What is boost supposed to mean?

1. Jul 25, 2014

ChrisVer

What does it mean to boost something along the z axis?
To give some acceleration to it, or to spatially translate it? I think it's the 2nd?

2. Jul 25, 2014

Vanadium 50

Staff Emeritus
To change its velocity.

3. Jul 25, 2014

ChrisVer

then what does it have to do with momentum (generator of spatial translations)?

4. Jul 25, 2014

Matterwave

Can you be more specific? A boost (or any Lorentz transformation, for that matter) $\Lambda_{~~\nu}^\mu$ changes the momenta of particles in a predictable fashion:

$$p'^\mu =\Lambda_{~~\nu}^\mu p^\nu$$

5. Jul 25, 2014

WannabeNewton

A boost corresponds to Lorentz transformations that aren't spatial rotations. They correspond to $K_i= J_{0i}$ where $J$ are the Lorentz generators. The momentum of a massive particle defines a preferred boost axis.

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