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Thread: Exceeding speed of light

  1. #1 Exceeding speed of light 
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    Say you're in Space, outside the forces of gravity; You throw a ball, the ball should accelerate at a constant rate until an outside force is acting upon it, but since your in a spot where you have gone outside of gravity, what is stopping the ball from reaching as fast, or faster than, the speed of light?


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    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    Nothing with mass can reach the speed of light.


    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by _connuh_ View Post
    Say you're in Space, outside the forces of gravity; You throw a ball, the ball should accelerate at a constant rate until an outside force is acting upon it, but since your in a spot where you have gone outside of gravity, what is stopping the ball from reaching as fast, or faster than, the speed of light?
    The way that you have set up the problem, intentionally or not, has no force on the ball aside from the intial impetus. That means that a finite amount of energy is imparted to the ball. And that, in turn, means that rather than continuing to accelerate, the ball reaches a terminal velocity that is finite (for speeds well below that of light, kinetic energy is 0.5*m*v^2).

    Now, if you set up the problem differently, and provide for an unbounded energy input, you find a peculiar thing happening: The ball goes faster for a bit, but as you begin to approach the speed of light, you discover that disproportionately more energy is required to produce an increment in speed. It turns out that an infinite amount of energy is required to get to the speed of light, meaning that you don't get to the speed of light. [Albert Einstein is the one who figured this out, as explained in his special theory of relativity.]
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    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _connuh_ View Post
    You throw a ball, the ball should accelerate at a constant rate until an outside force is acting upon it
    Um, once the ball has left your hand it's no longer accelerating.
    It can't.
    (No outside forces, remember?)

    Dammit, ninja'd again!
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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    Moderator Moderator Janus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _connuh_ View Post
    Say you're in Space, outside the forces of gravity; You throw a ball, the ball should accelerate at a constant rate until an outside force is acting upon it, but since your in a spot where you have gone outside of gravity, what is stopping the ball from reaching as fast, or faster than, the speed of light?
    If you throw a ball far away from any source of gravity, it will travel at a constant velocity upon release until acted on by an outside force, it will not accelerate at a constant rate. For it to accelerate it would have to be acted on by a force.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by _connuh_ View Post
    You throw a ball, the ball should accelerate at a constant rate until an outside force is acting upon it
    Um, once the ball has left your hand it's no longer accelerating.
    It can't.
    (No outside forces, remember?)

    Dammit, ninja'd again!
    An object in motion, tends to stay in motion. So you're right, it doesn't accelerate.
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