more desperately I tried, the more I came to the conviction that only the discovery of a universal formal principle could lead us to assured results… How, then, could such a universal principle be found?"[3]


He discerned two fundamental propositions that seemed to be the most assured, regardless of the exact validity of either the (then) known laws of mechanics or electrodynamics. These propositions were (1) the constancy of the velocity of light, and (2) the independence of physical laws (especially the constancy of the velocity of light) from the choice of inertial system. In his initial presentation of special relativity in 1905[4] he expressed these postulates as

  • The Principle of Relativity - The laws by which the states of physical systems undergo change are not affected, whether these changes of state be referred to the one or the other of two systems of inertial coordinates in uniform translatory motion.
  • The Principle of Invariant Light Speed - Light in vacuum propagates with the speed c (a fixed constant) in terms of any system of inertial coordinates, regardless of the state of motion of the light source.

It should be noted that the derivation of special relativity depends not only on these two explicit postulates, but also on several tacit assumptions (which are made in almost all theories of physics), including the isotropy and homogeneity of space and the independence of measuring rods and clocks from their past history.[5].


Following Einstein's original presentation of special relativity in 1905, many different sets of postulates have been proposed in various alternative derivations[6]. However, the most common set of postulates remains those employed by Einstein in his original paper. These postulates refer to the axiomatic basis of the Lorentz transformation, which is the essential core of special relativity. In all of Einstein's papers in which he presented derivations of the Lorentz transformation, he based it on these two principles.[7]


In addition to the papers referenced above—which give derivations of the Lorentz transformation and describe the foundations of special relativity—Einstein also wrote at least four papers giving heuristic arguments for the equivalence (and transmutability) of mass and energy. (It should be noted that this equivalence does not follow from the basic premises of special relativity.[8] The first of these was "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend upon its Energy Content?" in 1905. In this and each of his subsequent three papers on this subject[9], Einstein augmented the two fundamental principles by postulating the relations involving momentum and energy of electromagnetic waves implied by Maxwell's equations (the assumption of which, of course, entails among other things the assumption of the constancy of the speed of light). He acknowledged in his 1907 survey paper on special relativity that it was problematic to rely on Maxwell's equations[10] for the heuristic mass-energy argument, and this is why he consistently based the derivation of Lorentz invariance (the essential core of special relativity) on just the two basic principles of relativity and light-speed invariance. He wrote


"The insight fundamental for the special theory of relativity is this: The assumptions [relativity] and [lightspeed invariance] are compatible if relations of a new type ("Lorentz transformation") are postulated for the conversion of coordinates and times of events… The universal principle of the special theory of relativity is contained in the postulate: The laws of physics are invariant with respect to Lorentz transformations (for the transition from one inertial system to any other arbitrarily chosen inertial system). This is a restricting principle for natural laws…"[11]


Thus many modern treatments of special relativity base it on the single postulate of universal Lorentz covariance, or, equivalently, on the single postulate of Minkowski spacetime.[12][13]


Lack of an absolute reference frame

The principle of relativity, which states that there is no stationary reference frame, dates back to Galileo, and was incorporated into Newtonian Physics. However, in the late 19th century, the existence of electromagnetic waves led physicists to suggest that the universe was filled with a substance known as "aether", which would act as the medium through which these waves, or vibrations traveled. The aether was thought to constitute an absolute reference frame against which speeds could be measured. In other words, the aether was the only fixed or motionless thing in the universe. Aether supposedly had some wonderful properties: it was sufficiently elastic that it could support electromagnetic waves, and those waves could interact with matter, yet it offered no resistance to bodies passing through it. The results of various experiments, including the Michelson-Morley experiment, indicated that the Earth was always 'stationary' relative to the aether – something that was difficult to explain, since the Earth is in orbit around the Sun. Einstein's elegant solution was to discard the notion of an aether and an absolute state of rest. Special relativity is formulated so as to not assume that any particular frame of reference is special; rather, in relativity, any reference frame moving with uniform motion will observe the same laws of physics. In particular, the speed of light in a vacuum is always measured to be c, even when measured by multiple systems that are moving at different (but constant) velocities. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Relativity: The Special and General Theory A principle of relativity is a criterion for judging physical theories, stating that they are inadequate if they do not prescribe the exact same laws of physics in certain similar situations. ... Galileo redirects here. ... This box:      Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a self-propagating wave in space with electric and magnetic components. ... The luminiferous aether: it was hypothesised that the Earth moves through a medium of aether that carries light In the late 19th century luminiferous aether (light-bearing aether) was the term used to describe a medium for the propagation of light. ... The Michelson-Morley experiment, one of the most important and famous experiments in the history of physics, was performed in 1887 by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley at what is now Case Western Reserve University, and is considered by some to be the first strong evidence against the theory of...


Consequences

Einstein has said that all of the consequences of special relativity can be derived from examination of the Lorentz transformations. The fact that light travels at a constant speed has a distinct effect on time. ... The Lorentz transformation (LT), named after its discoverer, the Dutch physicist and mathematician Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853-1928), forms the basis for the special theory of relativity, which has been introduced to remove contradictions between the theories of electromagnetism and classical mechanics. ...


These transformations, and hence special relativity, lead to different physical predictions than Newtonian mechanics when relative velocities become comparable to the speed of light. The speed of light is so much larger than anything humans encounter that some of the effects predicted by relativity are initially counter-intuitive:

  • Time dilation – the time lapse between two events is not invariant from one observer to another, but is dependent on the relative speeds of the observers' reference frames (e.g., the twin paradox which concerns a twin who flies off in a spaceship traveling near the speed of light and returns to discover that his or her twin sibling has aged much more).
  • Relativity of simultaneity – two events happening in two different locations that occur simultaneously to one observer, may occur at different times to another observer (lack of absolute simultaneity).
  • Lorentz contraction – the dimensions (e.g., length) of an object as measured by one observer may be smaller than the results of measurements of the same object made by another observer (e.g., the ladder paradox involves a long ladder traveling near the speed of light and being contained within a smaller garage).
  • Composition of velocities – velocities (and speeds) do not simply 'add', for example if a rocket is moving at ⅔ the speed of light relative to an observer, and the rocket fires a missile at ⅔ of the speed of light relative to the rocket, the missile does not exceed the speed of light relative to the observer. (In this example, the observer would see the missile travel with a speed of 12/13 the speed of light.)
  • Inertia and momentum – as an object's speed approaches the speed of light from an observer's point of view, its mass appears to increase thereby making it more and more difficult to accelerate it from within the observer's frame of reference.
  • Equivalence of mass and energy, E = mc2 – The energy content of an object at rest with mass m equals mc2. Conservation of energy implies that in any reaction a decrease of the sum of the masses of particles must be accompanied by an increase in kinetic energies of the particles after the reaction. Similarly, the mass of an object can be increased by taking in kinetic energies.

Time dilation is the phenomenon whereby an observer finds that anothers clock which is physically identical to their own is ticking at a slower rate as measured by their own clock. ... In physics, the twin paradox refers to a thought experiment in Special Relativity, in which a person who makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket will return home to find they have aged less than an identical twin who stayed on Earth. ... The relativity of simultaneity is the dependence of the notion of simultaneity on the observer. ... Absolute simultaneity is a hypothetical coincidence of two or more events in different points in space for all observers in the universe. ... The Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction hypothesis was proposed by Fitzgerald and independently proposed and extended by Lorentz to explain the negative result of the Michelson-Morley experiment, which attempted to detect Earths motion relative to the luminiferous aether. ... The ladder paradox or (barn-pole paradox) is a thought experiment in special relativity. ... // If a ship is moving relative to the shore at velocity , and a fly is moving with velocity as measured on the ship, calculating the velocity of the fly as measured on the shore is what is meant by the addition of the velocities and . ... This article is about inertia as it applies to local motion. ... This article is about momentum in physics. ... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ... 15ft sculpture of Einsteins 1905 E = mc² formula at the 2006 Walk of Ideas, Germany In physics, mass-energy equivalence is the concept that all mass has an energy equivalence, and all energy has a mass equivalence. ...

