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Name: Vincent
Status: student
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Question:
As an object accelerates to the speed of light its mass increases. Why then when it reaches a certain mass does it not create a black hole or warp local space-time into a singularity?



Replies:
According to theory, the body expands in the direction perpendicular to the direction of motion while thinning in the direction of motion. At near light speed you would get a very thin, very massive Frisbee(c) the diameter of hundreds of galaxies. There is plenty of space for the increased mass.

Of course, long before reaching such a speed and state, the body would have run into with some unpleasant results ensuing for the occupants of space ship and the target.

Bob Avakian


Vincent,

To make an object with any mass to accelerate "to the speed of light" would require an infinite amount of energy. An infinite amount of energy is not available. Another problem is radiation. When something such as a proton gains so much energy that its speed approaches the speed of light, some of the energy goes into internal structure rather than speed. This often results in radioactive decay: the high energy particle breaks into smaller particles.

If it were possible to accelerate a massive object close enough to the speed of light in a reasonable amount of time without destroying the object in the process, you just might get something quite unusual; however, such an accomplishment would not be easy to achieve.

Ken Mellendorf
Math, Science, Engineering
Illinois Central College



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