Is everything relative?


by quawa99
Tags: relative
quawa99
quawa99 is offline
#1
Nov26-13, 11:06 AM
P: 56
Is everything we know relative or is there something absolute in this universe?
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
Sensitive detection method may help impede illicit nuclear trafficking
CERN: World-record current in a superconductor
Beam on target: CEBAF accelerator achieves 12 GeV commissioning milestone
ZapperZ
ZapperZ is offline
#2
Nov26-13, 11:09 AM
Mentor
ZapperZ's Avatar
P: 28,783
Quote Quote by quawa99 View Post
Is everything we know relative or is there something absolute in this universe?
This is rather vague. Let's start with something clearer.

Do you know about Special Relativity? Yes? Then what have you concluded from that?

No? Then maybe we can start you with that.

Secondly, what do you mean by "everything"? There are covariant/invariant values and expressions in physics that are NOT relative.

Zz.
quawa99
quawa99 is offline
#3
Nov26-13, 11:14 AM
P: 56
Quote Quote by ZapperZ View Post
This is rather vague. Let's start with something clearer.

Do you know about Special Relativity? Yes? Then what have you concluded from that?

No? Then maybe we can start you with that.

Secondly, what do you mean by "everything"? There are covariant/invariant values and expressions in physics that are NOT relative.

Zz.
I just have a basic idea about special theory of relativity.by everything I meant the physical quantities like energy,mass,velocity.
From special theory of relativity I have concluded that velocity of light is the same for all observers so maybe velocity of light is not relative?

Hertz
Hertz is offline
#4
Nov26-13, 11:14 AM
P: 124

Is everything relative?


The speed of light is absolute. So is mass. The charge of an electron is absolute. Etc
quawa99
quawa99 is offline
#5
Nov26-13, 11:16 AM
P: 56
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
The speed of light is absolute. So is mass. The charge of an electron is absolute. Etc
Isn't mass relative?
Enigman
Enigman is offline
#6
Nov26-13, 11:17 AM
Best Humor
Enigman's Avatar
P: 544
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
The speed of light is absolute. So is mass. The charge of an electron is absolute. Etc
Mass is NOT absolute.
##M=\frac{M_0}{\sqrt{1- \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}##
EDIT
Mass, length, time, kinetic energy are all relative.
Charge, spin, baryon no. etc are not relative
Hertz
Hertz is offline
#7
Nov26-13, 11:17 AM
P: 124
Quote Quote by quawa99 View Post
Isn't mass relative?
I believe it depends on how you learn special relativity. I learned it as mass being absolute, but I only just learned it in a classroom this semester, so I'm not an expert.

edit-
Quote Quote by Enigman View Post
Mass is NOT absolute.
##M=\frac{M_0}{\sqrt{1- \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}##
Why is this necessary?
adjacent
adjacent is offline
#8
Nov26-13, 11:18 AM
PF Gold
adjacent's Avatar
P: 819
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
The speed of light is absolute. So is mass. The charge of an electron is absolute. Etc
Mass?But I heard that mass increases with Speed(Kinetic Energy)

EDIT:Look at the Equation given by Enigman.
quawa99
quawa99 is offline
#9
Nov26-13, 11:20 AM
P: 56
So bottom line velocity of light and charge are the two physical quantities which aren't relative ?
Hertz
Hertz is offline
#10
Nov26-13, 11:21 AM
P: 124
Quote Quote by adjacent View Post
Mass?But I heard that mass increases with Speed(Kinetic Energy)
I hate arguing anything that I'm not too confident in, but for the sake of education!:

I learned relativistic kinetic energy as:
[itex]T=(\gamma_u - 1)mc^2[/itex] where mass is absolute. This is from the book "Modern Physics" second edition by Randy Harris

Also, total relativistic energy:
[itex]E=\gamma_u mc^2[/itex]. Where mass is absolute.

edit-
Quote Quote by quawa99 View Post
So bottom line velocity of light and charge are the two physical quantities which aren't relative ?
There are most certainly other quantities as well..
quawa99
quawa99 is offline
#11
Nov26-13, 11:25 AM
P: 56
Isn't charge relative because electric and magnetic feilds are relative?
WannabeNewton
WannabeNewton is online now
#12
Nov26-13, 11:28 AM
C. Spirit
Sci Advisor
Thanks
WannabeNewton's Avatar
P: 4,915
Quote Quote by quawa99 View Post
Isn't charge relative because electric and magnetic feilds are relative?
No charge is a Lorentz invariant. This follows from local charge conservation which is itself a consequence of Maxwell's equations.