Reference frames, coordinates and the Lorentz transformation

Full article: Lorentz transformations
Diagram 1. Changing views of spacetime along the world line of a rapidly accelerating observer. In this animation, the vertical direction indicates time and the horizontal direction indicates distance, the dashed line is the spacetime trajectory ("world line") of the observer. The lower quarter of the diagram shows the events that are visible to the observer, and the upper quarter shows the light cone- those that will be able to see the observer. The small dots are arbitrary events in spacetime. The slope of the world line (deviation from being vertical) gives the relative velocity to the observer. Note how the view of spacetime changes when the observer accelerates.
Diagram 1. Changing views of spacetime along the world line of a rapidly accelerating observer. In this animation, the vertical direction indicates time and the horizontal direction indicates distance, the dashed line is the spacetime trajectory ("world line") of the observer. The lower quarter of the diagram shows the events that are visible to the observer, and the upper quarter shows the light cone- those that will be able to see the observer. The small dots are arbitrary events in spacetime. The slope of the world line (deviation from being vertical) gives the relative velocity to the observer. Note how the view of spacetime changes when the observer accelerates.

Relativity theory depends on "reference frames". A reference frame is an observational perspective in space at rest, or in uniform motion, from which a position can be measured along 3 spatial axes. In addition, a reference frame has the ability to determine measurements of the time of events using a 'clock' (any reference device with uniform periodicity). In physics, the Lorentz transformation converts between two different observers measurements of space and time, where one observer is in constant motion with respect to the other. ... Image File history File links Source of program used to generate image: //GPL #include <stdio. ... In physics, the world line of an object is the unique path of that object as it travels through 4-dimensional spacetime. ... In special relativity, a light cone is the pattern describing the temporal evolution of a flash of light in Minkowski spacetime. ... A frame of reference in physics is a set of axes which enable an observer to measure the aspect, position and motion of all points in a system relative to the reference frame. ...


An event is an occurrence that can be assigned a single unique time and location in space relative to a reference frame: it is a "point" in space-time. Since the speed of light is constant in relativity in each and every reference frame, pulses of light can be used to unambiguously measure distances and refer back the times that events occurred to the clock, even though light takes time to reach the clock after the event has transpired. For other uses of this term, see Spacetime (disambiguation). ...


For example, the explosion of a firecracker may be considered to be an "event". We can completely specify an event by its four space-time coordinates: The time of occurrence and its 3-dimensional spatial location define a reference point. Let's call this reference frame S.


In relativity theory we often want to calculate the position of a point from a different reference point.


Suppose we have a second reference frame S', whose spatial axes and clock exactly coincide with that of S at time zero, but it is moving at a constant velocity v, with respect to S along the x,-axis.


Since there is no absolute reference frame in relativity theory, a concept of 'moving' doesn't strictly exist, as everything is always moving with respect to some other reference frame. Instead, any two frames that move at the same speed in the same direction are said to be comoving. Therefore S and S' are not comoving.


Let's define the event to have space-time coordinates (t, x, y, z), in system S and (t', x', y', z'), in S'. Then the Lorentz transformation specifies that these coordinates are related in the following way: For other uses of this term, see Spacetime (disambiguation). ... In physics, the Lorentz transformation converts between two different observers measurements of space and time, where one observer is in constant motion with respect to the other. ...

begin{cases} t' = gamma left(t - frac{v x}{c^{2}} right)  x' = gamma (x - v t)  y' = y  z' = z , end{cases}

where gamma = frac{1}{sqrt{1 - v^2/c^2}} is called the Lorentz factor and c, is the speed of light in a vacuum. It has been suggested that Lorentz term be merged into this article or section. ... A line showing the speed of light on a scale model of Earth and the Moon, taking about 1â…“ seconds to traverse that distance. ...


The y, and z, coordinates are unaffected, but the x, and t, axes are mixed up by the transformation. In a way this transformation can be understood as a hyperbolic rotation.


A quantity invariant under Lorentz transformations is known as a Lorentz scalar. The Lorentz transformation (LT), named after its discoverer, the Dutch physicist and mathematician Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853-1928), forms the basis for the special theory of relativity, which has been introduced to remove contradictions between the theories of electromagnetism and classical mechanics. ... In physics a Lorentz scalar is a scalar which is invariant under a Lorentz transformation. ...


Simultaneity

Event B is simultaneous with A in the green reference frame, but it occurred before in the blue frame, and will occur later in the red frame.
Event B is simultaneous with A in the green reference frame, but it occurred before in the blue frame, and will occur later in the red frame.

From the first equation of the Lorentz transformation in terms of coordinate differences The relativity of simultaneity is the dependence of the notion of simultaneity on the observer. ...

Delta t' = gamma left(Delta t - frac{v Delta x}{c^{2}} right)

it is clear that two events that are simultaneous in frame S (satisfying Delta t = 0,), are not necessarily simultaneous in another inertial frame S' (satisfying Delta t' = 0,). Only if these events are colocal in frame S (satisfying Delta x = 0,), will they be simultaneous in another frame S'.


Time dilation and length contraction

Writing the Lorentz transformation and its inverse in terms of coordinate differences we get

begin{cases} Delta t' = gamma left(Delta t - frac{v Delta x}{c^{2}} right)  Delta x' = gamma (Delta x - v Delta t), end{cases}

and

begin{cases} Delta t = gamma left(Delta t' + frac{v Delta x'}{c^{2}} right)  Delta x = gamma (Delta x' + v Delta t'), end{cases}

Suppose we have a clock at rest in the unprimed system S. Two consecutive ticks of this clock are then characterized by Δx = 0. If we want to know the relation between the times between these ticks as measured in both systems, we can use the first equation and find: For other uses, see Clock (disambiguation). ...

Delta t' = gamma Delta t qquad ( , for events satisfying Delta x = 0 ),

This shows that the time Δt' between the two ticks as seen in the 'moving' frame S' is larger than the time Δt between these ticks as measured in the rest frame of the clock. This phenomenon is called time dilation. Time dilation is the phenomenon whereby an observer finds that anothers clock which is physically identical to their own is ticking at a slower rate as measured by their own clock. ...


Similarly, suppose we have a measuring rod at rest in the unprimed system. In this system, the length of this rod is written as Δx. If we want to find the length of this rod as measured in the 'moving' system S', we must make sure to measure the distances x' to the end points of the rod simultaneously in the primed frame S'. In other words, the measurement is characterized by Δt' = 0, which we can combine with the fourth equation to find the relation between the lengths Δx and Δx': A Measuring rod is a kind of ruler. ...

Delta x' = frac{Delta x}{gamma} qquad ( , for events satisfying Delta t' = 0 ),

This shows that the length Δx' of the rod as measured in the 'moving' frame S' is shorter than the length Δx in its own rest frame. This phenomenon is called length contraction or Lorentz contraction. The Lorentz-FitzGerald contraction hypothesis was proposed by George FitzGerald and independently proposed and extended by Hendrik Lorentz to explain the negative result of the Michelson-Morley experiment, which attempted to detect Earths motion relative to the luminiferous aether. ...


These effects are not merely appearances; they are explicitly related to our way of measuring time intervals between events which occur at the same place in a given coordinate system (called "co-local" events). These time intervals will be different in another coordinate system moving with respect to the first, unless the events are also simultaneous. Similarly, these effects also relate to our measured distances between separated but simultaneous events in a given coordinate system of choice. If these events are not co-local, but are separated by distance (space), they will not occur at the same spacial distance from each other when seen from another moving coordinate system.


See also the twin paradox. In physics, the twin paradox refers to a thought experiment in Special Relativity, in which a person who makes a journey into space in a high-speed rocket will return home to find they have aged less than an identical twin who stayed on Earth. ...


