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Relative momentum and relative mass

  1. Jun 2, 2015 #1
    Hi all,
    I feel like I have a misconception about that topic, so I hope I will get an answer for the question:

    Momentum should be conserved from the same perspective, but does it have to from different perspectives or frames ? I mean we don't agree about sth's velocity, so we don't agree about momentum. What's wrong with that?
    what I know is that mass changes from different frames is because each frame should observe the same momentum.

    regards
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 2, 2015 #2

    Orodruin

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    Nothing. Both momentum and energy are frame dependent quantities.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2015 #3
    Then why there is a need for mass to change due to special relativity laws ?
     
  5. Jun 2, 2015 #4
    I mean mathematically concerning momentum , Momentum and velocity are relativistic, then why mass is ?
     
  6. Jun 2, 2015 #5

    Janus

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    It's how the measurement of momentum changes as seen from different frames that distinguishes Newtonian physics and Relativity.

    In the former, momentum can be measured as mass times velocity. This is frame dependent because an object's momentum as measured by any frame is dependent on its velocity with respect to that frame.

    In Special Relativity, momentum is measured as mass times velocity times the Lorentz factor of [itex] \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v}{c^2}}}[/itex]

    Since the Lorentz factor depends on the velocity, the increase of momentum with an increase of velocity is not linear under Special Relativity like it is under Newtonian physics.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2015 #6
    And why do we multiply it with Lorentz factor ?
     
  8. Jun 2, 2015 #7

    Orodruin

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    It is not, at least not in the sense most physicists use the term. See our FAQ https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/what-is-relativistic-mass-and-why-it-is-not-used-much.796527/ [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Jun 2, 2015 #8

    Orodruin

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    If we did not it would violate Lorentz invariance, i.e., the statement that the physics are described by the same equations in all inertial frames.
     
  10. Jun 2, 2015 #9
    Would you please illustrate more ? why?
     
  11. Jun 2, 2015 #10

    Orodruin

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    Which part of the statement do you have problems with?

    In general, depending on your level, it may be more fruitful to think of things in terms of the classical expressions being only approximations to more general ones.
     
  12. Jun 2, 2015 #11
    I need to know what's different about momentum since we discovered time dilation. How this affects mass
     
  13. Jun 2, 2015 #12

    Nugatory

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    it's not because we discovered time dilation - both time dilation and the relativistic momentum equation come from the Lorentz transformations, which are a consequence of the speed of light being finite and the same for all observers.

    And it's not that anything was suddenly "different about momentum" after we discovered the Lorentz transforms. The momentum of a moving object has always been ##p=\gamma{m}_0v## and ##p={m}_0v## has always been just a very good approximation - so good, in fact, that it was several centuries before we figured out that it wasn't exact.

    If the speed of light were infinite, then ##p={m}_0v## would be exact.
     
  14. Jun 2, 2015 #13
    Thank you, but I still want to know the mathematical and physical proof of mass change due to special relativity. I mean without mass changing " In my frame" momentum is conserved, and in the frame of any moving object it's conserved too. What is need for mass to change? or it's possible not necessary ?? You can tell me why P= gama*m*v
    Sorry for bothering
    regards,
     
  15. Jun 2, 2015 #14

    Orodruin

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    Did you read the FAQ I linked? Mass does not change in relativity.
     
  16. Jun 2, 2015 #15

    PeterDonis

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    The "mass" that changes is relativistic mass, which is just another word for "energy". Do you understand why an object's energy changes when its velocity changes?
     
  17. Jun 2, 2015 #16
    I quickly did, but it was about how physics consider mass. I mean mass that is the resistance of the substance to accelerate.

    I don't, sir. Just more kinetic energy is that i know, do you mean sth else ?
     
  18. Jun 2, 2015 #17

    Orodruin

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    You should read it more carefully. It is about why relativistic mass is not a concept used by physicists. Therefore, we generally only talk about the rest mass. I also suggest you take post #12 to heart and think about it. There is a lot of useful material there.
     
  19. Jun 2, 2015 #18

    PeterDonis

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    Kinetic energy is part of energy, so if kinetic energy increases with velocity, so does energy.
     
  20. Jun 2, 2015 #19

    PeterDonis

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    In other words, you mean inertia (or "inertial mass"). If that's what you're interested in, you shouldn't be looking at just energy and momentum; you should be looking at force, to see how much acceleration a given applied force imparts to an object which is already moving at a given velocity. In other words, you should be looking at the relativistic equivalent of ##F = m a##. See, for example, here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-force

    What you will find is that "relativistic mass" is not a useful concept for understanding inertia in general in relativity; it's better to focus on invariant mass (i.e., rest mass, i.e., what relativists mean when they say "mass") and how it appears in the various equations involved.
     
  21. Jun 2, 2015 #20

    Orodruin

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    Just to add that this ...
    ... is also covered in the FAQ.
     
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