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Concept# Relativistic mechanics

Summary

In physics, relativistic mechanics refers to mechanics compatible with special relativity (SR) and general relativity (GR). It provides a non-quantum mechanical description of a system of particles, or of a fluid, in cases where the velocities of moving objects are comparable to the speed of light c. As a result, classical mechanics is extended correctly to particles traveling at high velocities and energies, and provides a consistent inclusion of electromagnetism with the mechanics of particles. This was not possible in Galilean relativity, where it would be permitted for particles and light to travel at any speed, including faster than light. The foundations of relativistic mechanics are the postulates of special relativity and general relativity. The unification of SR with quantum mechanics is relativistic quantum mechanics, while attempts for that of GR is quantum gravity, an unsolved problem in physics.
As with classical mechanics, the subject can be divided into "kinematics";

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Miguel Alexandre Ribeiro Correia

Accretion disks surrounding compact objects, and other environmental factors, deviate satellites from geodetic motion. Unfortunately, setting up the equations of motion for such relativistic trajectories is not as simple as in Newtonian mechanics. The principle of general (or Lorentz) covariance and the mass-shell constraint make it difficult to parametrize physically adequate 4-forces. Here, we propose a solution to this old problem. We apply our framework to several conservative and dissipative forces. In particular, we propose covariant formulations for Hooke???s law and the constant force and compute the drag due to gravitational and hard-sphere collisions in dust, gas, and radiation media. We recover and covariantly extend known forces such as Epstein drag, Chandrasekhar???s dynamical friction, and Poynting-Robertson drag. Variable-mass effects are also considered, namely, Hoyle-Lyttleton accretion and the variable-mass rocket. We conclude with two applications: (1) The free-falling spring, where we find that Hooke???s law corrects the deviation equation by an effective anti???de Sitter tidal force and (2) black hole infall with drag. We numerically compute some trajectories on a Schwarzschild background supporting a dustlike accretion disk.