Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Relativistic Mass Increase

My recollection from high-school physics is that the mass of an object increases with the v2/c2 ratio.  Along with the normal risk of meteor collision from objects in front of you, a spaceship travelling at .95c would have a mass 1.97x its rest mass.  Even masses not in your direct path would be drawn to your ship like bees to honey, but without atmospheric drag.

2 comments:

w rorke said...

Gravity is proportional to the product of the masses of the two objects. But in reality this is a small effect. It is no different than if you made the spaceship twice as massive.

Planets and stars many billions of times more massive seldom collide. Too much crossing velocity. The objects tend to orbit each other and continuously miss each other.

Black holes are big enough to overwhelm the orbit until the other object collides. So if your spaceship is half the mass of a black hole, you should avoid accelerating it up near the speed of light. This should be easy to avoid.

Clayton Cramer said...

Yes, I know it is the product of both masses. But you make a good point. 1.97x the mass would double the force on nearby objects, but that's not going to pull every nearby object in.