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Special Theory of Relativity

In physics, special relativity is a fundamental theory about space and time, developed by Albert Einstein in 1905 as a modification of Galilean Relativity. It was able to explain some pressing theoretical and experimental issues in the physics of the late 19th century involving electro magnetic waves, such as the failure of the Michelson - Morley experiment in 1887, 


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which aimed to measure differences in the relative speed of light due to the motion of Earth through the hypothetical luminiferous aether, which was then considered to be the medium of propagation of electromagnetic waves such as light..Postulates of Special Theory of Relativity:1.The laws of physics are same for all the inertial frames of reference 2.


The velocity of light in free space is constant in all the frames of reference. According to this second postulate of special theory of relativity the velocity of light in vacuum is constant whether the observer measures it moving in the same direction or in its opposite direction. Its value in vacuum is approximately 2.99797 * 10 ^ 8 m/s. 


In the light of special theory of relativity the newtonian mechanics becomes invalid. Newtonian mechanics is valid when the velocity of the moving objects are within some range. But nowadays, the velocity of few particles like electron beam, are comparable with the velocity of light. In these situations Newton's laws of motion are invalid. So developed Quantum Mechanics.Absolute value and simultaneity are possible in classical mechanics which obeys Newton's laws of motion. 


But after the special theory of relativity even simultaneity itself is relative. The relative motion between the object and observer plays important role.Using special theory of relativity we can see the relativistic change of the following:t = \frac{T}{\sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}}} \,where t is the time interval between two events when the relative velocity between the observer and the object is v and T is the time interval between the same events when the relative motion is zero and c is velocity of light. 


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This is clear that time interval increases which is known as "Time Dilation".In the same we can show the length contraction or Lorentz - Fitzgerald contraction using the following expression,x = X \sqrt{1 - \frac{v^2}{c^2}} \,where x is the length when the velocity is v and X is the length of the object when it is at rest.According to Special Theory of relativity every thing is relative when they are in high speed, that is comparable to the speed of lightApplications of Special Theory of Relativity:There is a common perception that relativistic physics is not needed for practical purposes or in everyday life. 


This is not true. Without relativistic effects, gold would look silvery, rather than yellow. Many technologies are critically dependent on relativistic physics:Cathode Ray Tube,Particle Acceleratiors,Global positioning System (GPS andEinstein showed that mass is simply another form of energy. The energy equivalent of rest mass m is mc2. This equivalence implies that mass should be interconvertible with other forms of energy. 


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This is the basic principle behind atom bombs and production of energy in nuclear reactors and stars (like the Sun).Important result from the special theory of relativity:No object can travel with the velocity of light ( if it happens so, then the length of the object at the speed of light will be zero and its mass will be infinity). This is an important finding using this Special Theory of Relativity