Causality and prohibition of motion faster than light

See also: Causality
Diagram 2. Light cone
Diagram 2. Light cone

In diagram 2 the interval AB is 'time-like'; i.e., there is a frame of reference in which event A and event B occur at the same location in space, separated only by occurring at different times. If A precedes B in that frame, then A precedes B in all frames. It is hypothetically possible for matter (or information) to travel from A to B, so there can be a causal relationship (with A the cause and B the effect). Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


The interval AC in the diagram is 'space-like'; i.e., there is a frame of reference in which event A and event C occur simultaneously, separated only in space. However there are also frames in which A precedes C (as shown) and frames in which C precedes A. If it were possible for a cause-and-effect relationship to exist between events A and C, then paradoxes of causality would result. For example, if A was the cause, and C the effect, then there would be frames of reference in which the effect preceded the cause. Although this in itself won't give rise to a paradox, one can show[14][15] that faster than light signals can be sent back into one's own past. A causal paradox can then be constructed by sending the signal if and only if no signal was received previously.


Therefore, one of the consequences of special relativity is that (assuming causality is to be preserved), no information or material object can travel faster than light. On the other hand, the logical situation is not as clear in the case of general relativity, so it is an open question whether there is some fundamental principle that preserves causality (and therefore prevents motion faster than light) in general relativity. Causality or causation denotes the relationship between one event (called cause) and another event (called effect) which is the consequence (result) of the first. ... Faster than the speed of light redirects here. ... The chronology protection conjecture is a conjecture by the physicist Professor Stephen Hawking that the laws of physics are such as to prevent time travel (closed timelike curves) on all but sub-microscopic scales. ...


Even without considerations of causality, there are other strong reasons why faster-than-light travel is forbidden by special relativity. For example, if a constant force is applied to an object for a limitless amount of time, then integrating F=dp/dt gives a momentum that grows without bound, but this is simply because p = mγv approaches infinity as v approaches c. To an observer who is not accelerating, it appears as though the object's inertia is increasing, so as to produce a smaller acceleration in response to the same force. This behavior is in fact observed in particle accelerators. A particle accelerator uses electric fields to propel charged particles to great energies. ...


See also the Tachyonic Antitelephone. The tachyonic antitelephone is a hypothetical device that can be used to send signals into ones own past. ...


Composition of velocities

If the observer in S sees an object moving along the x axis at velocity w, then the observer in the S' system, a frame of reference moving at velocity v in the x direction with respect to S, will see the object moving with velocity w' where // If a ship is moving relative to the shore at velocity , and a fly is moving with velocity as measured on the ship, calculating the velocity of the fly as measured on the shore is what is meant by the addition of the velocities and . ...

w'=frac{w-v}{1-wv/c^2}.

This equation can be derived from the space and time transformations above. Notice that if the object were moving at the speed of light in the S system (i.e. w = c), then it would also be moving at the speed of light in the S' system. Also, if both w and v are small with respect to the speed of light, we will recover the intuitive Galilean transformation of velocities: w' approx w-v.


Mass, momentum, and energy

In addition to modifying notions of space and time, special relativity forces one to reconsider the concepts of mass, momentum, and energy, all of which are important constructs in Newtonian mechanics. Special relativity shows, in fact, that these concepts are all different aspects of the same physical quantity in much the same way that it shows space and time to be interrelated. The term mass in special relativity can be used in different ways, occasionally leading to confusion. ... This article is about the law of conservation of energy in physics. ... For other uses, see Mass (disambiguation). ... This article is about momentum in physics. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Classical mechanics. ...


There are a couple of (equivalent) ways to define momentum and energy in SR. One method uses conservation laws. If these laws are to remain valid in SR they must be true in every possible reference frame. However, if one does some simple thought experiments using the Newtonian definitions of momentum and energy one sees that these quantities are not conserved in SR. One can rescue the idea of conservation by making some small modifications to the definitions to account for relativistic velocities. It is these new definitions which are taken as the correct ones for momentum and energy in SR. In physics, a conservation law states that a particular measurable property of an isolated physical system does not change as the system evolves. ... In philosophy, physics, and other fields, a thought experiment (from the German Gedankenexperiment) is an attempt to solve a problem using the power of human imagination. ...


Given an object of invariant mass m traveling at velocity v the energy and momentum are given (and even defined) by The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ...

E = gamma m c^2 ,!
vec p = gamma m vec v ,!

where γ (the Lorentz factor) is given by It has been suggested that Lorentz term be merged into this article or section. ...

gamma = frac{1}{sqrt{1 - beta^2}}

where beta = frac{v}{c} is the ratio of the velocity and the speed of light. The term γ occurs frequently in relativity, and comes from the Lorentz transformation equations. The Lorentz transformation (LT), named after its discoverer, the Dutch physicist and mathematician Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853-1928), forms the basis for the special theory of relativity, which has been introduced to remove contradictions between the theories of electromagnetism and classical mechanics. ...


Relativistic energy and momentum can be related through the formula

 E^2 - (p c)^2 = (m c^2)^2 ,!

which is referred to as the relativistic energy-momentum equation. It is interesting to observe that while the energy  E, and the momentum  p, are observer dependent (vary from frame to frame) the quantity  E^2 - (p c)^2 = (m c^2)^2 ,! is observer independent.


For velocities much smaller than those of light, γ can be approximated using a Taylor series expansion and one finds that Series expansion redirects here. ...

 E approx m c^2 + begin{matrix} frac{1}{2} end{matrix} m v^2 ,!
vec p approx m vec v ,!

Barring the first term in the energy expression (discussed below), these formulas agree exactly with the standard definitions of Newtonian kinetic energy and momentum. This is as it should be, for special relativity must agree with Newtonian mechanics at low velocities. The cars of a roller coaster reach their maximum kinetic energy when at the bottom of their path. ...


Looking at the above formulas for energy, one sees that when an object is at rest (v = 0 and γ = 1) there is a non-zero energy remaining:

E_{rest} = m c^2 ,!

This energy is referred to as rest energy. The rest energy does not cause any conflict with the Newtonian theory because it is a constant and, as far as kinetic energy is concerned, it is only differences in energy which are meaningful.


Taking this formula at face value, we see that in relativity, mass is simply another form of energy. In 1927 Einstein remarked about special relativity:


Under this theory mass is not an unalterable magnitude, but a magnitude dependent on (and, indeed, identical with) the amount of energy.[16]


This formula becomes important when one measures the masses of different atomic nuclei. By looking at the difference in masses, one can predict which nuclei have extra stored energy that can be released by nuclear reactions, providing important information which was useful in the development of nuclear energy and, consequently, the nuclear bomb. The implications of this formula on 20th-century life have made it one of the most famous equations in all of science. In nuclear physics, a nuclear reaction is a process in which two nuclei or nuclear particles collide to produce products different from the initial particles. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945 lifted nuclear fallout some 18 km (60,000 feet) above the epicenter. ...


Relativistic mass

Introductory physics courses and some older textbooks on special relativity sometimes define a relativistic mass which increases as the velocity of a body increases. According to the geometric interpretation of special relativity, this is often deprecated and the term 'mass' is reserved to mean invariant mass and is thus independent of the inertial frame, i.e., invariant. The term mass in special relativity can be used in different ways, occasionally leading to confusion. ... The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ...


Using the relativistic mass definition, the mass of an object may vary depending on the observer's inertial frame in the same way that other properties such as its length may do so. Defining such a quantity may sometimes be useful in that doing so simplifies a calculation by restricting it to a specific frame. For example, consider a body with an invariant mass m moving at some velocity relative to an observer's reference system. That observer defines the relativistic mass of that body as:

M = gamma m!

"Relativistic mass" should not be confused with the "longitudinal" and "transverse mass" definitions that were used around 1900 and that were based on an inconsistent application of the laws of Newton: those used f=ma for a variable mass, while relativistic mass corresponds to Newton's dynamic mass in which p=Mv and f=dp/dt.


Note also that the body does not actually become more massive in its proper frame, since the relativistic mass is only different for an observer in a different frame. The only mass that is frame independent is the invariant mass. When using the relativistic mass, the applicable reference frame should be specified if it isn't already obvious or implied. It also goes almost without saying that the increase in relativistic mass does not come from an increased number of atoms in the object. Instead, the relativistic mass of each atom and subatomic particle has increased.