Rest mass (more appropriately called invariant mass) is also a Lorentz invariant.
Enigman
Enigman is offline
#13
Nov26-13, 11:31 AM
Best Humor
Enigman's Avatar
P: 544
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
Why is this necessary?
Perhaps you are talking about the rest mass or the invariant mass? This the mass observed in an inertial frame where the object in question is at rest. (I perhaps should have mentioned this before)

##M=\frac{M_0}{\sqrt{1- \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}##
gives the mass as observed from a frame in which object in question is moving with velocity v.
But often mass and rest mass are used interchangeably
Derivation here- http://www.scribd.com/doc/98591006/S...ativistic-Mass.
(WBN beat me to it...)
Nugatory
Nugatory is offline
#14
Nov26-13, 11:36 AM
Sci Advisor
Thanks
P: 2,944
Quote Quote by Enigman View Post
Mass is NOT absolute.
##M=\frac{M_0}{\sqrt{1- \frac{v^2}{c^2}}}##
The quantity ##M## in that equation is not frame-invariant, but ##M_0## is. It's something of a matter of taste which one you consider to be "mass", and that taste has changed over the years.
Enigman
Enigman is offline
#15
Nov26-13, 11:52 AM
Best Humor
Enigman's Avatar
P: 544
Quote Quote by Nugatory View Post
The quantity ##M## in that equation is not frame-invariant, but ##M_0## is. It's something of a matter of taste which one you consider to be "mass", and that taste has changed over the years.
Yes, I was talking about relative or 'observed mass' as I thought it would be obvious from the context and not rest mass which is by definition frame-invariant.
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
I learned relativistic kinetic energy as:
[itex]T=(\gamma_u - 1)mc^2[/itex] where mass is absolute. This is from the book "Modern Physics" second edition by Randy Harris

Also, total relativistic energy:
[itex]E=\gamma_u mc^2[/itex]. Where mass is absolute.
This is of course correct, provided m represents relative mass. And as ##m_{rel}=\gamma m##
The mass-energy equation reduces to ##E=m_{rel} c^2##.
##m_{rel}## is the mass that would be observed from a frame in which the object moves with velocity v and m is the mass in the frame in which relative velocity is zero.
You may want to read-
http://www.scribd.com/doc/98591006/S...ativistic-Mass
ZapperZ
ZapperZ is offline
#16
Nov26-13, 11:57 AM
Mentor
ZapperZ's Avatar
P: 28,783
Y'know, the more things change, the more they remain the same. This thing keeps coming back like an unwanted guest.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=642188

Please note this FACT: when you read the mass values of the various particles in the Particle Data Book, you'll notice that they never cite the corresponding speed. If mass is "relative", then there will not be a unique, unambiguous value.

Zz.
Hertz
Hertz is offline
#17
Nov26-13, 12:02 PM
P: 124
Quote Quote by ZapperZ View Post
Y'know, the more things change, the more they remain the same. This thing keeps coming back like an unwanted guest.

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=642188

Please note this FACT: when you read the mass values of the various particles in the Particle Data Book, you'll notice that they never cite the corresponding speed. If mass is "relative", then there will not be a unique, unambiguous value.

Zz.
Thanks for this link. This person has some very interesting points :)
ZapperZ
ZapperZ is offline
#18
Nov26-13, 12:05 PM
Mentor
ZapperZ's Avatar
P: 28,783
Quote Quote by Hertz View Post
Thanks for this link. This person has some very interesting points :)
If by "this person" you meant Lev Okun, he is on this forum:

http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=696144

Zz.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Relative Permitttivity & Relative Permeability Dependency General Physics 4
Relative speed, relative angles Introductory Physics Homework 1
Relative Length to Relative Volume Special & General Relativity 1
Relative velocity=relative momentum? Special & General Relativity 1
x' relative to S' and relative to S Special & General Relativity 6