What is the difference between Boost and Translation?

  1. As we face in Poincaré Transformation, there are boost and translational symmetry.What is the difference between these two terms?
  2. jcsd
  3. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    A "boost" changes an object's velocity. A "translation" merely changes its position.
  4. Thanks for the reply. So basically boost is a change position with acceleration?
  5. Filip Larsen

    Filip Larsen 1,022
    Gold Member

    I always read "boost" as short for "Lorentz boost" and simply meaning the Lorentz transformation for a given velocity (speed and direction). For what it is worth, Wikipedia [1] seems to agree with this, with the addition that a boost is a rotation-free Lorentz transformation.

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorentz_transformation
  6. Meir Achuz

    Meir Achuz 2,076
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    No- with constant velocity
  7. jtbell

    Staff: Mentor

    We're simply changing coordinate systems. No acceleration of the object is involved.

    In a translation, the initial and final coordinate systems simply have different origins. There is no relative velocity between these two coordinate systems.

    In a boost, the final coordinate system has some velocity relative to the initial coordinate system. The origins of the two coordinate systems often coincide at t = 0.
  8. Thank you jtbell,Filip and Meir. :)
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