Physics textbooks sometimes use the relativistic mass as it allows the students to utilize their knowledge of Newtonian physics to gain some intuitive grasp of relativity in their frame of choice (usually their own!). "Relativistic mass" is also consistent with the concepts "time dilation" and "length contraction".


Force

The classical definition of ordinary force f is given by Newton's Second Law in its original form: Newtons First and Second laws, in Latin, from the original 1687 edition of the Principia Mathematica. ...

vec f = dvec p/dt

and this is valid in relativity.


Many modern textbooks rewrite Newton's Second Law as

vec f = M vec a

This form is not valid in relativity or in other situations where the relativistic mass M is varying.


This formula can be replaced in the relativistic case by

vec f = gamma m vec a + gamma^3 m frac{vec v cdot vec a}{c^2} vec v

As seen from the equation, ordinary force and acceleration vectors are not necessarily parallel in relativity.


However the four-vector expression relating four-force F^mu, to invariant mass m and four-acceleration A^mu, restores the same equation form In the special theory of relativity four-force is a four-vector that replaces the classical force; the four-force of the four-vector a is defined as the change in four-momentum over the particles own time: . Since where m0 is the rest mass and Ua is the... The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ... In special relativity, four-acceleration is a four-vector and is defined as the change in four-velocity over the particles proper time: where and and is the Lorentz factor for the speed . ...

F^mu = mA^mu,

The geometry of space-time

Main article: Minkowski space

SR uses a 'flat' 4-dimensional Minkowski space, which is an example of a space-time. This space, however, is very similar to the standard 3 dimensional Euclidean space, and fortunately by that fact, very easy to work with. In physics and mathematics, Minkowski space (or Minkowski spacetime) is the mathematical setting in which Einsteins theory of special relativity is most conveniently formulated. ... In special relativity and general relativity, time and three-dimensional space are treated together as a single four-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold called spacetime. ... Around 300 BC, the Greek mathematician Euclid laid down the rules of what has now come to be called Euclidean geometry, which is the study of the relationships between angles and distances in space. ...


The differential of distance (ds) in cartesian 3D space is defined as: The differential dy In calculus, a differential is an infinitesimally small change in a variable. ... Cartesian means of or relating to the French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes. ...

 ds^2 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 + dx_3^2

where (dx1,dx2,dx3) are the differentials of the three spatial dimensions. In the geometry of special relativity, a fourth dimension is added, derived from time, so that the equation for the differential of distance becomes:

 ds^2 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 + dx_3^2 - c^2 dt^2

If we wished to make the time coordinate look like the space coordinates, we could treat time as imaginary: x4 = ict . In this case the above equation becomes symmetric:

 ds^2 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 + dx_3^2 + dx_4^2

This suggests what is in fact a profound theoretical insight as it shows that special relativity is simply a rotational symmetry of our space-time, very similar to rotational symmetry of Euclidean space. Just as Euclidean space uses a Euclidean metric, so space-time uses a Minkowski metric. Basically, SR can be stated in terms of the invariance of space-time interval (between any two events) as seen from any inertial reference frame. All equations and effects of special relativity can be derived from this rotational symmetry (the Poincaré group) of Minkowski space-time. According to Misner (1971 §2.3), ultimately the deeper understanding of both special and general relativity will come from the study of the Minkowski metric (described below) rather than a "disguised" Euclidean metric using ict as the time coordinate. The triskelion appearing on the Isle of Man flag. ... In special relativity and general relativity, time and three-dimensional space are treated together as a single four-dimensional pseudo-Riemannian manifold called spacetime. ... Around 300 BC, the Greek mathematician Euclid laid down the rules of what has now come to be called Euclidean geometry, which is the study of the relationships between angles and distances in space. ... The Euclidean distance of two points x = (x1,...,xn) and y = (y1,...,yn) in Euclidean n-space is computed as It is the ordinary distance between the two points that one would measure with a ruler, which can be proven by repeated application of the Pythagorean theorem. ... In physics and mathematics, Minkowski space (or Minkowski spacetime) is the mathematical setting in which Einsteins theory of special relativity is most conveniently formulated. ... In physics and mathematics, the Poincaré group is the group of isometries of Minkowski spacetime. ...


If we reduce the spatial dimensions to 2, so that we can represent the physics in a 3-D space

 ds^2 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 - c^2 dt^2

We see that the null geodesics lie along a dual-cone: in physics, and specifically general relativity, geodesics are the world lines of a particle free from all external force. ... In mathematics, a geodesic is a generalization of the notion of a straight line to curved spaces. In presence of a metric, geodesics are defined to be (locally) the shortest path between points on the space. ...

Image:sr1.svg

defined by the equation Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

 ds^2 = 0 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 - c^2 dt^2

or

 dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 = c^2 dt^2

Which is the equation of a circle with r=c×dt. If we extend this to three spatial dimensions, the null geodesics are the 4-dimensional cone:

Image:sr3.jpg
 ds^2 = 0 = dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 + dx_3^2 - c^2 dt^2
 dx_1^2 + dx_2^2 + dx_3^2 = c^2 dt^2

This null dual-cone represents the "line of sight" of a point in space. That is, when we look at the stars and say "The light from that star which I am receiving is X years old", we are looking down this line of sight: a null geodesic. We are looking at an event d = sqrt{x_1^2+x_2^2+x_3^2} meters away and d/c seconds in the past. For this reason the null dual cone is also known as the 'light cone'. (The point in the lower left of the picture below represents the star, the origin represents the observer, and the line represents the null geodesic "line of sight".) special relativity -null spherical space File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... This article is about the astronomical object. ...

Image:Sr1.svg

The cone in the -t region is the information that the point is 'receiving', while the cone in the +t section is the information that the point is 'sending'. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


The geometry of Minkowski space can be depicted using Minkowski diagrams, which are also useful in understanding many of the thought-experiments in special relativity. The Minkowski diagram is a graphical tool used in special relativity to visualize spacetime with regard to an inertial reference frame. ...


Physics in spacetime

Here, we see how to write the equations of special relativity in a manifestly Lorentz covariant form. The position of an event in spacetime is given by a contravariant four vector whose components are: In physics, Lorentz covariance is a key property of spacetime that follows from the special theory of relativity, where it applies globally. ... Contravariant is a mathematical term with a precise definition in tensor analysis. ...

x^nu=left(t, x, y, zright)

That is, x0 = t and x1 = x and x2 = y and x3 = z. Superscripts are contravariant indices in this section rather than exponents except when they indicate a square. Subscripts are covariant indices which also range from zero to three as with the spacetime gradient of a field φ: In category theory, see covariant functor. ...

partial_0 phi = frac{partial phi}{partial t}, quad partial_1 phi = frac{partial phi}{partial x}, quad partial_2 phi = frac{partial phi}{partial y}, quad partial_3 phi = frac{partial phi}{partial z}.

Metric and transformations of coordinates

Having recognised the four-dimensional nature of spacetime, we are driven to employ the Minkowski metric, η, given in components (valid in any inertial reference frame) as: In physics, an inertial frame of reference, or inertial frame for short (also descibed as absolute frame of reference), is a frame of reference in which the observers move without the influence of any accelerating or decelerating force. ...

eta_{alphabeta} = begin{pmatrix} -c^2 & 0 & 0 & 0 0 & 1 & 0 & 0 0 & 0 & 1 & 0 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 end{pmatrix}

Its reciprocal is:

eta^{alphabeta} = begin{pmatrix} -1/c^2 & 0 & 0 & 0 0 & 1 & 0 & 0 0 & 0 & 1 & 0 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 end{pmatrix}

Then we recognize that co-ordinate transformations between inertial reference frames are given by the Lorentz transformation tensor Λ. For the special case of motion along the x-axis, we have: In physics, the Lorentz transformation converts between two different observers measurements of space and time, where one observer is in constant motion with respect to the other. ... In mathematics, a tensor is (in an informal sense) a generalized linear quantity or geometrical entity that can be expressed as a multi-dimensional array relative to a choice of basis; however, as an object in and of itself, a tensor is independent of any chosen frame of reference. ...

