Rotations associated with Lorentz boosts

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Baskal S., Kim Y.

JOURNAL OF PHYSICS A-MATHEMATICAL AND GENERAL, vol.38, no.29, pp.6545-6556, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


It is possible to associate two angles with two successive non-collinear Lorentz boosts. If one boost is applied after the initial boost, the result is the final boost preceded by a rotation called the Wigner rotation. The other rotation is associated with Wigner's O(3)-like little group. These two angles are shown to be different. However, it is shown that the sum of these two rotation angles is equal to the angle between the initial and final boosts. This relation is studied for both low-speed and high-speed limits. Furthermore, it is noted that the two-by-two matrices which are under the responsibility of other branches of physics can be interpreted in terms of the transformations of the Lorentz group, or vice versa. Classical ray optics is mentioned as a case in point.