Special Relativity Articles

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Learn the Math

I Know the Math Says so, but Is It Really True?

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I'm sure anyone who has hung out long enough here on Physics Forums has encountered threads which go something like this (I'll use an example based on…
kerr spacetime centrifugal force

Centrifugal Force Reversal in Kerr Spacetime

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In this article we will analyze "centrifugal force reversal" in Kerr spacetime, similar to what was done for Schwarzschild spacetime in a previous Insights…
physics mysteries

A Principle Explanation of the "Mysteries" of Modern Physics

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All undergraduate physics majors are shown how the counterintuitive aspects ("mysteries") of time dilation and length contraction in special relativity…
Twins Paradox

The Twin Paradox for Freely-falling Observers

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The "twin paradox" is often discussed in the introductory treatment of special relativity. Under "twin paradox" we understand the fact that if two twins…
Minkowski Spacetime

Precession in Special and General Relativity

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The Absolute Derivative In relativity we typically deal with two types of quantities: fields, which are defined everywhere, and particle properties, which…
Kerr Spacetime

Fermi-Walker Transport in Kerr Spacetime

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In the last two posts in this series, we developed some tools for looking at Fermi-Walker transport in Minkowski spacetime and then applied them in Schwarzschild…
Minkowski_Spacetime_2

Fermi-Walker Transport in Schwarzschild Spacetime

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In the first post in this series, we introduced the concepts of frame field, Fermi-Walker transport, and the "Fermi derivative" of a frame field, and developed…
Minkowski Spacetime

Fermi-Walker Transport in Minkowski Spacetime

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This is the first of several posts that will develop some mathematical machinery for studying Fermi-Walker transport. In this first post, we focus on Minkowski…
ridler_motion

Rindler Motion in Special Relativity: Hyperbolic Trajectories

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Introduction: Why Rindler Motion? When students learn relativity, it's usually taught using inertial (constant velocity) motion. There are lots of reasons…
classicalphysics

"Classical Physics Is Wrong" Fallacy

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One of the common questions or comments we get on PF is the claim that classical physics or classical mechanics (i.e. Newton's laws, etc.) is wrong because…

A Problem From Greg Egan's "Incandescence"

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The following problem was inspired by reading Greg Egan's "Incadescence".  Consider a body, orbiting a Schwarzschild black hole and tidelocked to it,…
speedoflight1

The Speed of Light and Galilean Relativity

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Introduction In this article I will discuss some experiments in the 19th and early 20th centuries that looked how the velocity of a light source affects…
gravity

Understanding the General Relativity View of Gravity on Earth

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Often students have difficulty reconciling the General Relativity (GR) view of gravity versus their own experience with gravity on the surface of Earth.…