Lambda^{mu'}{}_nu = begin{pmatrix} gamma & -betagamma/c & 0 & 0 -betagamma c & gamma & 0 & 0 0 & 0 & 1 & 0 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 end{pmatrix}

which is simply the matrix of a boost (like a rotation) between the x and t coordinates. Where μ' indicates the row and ν indicates the column. Also, β and γ are defined as:

beta = frac{v}{c}, gamma = frac{1}{sqrt{1-beta^2}}.

More generally, a transformation from one inertial frame (ignoring translations for simplicity) to another must satisfy:

eta_{alphabeta} = eta_{mu'nu'} Lambda^{mu'}{}_alpha Lambda^{nu'}{}_beta !

where there is an implied summation of mu' ! and nu' ! from 0 to 3 on the right-hand side in accordance with the Einstein summation convention. The Poincaré group is the most general group of transformations which preserves the Minkowski metric and this is the physical symmetry underlying special relativity. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In physics and mathematics, the Poincaré group is the group of isometries of Minkowski spacetime. ... In physics and mathematics, Minkowski space (or Minkowski spacetime) is the mathematical setting in which Einsteins theory of special relativity is most conveniently formulated. ...


All proper physical quantities are given by tensors. So to transform from one frame to another, we use the well-known tensor transformation law In mathematics, a tensor is (in an informal sense) a generalized linear quantity or geometrical entity that can be expressed as a multi-dimensional array relative to a choice of basis; however, as an object in and of itself, a tensor is independent of any chosen frame of reference. ...

T^{left[i_1',i_2',...i_p'right]}_{left[j_1',j_2',...j_q'right]} = Lambda^{i_1'}{}_{i_1}Lambda^{i_2'}{}_{i_2}...Lambda^{i_p'}{}_{i_p} Lambda_{j_1'}{}^{j_1}Lambda_{j_2'}{}^{j_2}...Lambda_{j_q'}{}^{j_q} T^{left[i_1,i_2,...i_pright]}_{left[j_1,j_2,...j_qright]}

Where Lambda_{j_k'}{}^{j_k} ! is the reciprocal matrix of Lambda^{j_k'}{}_{j_k} !.


To see how this is useful, we transform the position of an event from an unprimed co-ordinate system S to a primed system S', we calculate

 begin{pmatrix} t' x' y' z' end{pmatrix} = x^{mu'}=Lambda^{mu'}{}_nu x^nu= begin{pmatrix} gamma & -betagamma/c & 0 & 0 -betagamma c & gamma & 0 & 0 0 & 0 & 1 & 0 0 & 0 & 0 & 1 end{pmatrix} begin{pmatrix} t x y z end{pmatrix} = begin{pmatrix} gamma t- gammabeta x/c gamma x - beta gamma ct  y z end{pmatrix}

which is the Lorentz transformation given above. All tensors transform by the same rule.


The squared length of the differential of the position four-vector dx^mu ! constructed using

mathbf{dx}^2 = eta_{munu}dx^mu dx^nu = -(c cdot dt)^2+(dx)^2+(dy)^2+(dz)^2,

is an invariant. Being invariant means that it takes the same value in all inertial frames, because it is a scalar (0 rank tensor), and so no Λ appears in its trivial transformation. Notice that when the line element mathbf{dx}^2 is negative that dtau=sqrt{-mathbf{dx}^2} / c is the differential of proper time, while when mathbf{dx}^2 is positive, sqrt{mathbf{dx}^2} is differential of the proper distance. The line element in mathematics can most generally be thought of as the square of the change in a position vector in an affine space equated to the square of the change of the arc length. ... In relativity, proper time is time measured by a single clock between events that occur at the same place as the clock. ... In physics, proper length is the length of an object or a contour as measured in the reference frame of the object itself in the context of special relativity. ...


The primary value of expressing the equations of physics in a tensor form is that they are then manifestly invariant under the Poincaré group, so that we do not have to do a special and tedious calculation to check that fact. Also in constructing such equations we often find that equations previously thought to be unrelated are, in fact, closely connected being part of the same tensor equation.


Velocity and acceleration in 4D

Recognising other physical quantities as tensors also simplifies their transformation laws. First note that the velocity four-vector Uμ is given by In physics, in particular in special relativity and general relativity, the four-velocity of an object is a four-vector (vector in four-dimensional spacetime) that replaces classical velocity (a three-dimensional vector). ...

U^mu = frac{dx^mu}{dtau} = begin{pmatrix} gamma  gamma v_x  gamma v_y  gamma v_z end{pmatrix}

Recognising this, we can turn the awkward looking law about composition of velocities into a simple statement about transforming the velocity four-vector of one particle from one frame to another. Uμ also has an invariant form:

{mathbf U}^2 = eta_{numu} U^nu U^mu = -c^2 .

So all velocity four-vectors have a magnitude of c. This is an expression of the fact that there is no such thing as being at coordinate rest in relativity: at the least, you are always moving forward through time. The acceleration 4-vector is given by A^mu = d{mathbf U^mu}/dtau. Given this, differentiating the above equation by τ produces In special relativity, four-acceleration is a four-vector and is defined as the change in four-velocity over the particles proper time: where and and is the Lorentz factor for the speed . ...

2eta_{munu}A^mu U^nu = 0. !

So in relativity, the acceleration four-vector and the velocity four-vector are orthogonal.


Momentum in 4D

The momentum and energy combine into a covariant 4-vector:

p_nu = m cdot eta_{numu} U^mu = begin{pmatrix} -E  p_x p_y p_zend{pmatrix}.

where m is the invariant mass. The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ...


The invariant magnitude of the momentum 4-vector is: It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Momentum#Momentum_in_relativistic_mechanics. ...

mathbf{p}^2 = eta^{munu}p_mu p_nu = -(E/c)^2 + p^2 .

We can work out what this invariant is by first arguing that, since it is a scalar, it doesn't matter which reference frame we calculate it, and then by transforming to a frame where the total momentum is zero.

mathbf{p}^2 = - (E_{rest}/c)^2 = - (m cdot c)^2 .

We see that the rest energy is an independent invariant. A rest energy can be calculated even for particles and systems in motion, by translating to a frame in which momentum is zero.


The rest energy is related to the mass according to the celebrated equation discussed above:

E_{rest} = m c^2,

Note that the mass of systems measured in their center of momentum frame (where total momentum is zero) is given by the total energy of the system in this frame. It may not be equal to the sum of individual system masses measured in other frames.


Force in 4D

To use Newton's third law of motion, both forces must be defined as the rate of change of momentum with respect to the same time coordinate. That is, it requires the 3D force defined above. Unfortunately, there is no tensor in 4D which contains the components of the 3D force vector among its components. Newtons laws of motion are the three scientific laws which Isaac Newton discovered concerning the behaviour of moving bodies. ...


If a particle is not traveling at c, one can transform the 3D force from the particle's co-moving reference frame into the observer's reference frame. This yields a 4-vector called the four-force. It is the rate of change of the above energy momentum four-vector with respect to proper time. The covariant version of the four-force is: In the special theory of relativity four-force is a four-vector that replaces the classical force; the four-force of the four-vector a is defined as the change in four-momentum over the particles own time: . Since where m0 is the rest mass and Ua is the... In relativity, a four-vector is a vector in a four-dimensional real vector space, whose components transform like the space and time coordinates (ct, x, y, z) under spatial rotations and boosts (a change by a constant velocity to another inertial reference frame). ...

F_nu = frac{d p_{nu}}{d tau} = begin{pmatrix} -{d E}/{d tau}  {d p_x}/{d tau}  {d p_y}/{d tau}  {d p_z}/{d tau} end{pmatrix}

where tau , is the proper time.


