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Light Cone Coordinates

  1. Dec 5, 2014 #1
    Hi guys, I'm trying to understand light cone coordinates for which I uploaded this picture. The light cone coordinates are given by
    [itex]x^{+}= \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} (x^{0}+x^{1})[/itex]
    [itex]x^{-}= \frac{1}{\sqrt{2}} (x^{0}-x^{1})[/itex]

    Now how should I think of this? I guess the space curves do only life in the space that is spanned by the [itex]x^{0}[/itex] and [itex]x^{1}[/latex] axes. But what does it mean that a light curve is zero in this coordinate system?

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2014 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    It means that a flash of light emitted at the origin travels along the two axes (because we chose them that way - that's what makes these coordinates "light-cone" coordinates). One axis is described by the equation ##x^{+}=0## and the other by ##x^{-}=0##, just as in Cartesian coordinates the y-axis is described by ##x=0## and the x-axis by ##y=0##.
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