In the rest frame of the object, the time component of the four force is zero unless the "invariant mass" of the object is changing in which case it is the negative of that rate of change times c2. In general, though, the components of the four force are not equal to the components of the three-force, because the three force is defined by the rate of change of momentum with respect to coordinate time, i.e. frac{d p}{d t} while the four force is defined by the rate of change of momentum with respect to proper time, i.e.  frac{d p} {d tau} . The invariant mass or intrinsic mass or proper mass or just mass is a measurement or calculation of the mass of an object that is the same for all frames of reference. ...


In a continuous medium, the 3D density of force combines with the density of power to form a covariant 4-vector. The spatial part is the result of dividing the force on a small cell (in 3-space) by the volume of that cell. The time component is the negative of the power transferred to that cell divided by the volume of the cell. This will be used below in the section on electromagnetism.


Relativity and unifying electromagnetism

Main article: Classical electromagnetism and special relativity

Theoretical investigation in classical electromagnetism led to the discovery of wave propagation. Equations generalizing the electromagnetic effects found that finite propagation-speed of the E and B fields required certain behaviors on charged particles. The general study of moving charges forms the Liénard–Wiechert potential, which is a step towards special relativity. Classical electrodynamics (or classical electromagnetism) is a theory of electromagnetism that was developed over the course of the 19th century, most prominently by James Clerk Maxwell. ... The Liénard-Wiechert potential describes the electromagnetic effect of a moving charge. ...


The Lorentz transformation of the electric field of a moving charge into a non-moving observer's reference frame results in the appearance of a mathematical term commonly called the magnetic field. Conversely, the magnetic field generated by a moving charge disappears and becomes a purely electrostatic field in a comoving frame of reference. Maxwell's equations are thus simply an empirical fit to special relativistic effects in a classical model of the Universe. As electric and magnetic fields are reference frame dependent and thus intertwined, one speaks of electromagnetic fields. Special relativity provides the transformation rules for how an electromagnetic field in one inertial frame appears in another inertial frame. In physics, the space surrounding an electric charge or in the presence of a time-varying magnetic field has a property called an electric field. ... For the indie-pop band, see The Magnetic Fields. ... For thermodynamic relations, see Maxwell relations. ...


Electromagnetism in 4D

Main article: Covariant formulation of classical electromagnetism

Maxwell's equations in the 3D form are already consistent with the physical content of special relativity. But we must rewrite them to make them manifestly invariant.[17] For thermodynamic relations, see Maxwell relations. ...


The charge density rho ! and current density [J_x,J_y,J_z] ! are unified into the current-charge 4-vector: Charge density is the amount of electric charge per unit volume. ... In electricity, current is the rate of flow of charges, usually through a metal wire or some other electrical conductor. ... In special and general relativity, the four-current is the Lorentz covariant four-vector that replaces the electromagnetic current density where c is the speed of light, ρ the charge density, and j the conventional current density. ...

J^mu = begin{pmatrix} rho  J_x J_y J_zend{pmatrix}

The law of charge conservation,  frac{partial rho} {partial t} + nabla cdot mathbf{J} = 0, becomes: Charge conservation is the principle that electric charge can neither be created nor destroyed. ...

partial_mu J^mu = 0. !

The electric field [E_x,E_y,E_z] ! and the magnetic induction [B_x,B_y,B_z] ! are now unified into the (rank 2 antisymmetric covariant) electromagnetic field tensor: In physics, the space surrounding an electric charge or in the presence of a time-varying magnetic field has a property called an electric field. ... For the indie-pop band, see The Magnetic Fields. ... In electromagnetism, the electromagnetic tensor, or electromagnetic field tensor, F, is defined as: where Ai is the vector potential. ...

 F_{munu} = begin{pmatrix} 0 & -E_x & -E_y & -E_z  E_x & 0 & B_z & -B_y  E_y & -B_z & 0 & B_x  E_z & B_y & -B_x & 0 end{pmatrix}

The density, , of the Lorentz force, mathbf{f} = rho mathbf{E} + mathbf{J} times mathbf{B}, exerted on matter by the electromagnetic field becomes: Lorentz force. ...

f_mu = F_{munu}J^nu .!

Faraday's law of induction, nabla times mathbf{E} = -frac{partial mathbf{B}} {partial t}, and Gauss's law for magnetism, nabla cdot mathbf{B} = 0, combine to form: This box:      Faradays law of induction describes an important basic law of electromagnetism, which is involved in the working of transformers, inductors, and many forms of electrical generators. ...

Although there appear to be 64 equations here, it actually reduces to just four independent equations. Using the antisymmetry of the electromagnetic field one can either reduce to an identity (0=0) or render redundant all the equations except for those with λ,μ,ν = either 1,2,3 or 2,3,0 or 3,0,1 or 0,1,2.


The electric displacement and the magnetic field are now unified into the (rank 2 antisymmetric contravariant) electromagnetic displacement tensor: The factual accuracy of this article is disputed. ... For the indie-pop band, see The Magnetic Fields. ...

Ampère's law, , and Gauss's law, , combine to form: In physics, Ampères Circuital law, discovered by André-Marie Ampère, relates the circulating magnetic field in a closed loop to the electric current passing through the loop. ... In physics and mathematical analysis, Gausss law is the electrostatic application of the generalized Gausss theorem giving the equivalence relation between any flux, e. ...

In a vacuum, the constitutive equations are: In structural analysis, constitutive relations connect applied stresses or forces to strains or deformations. ...

Antisymmetry reduces these 16 equations to just six independent equations.


The energy density of the electromagnetic field combines with Poynting vector and the Maxwell stress tensor to form the 4D electromagnetic stress-energy tensor. It is the flux (density) of the momentum 4-vector and as a rank 2 mixed tensor it is: Energy density is the amount of energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume, or per unit mass, depending on the context. ... The Poynting vector describes the energy flux (J·m−2·s−1) of an electromagnetic field. ... In physics, the Maxwell stress tensor is the stress tensor of an electromagnetic field. ... In physics, the electromagnetic stress-energy tensor is the portion of the stress-energy tensor due to the electromagnetic field. ...

where is the Kronecker delta. When upper index is lowered with η, it becomes symmetric and is part of the source of the gravitational field. In mathematics, the Kronecker delta or Kroneckers delta, named after Leopold Kronecker (1823-1891), is a function of two variables, usually integers, which is 1 if they are equal, and 0 otherwise. ...


The conservation of linear momentum and energy by the electromagnetic field is expressed by:

where is again the density of the Lorentz force. This equation can be deduced from the equations above (with considerable effort). Lorentz force. ...


Status

Special relativity is accurate only when gravitational potential is much less than c2; in a strong gravitational field one must use general relativity (which becomes special relativity at the limit of weak field). At very small scales, such as at the Planck length and below, quantum effects must be taken into consideration resulting in quantum gravity. However, at macroscopic scales and in the absence of strong gravitational fields, special relativity is experimentally tested to extremely high degree of accuracy (10-20)[18] and thus accepted by the physics community. Experimental results which appear to contradict it are not reproducible and are thus widely believed to be due to experimental errors. See also: Special relativity Special relativity (SR) is usually concerned with the behaviour of objects and observers (inertial reference systems) which remain at rest or are moving at a constant velocity. ... In physics, gravitational potential is the measure of potential energy an object possesses due to its position in a gravitational field. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... The Planck length, denoted by , is the unit of length approximately 1. ... Quantum gravity is the field of theoretical physics attempting to unify quantum mechanics, which describes three of the fundamental forces of nature, with general relativity, the theory of the fourth fundamental force: gravity. ...


Because of the freedom one has to select how one defines units of length and time in physics, it is possible to make one of the two postulates of relativity a tautological consequence of the definitions, but one cannot do this for both postulates simultaneously, as when combined they have consequences which are independent of one's choice of definition of length and time. In propositional logic, a tautology (from the Greek word ταυτολογία) is a sentence that is true in every valuation (also called interpretation) of its propositional variables, independent of the truth values assigned to these variables. ...


Special relativity is mathematically self-consistent, and it is an organic part of all modern physical theories, most notably quantum field theory, string theory, and general relativity (in the limiting case of negligible gravitational fields). Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... This box:      String theory is a still developing mathematical approach to theoretical physics, whose original building blocks are one-dimensional extended objects called strings. ...


Newtonian mechanics mathematically follows from special relativity at small velocities (compared to the speed of light) - thus Newtonian mechanics can be considered as a special relativity of slow moving bodies. See Status of special relativity for a more detailed discussion. See also: Special relativity Special relativity (SR) is usually concerned with the behaviour of objects and observers (inertial reference systems) which remain at rest or are moving at a constant velocity. ...


A few key experiments can be mentioned that led to special relativity:

  • The Trouton–Noble experiment showed that the torque on a capacitor is independent on position and inertial reference frame – such experiments led to the first postulate
  • The famous Michelson-Morley experiment gave further support to the postulate that detecting an absolute reference velocity was not achievable. It should be stated here that, contrary to many alternative claims, it said little about the invariance of the speed of light with respect to the source and observer's velocity, as both source and observer were travelling together at the same velocity at all times.

A number of experiments have been conducted to test special relativity against rival theories. These include: The Trouton–Noble experiment attempted to detect motion of the Earth through the luminiferous aether, and was conducted in 1901–1903 by Frederick Thomas Trouton (who also developed the Troutons ratio) and H. R. Noble. ... The Michelson-Morley experiment, one of the most important and famous experiments in the history of physics, was performed in 1887 by Albert Michelson and Edward Morley at what is now Case Western Reserve University, and is considered by some to be the first strong evidence against the theory of...

  • Kaufmann's experiment – electron deflection in exact accordance with Lorentz-Einstein prediction
  • Hamar experiment – no "ether flow obstruction"
  • Kennedy–Thorndike experiment – time dilation in accordance with Lorentz transformations
  • Rossi-Hall experiment – relativistic effects on a fast-moving particle's half-life
  • Experiments to test emitter theory demonstrated that the speed of light is independent of the speed of the emitter.

In addition, particle accelerators run almost every day somewhere in the world, and routinely accelerate and measure the properties of particles moving at near lightspeed. Many effects seen in particle accelerators are highly consistent with relativity theory and are deeply inconsistent with the earlier Newtonian mechanics. Walter Kaufmann (June 5, 1871, Elberfeld - January 1, 1947, Freiburg im Breisgau) was a German physicist. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... The Kennedy-Thorndike experiment (Experimental Establishment of the Relativity of Time), first conducted in 1932, is a modified form of the Michelson-Morley experimental procedure. ... Performed in 1941 at echo lake in Colorado, the Rossi-Hall experiment measured the relatavistic decay of mesotrons(mesons, they happened to be measuring muon decay)and found it to be in good agreement with the predicitions of Special Relativity. ... Emitter theory was a competing theory for the special theory of relativity, explaining the results of the Michelson-Morley experiment. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Classical mechanics. ...


References

  1. ^ http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/www/ On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, A. Einstein, Annalen der Physik, 17:891, June 30, 1905 (in English translation)
  2. ^ Edwin F. Taylor and John Archibald Wheeler (1992). Spacetime Physics: Introduction to Special Relativity. W. H. Freeman. ISBN 0-7167-2327-1. 
  3. ^ Einstein, Autobiographical Notes, 1949.
  4. ^ Einstein, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, 1905.
  5. ^ Einstein, "Fundamental Ideas and Methods of the Theory of Relativity", 1920)
  6. ^ For a survey of such derivations, see Lucas and Hodgson, Spacetime and Electromagnetism, 1990
  7. ^ Einstein, On the Relativity Principle and the Conclusions Drawn from It, 1907; "The Principle of Relativity and Its Consequences in Modern Physics, 1910; "The Theory of Relativity", 1911; Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity, 1912; Theory of Relativity, 1913; Einstein, Relativity, the Special and General Theory, 1916; The Principle Ideas of the Theory of Relativity, 1916; What Is The Theory of Relativity?, 1919; The Principle of Relativity (Princeton Lectures), 1921; Physics and Reality, 1936; The Theory of Relativity, 1949.
  8. ^ Rindler, Essential Relativity, 1977
  9. ^ Einstein, The Principle of Conservation of Motion of the Center of Gravity and The Inertia of Energy, 1906; On the Inertia of Energy Required by the Relativity Principle, 1907; Elementary Derivation of the Equivalence of Mass and Energy, 1946.
  10. ^ In a letter to Carl Seelig in 1955, Einstein wrote "I had already previously found that Maxwell's theory did not account for the micro-structure of radiation and could therefore have no general validity.", Einstein letter to Carl Seelig, 1955.
  11. ^ Einstein, Autobiographical Notes, 1949.
  12. ^ Das, A., The The Special Theory of Relativity, A Mathematical Exposition, Springer, 1993.
  13. ^ Schutz, J., Independent Axioms for Minkowski Spacetime, 1997.
  14. ^ R. C. Tolman, The theory of the Relativity of Motion, (Berkeley 1917), p. 54
  15. ^ G. A. Benford, D. L. Book, and W. A. Newcomb, The Tachyonic Antitelephone, Phys. Rev. D 2, 263 - 265 (1970) article
  16. ^ Einstein on Newton 1927
  17. ^ E. J. Post (1962). Formal Structure of Electromagnetics: General Covariance and Electromagnetics. Dover Publications Inc.. ISBN 0-486-65427-3. 
  18. ^ The number of works is vast, see as example:
    Sidney Coleman, Sheldon L. Glashow, Cosmic Ray and Neutrino Tests of Special Relativity, Phys. Lett. B405 (1997) 249-252, online
    An overview can be found on this page

is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ...

Textbooks

  • Einstein, Albert. "Relativity: The Special and the General Theory".
  • Grøn, Øyvind; Hervik, Sigbjørn (2007). Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-69199-2. 
  • Silberstein, Ludwik (1914) The Theory of Relativity.
  • Tipler, Paul; Llewellyn, Ralph (2002). Modern Physics (4th ed.). W. H. Freeman Company. ISBN 0-7167-4345-0
  • Schutz, Bernard F. A First Course in General Relativity, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-27703-5
  • Taylor, Edwin, and Wheeler, John (1992). Spacetime Physics (2nd ed.). W.H. Freeman and Company. ISBN 0-7167-2327-1
  • Einstein, Albert (1996). The Meaning of Relativity. Fine Communications. ISBN 1-56731-136-9
  • Geroch, Robert (1981). General Relativity From A to B. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-28864-1
  • Logunov, Anatoly A. (2005) Henri Poincaré and the Relativity Theory (transl. from Russian by G. Pontocorvo and V. O. Soleviev, edited by V. A. Petrov) Nauka, Moscow.
  • Misner, Charles W.; Thorne, Kip S., Wheeler, John Archibald (1971). Gravitation. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman & Co.. ISBN 0-7167-0334-3. 
  • Post, E.J., Formal Structure of Electromagnetics: General Covariance and Electromagnetics, Dover Publications Inc. Mineola NY, 1962 reprinted 1997.
  • Freund, Jűrgen (2008) Special Relativity for Beginners - A Textbook for Undergraduates World Scientific. ISBN-10 981-277-160-3

This is a list of important publications in physics, organized by field. ... John Archibald Wheeler (July 9, 1911–April 13, 2008) was an eminent American theoretical physicist. ...

Journal articles

  • On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, A. Einstein, Annalen der Physik, 17:891, June 30, 1905 (in English translation)
  • Wolf, Peter and Gerard, Petit. "Satellite test of Special Relativity using the Global Positioning System", Physics Review A 56 (6), 4405-4409 (1997).
  • Will, Clifford M. "Clock synchronization and isotropy of the one-way speed of light", Physics Review D 45, 403-411 (1992).
  • Rizzi G. et al, "Synchronization Gauges and the Principles of Special Relativity", Found. Phys. 34 (2005) 1835-1887
  • Alvager et al., "Test of the Second Postulate of Special Relativity in the GeV region", Physics Letters 12, 260 (1964).
  • Olivier Darrigol (2004) "The Mystery of the Poincaré-Einstein Connection", Isis 95 (4), 614 - 626.

is the 181st day of the year (182nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ...

See also

Physics Portal
People: Arthur Eddington | Albert Einstein | Hendrik Lorentz | Hermann Minkowski | Bernhard Riemann | Henri Poincaré | Alexander MacFarlane | Harry Bateman | Robert S. Shankland | Walter Ritz
Relativity: Theory of relativity | principle of relativity | general relativity | Fundamental Speed | frame of reference | inertial frame of reference | Lorentz transformations | Bondi k-calculus | Einstein synchronisation | Rietdijk-Putnam Argument
Physics: Newtonian Mechanics | spacetime | speed of light | simultaneity | physical cosmology | Doppler effect | relativistic Euler equations | Aether drag hypothesis | Lorentz ether theory | Moving magnet and conductor problem
Maths: Minkowski space | four-vector | world line | light cone | Lorentz group | Poincaré group | geometry | tensors | split-complex number
Philosophy: actualism | conventionalism | formalism

Image File history File links Portal. ... One of Sir Arthur Stanley Eddingtons papers announced Einsteins theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ... Hendrik Lorentz by Jan Veth Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (born July 18, 1853 in Arnhem, Netherlands; died February 4, 1928 in Haarlem, Netherlands) was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. ... Hermann Minkowski. ... Bernhard Riemann. ... Jules Henri Poincaré (April 29, 1854 – July 17, 1912) (IPA: [1]) was one of Frances greatest mathematicians and theoretical physicists, and a philosopher of science. ... Alexander Macfarlane (Blairgowrie, Scotland, April 21, 1851 – Chatham, Ontario, August 28, 1913) was a Scottish-Canadian logician, physicist, and mathematician. ... Harry Bateman (May 29, 1882 Manchester, England - January 21, 1946 Pasadena California USA) was a leading English mathematician. ... Robert S. Shankland (1908–1982) was an American physicist and historian. ... Walter Ritz Walter Ritz (b. ... -1... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Relativity: The Special and General Theory A principle of relativity is a criterion for judging physical theories, stating that they are inadequate if they do not prescribe the exact same laws of physics in certain similar situations. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to general relativity. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... An inertial frame of reference, or inertial reference frame, is one in which Newtons first and second laws of motion are valid. ... The Lorentz transformation (LT), named after its discoverer, the Dutch physicist and mathematician Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (1853-1928), forms the basis for the special theory of relativity, which has been introduced to remove contradictions between the theories of electromagnetism and classical mechanics. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Einstein synchronisation is a convention in relativity how to synchronize clocks at different places. ... If special relativity is true then each observer will have their own plane of simultaneity that contains a unique set of events that constitute the observers present moment. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Classical mechanics. ... For other uses of this term, see Spacetime (disambiguation). ... A line showing the speed of light on a scale model of Earth and the Moon, taking about 1â…“ seconds to traverse that distance. ... Simultaneity is the property of two events happening at the same time in at least ONE Reference frame. ... This article is about the physics subject. ... A source of waves moving to the left. ... In fluid mechanics and astrophysics, the relativistic Euler equations are a generalization of the Euler equations that account for the effects of special relativity. ... The aether drag hypothesis was an early attempt to explain the way experiments such as Aragos experiment showed that the speed of light is constant. ... In physics, Lorentz ether theory (or LET) proposed that light was transmitted through a light medium in which the motion of objects did not cause dragging effects, but did cause objects to contract in their direction of motion (Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction). ... Conductor moving in a magnetic field. ... In physics and mathematics, Minkowski space (or Minkowski spacetime) is the mathematical setting in which Einsteins theory of special relativity is most conveniently formulated. ... In relativity, a four-vector is a vector in a four-dimensional real vector space, whose components transform like the space and time coordinates (ct, x, y, z) under spatial rotations and boosts (a change by a constant velocity to another inertial reference frame). ... In physics, the world line of an object is the unique path of that object as it travels through 4-dimensional spacetime. ... In special relativity, a light cone is the pattern describing the temporal evolution of a flash of light in Minkowski spacetime. ... The Lorentz group is the group of all Lorentz transformations of Minkowski spacetime. ... In physics and mathematics, the Poincaré group is the group of isometries of Minkowski spacetime. ... For other uses, see Geometry (disambiguation). ... For more technical Wiki articles on tensors, see the section later in this article. ... In mathematics, the split-complex numbers are an extension of the real numbers defined analogously to the complex numbers. ... This article is about the philosophy actualism. ... Belief that judgments of a specific sort are grounded only on (explicit or implicit) agreements in human society, rather than by reference to external reality. ... The term formalism describes an emphasis on form over content or meaning in the arts, literature, or philosophy. ...

External links

Wikibooks has a book on the topic of
At Wikiversity, you can learn about:
Special Relativity
Look up special relativity in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo-en. ... Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiversity logo Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation beta project[1], devoted to learning materials and activities, located at www. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ...

Original works

Annalen der Physik is one of the best-known and oldest (it was founded in 1799) physics journals worldwide. ... For other uses, see Berne (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see 1905 (disambiguation). ...

Course lectures

  • Yale University video lecture on Special and General Relativity at Google Video

Special relativity for a general audience (no math knowledge required)

  • Wikibooks: Special Relativity
  • Einstein Light An award-winning, non-technical introduction (film clips and demonstrations) supported by dozens of pages of further explanations and animations, at levels with or without mathematics.
  • Einstein Online Introduction to relativity theory, from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics.

Special relativity explained (using simple or more advanced math)

Project Gutenberg, abbreviated as PG, is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive and distribute cultural works. ... “Einstein” redirects here. ...

Visualization

  • Raytracing Special Relativity Software visualizing several scenarios under the influence of special relativity.
  • Real Time Relativity The Australian National University. Relativistic visual effects experienced through an interactive program.
  • Spacetime travel A variety of visualizations of relativistic effects, from relativistic motion to black holes.
  • Through Einstein's Eyes The Australian National University. Relativistic visual effects explained with movies and images.
  • Warp Special Relativity Simulator A computer program to show the effects of traveling close to the speed of light.
  • Animation clip visualizing the Lorentz transformation.

Other

A magnet levitating above a high-temperature superconductor demonstrates the Meissner effect. ... Classical mechanics (commonly confused with Newtonian mechanics, which is a subfield thereof) is used for describing the motion of macroscopic objects, from projectiles to parts of machinery, as well as astronomical objects, such as spacecraft, planets, stars, and galaxies. ... This box:      Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field which exerts a force on particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of those particles. ... Thermodynamics (from the Greek θερμη, therme, meaning heat and δυναμις, dynamis, meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems at the macroscopic scale by analyzing the collective motion of their particles using statistics. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... For a generally accessible and less technical introduction to the topic, see Introduction to quantum mechanics. ... -1... Thousands of particles explode from the collision point of two relativistic (100 GeV per nucleon) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ... Quantum field theory (QFT) is the quantum theory of fields. ... Condensed matter physics is the field of physics that deals with the macroscopic physical properties of matter. ... Atomic, molecular, and optical physics is the study of matter-matter and light-matter interactions on the scale of single atoms or structures containing a few atoms. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Theory of relativity - Conservapedia (3474 words)
Special relativity (SR) is a theory which describes the laws of motion for non-accelerating bodies traveling at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
Special Relativity (SR) was initially developed by Henri Poincaré and Hendrik Lorentz, working on problems in electrodynamics and the Michelson-Morley experiment, which had not found any sign of luminiferous aether, which was believed to be the substance which carried electromagnetic waves.
Special relativity alters Isaac Newton's laws of motion by assuming that the speed of light will be the same for all observers, despite their relative velocities and the source of the light.
Einstein, Albert. 1920. Relativity: The Special and General Theory (321 words)
The Principle of Relativity (In the Restricted Sense)
The Space-Time Continuum of the Special Theory of Relativity Considered as a Euclidean Continuum
The Space-Time Continuum of the General Theory of Relativity Is not a Euclidean Continuum
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m