Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Astronomy
 The speed of light and mass
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 7

BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  09:58:31  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Question for you lurkers out there,

So as a mass approaches the speed of light it gains mass, thus requiring more energy to gain velocity...my question is do we yet know the mechanism by which the mass is added? Protons don't materialize out of thin air, so how exactly does this mass apply itself to the object?

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  10:07:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yikes. Good question BPS. My guess is that the answer is going to be something I really don't understand.
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  11:40:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
E=mc2

In other words, as you put more energy into something (accelerating it), it gains mass because it has more (kinetic) energy.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

astropin
SFN Regular

USA
970 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  13:23:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send astropin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Damn....a frighteningly simple answer....thanks Dave.

I would rather face a cold reality than delude myself with comforting fantasies.

You are free to believe what you want to believe and I am free to ridicule you for it.

Atheism:
The result of an unbiased and rational search for the truth.

Infinitus est numerus stultorum
Edited by - astropin on 09/19/2008 14:26:10
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  13:29:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by astropin

Damn....a frighteningly simple answer....thank Dave.
Yeah, but it took an Einstein to figure it out...



Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  13:42:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

E=mc2

In other words, as you put more energy into something (accelerating it), it gains mass because it has more (kinetic) energy.
Whew! Sure am glad that's cleared up and I'll be able to no longer worry about it. For a while there, I'd thought it was on account of God wanting it that way. To confuse his followers, you understand. Like with the Dinosaurs.

Why is it that the simplest answers are almost always overlooked early on, but yet are usually the best?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Go to Top of Page

Cuneiformist
The Imperfectionist

USA
4954 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  14:06:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Cuneiformist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

E=mc2

In other words, as you put more energy into something (accelerating it), it gains mass because it has more (kinetic) energy.
So I'm still sort of confused about the equation. Take a ball that has a m of 10 kg standing still. And then launch it out of a cannon so that it's going at 1/10 of c. What's its mass then?
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  14:50:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, actually, it's mass is governed by the "gamma" equation. Gamma (γ) is equal to the inverse of the square root of the difference between c2 and the square of the object's velocity:
γ = 1/√(c2-v2)
If you always express velocity (v) as a fraction of the speed of light (for example, 0.1c), then the equation simplifies to this:
γ = 1/√(1-v2)
For an object going 0.1c, gamma is 1.00503782.

An object's mass in motion is equal to its mass at rest multiplied by its gamma. A 10-kg ball moving at 0.1c would then have a mass of 10.0503782 kg. A 10-kg ball moving at 0.9c would have a mass of nearly 23 kg.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  14:51:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, if I have this straight, the cannonball would have the most kinetic energy (mass) as it leaves the muzzle. From there, it slows, progressivly shedding that energy, and therefore it's mass, until it comes to a stop.

Overly simplistic, I'm sure.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  14:57:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by filthy

Ok, if I have this straight, the cannonball would have the most kinetic energy (mass) as it leaves the muzzle. From there, it slows, progressivly shedding that energy, and therefore it's mass, until it comes to a stop.
Yes, and it sheds the energy by heating up the air its moving through.

The fastest artillery shells would have a gamma of about 1.0000000000144, and so gain a little more than one billionth of one percent of their mass by being fired.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  15:10:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just to confuse the issue... lets not forget that frame of reference is important here. If you have the same velocity as the canon ball, it's mass does not increase in your frame of reference.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  15:43:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Big Papa.....

A little elaboration on Dave's response:

When you accelerate a mass, you add to its kinetic energy. This added movement energy is equivalent to a mass increase, since energy is equivalent to mass:

E = mc2 translates to: Energy (either rest energy or total energy) = Mass (either rest mass or relativistic mass) X C2 (the speed of light squared)

E is expressed in joules, M is expressed in grams. C is expressed in meters per second.

As any accelerating mass approaches the speed of light, more and more of the energy added to the mass is absorbed by the mass increase, so it takes increasingly more energy - to the point of infinity - to achieve the same acceleration that you would need before achieving even further acceleration - more than the total energy of the universe! And even then, you are still not at the speed of light.

For further detail, go here or here. Some really interesting stuff on the nature of massless particles that actually do travel faster than the speed of light!

















































Edited by - bngbuck on 09/19/2008 16:58:07
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  16:46:00   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Big Papa (and Dave).....

Protons don't materialize out of thin air, so how exactly does this mass apply itself to the object?
From wiki
But like any equation, E=mc2 works in both directions, at least theoretically. That is, it should be possible to convert energy into matter. Now a team of physicists has accomplished just that: they have transmuted light into matter. "We're able to turn optical photons into matter," says Princeton physicist Kirk McDonald, coleader of the team. "That is quite a technological leap."

Of course, physicists would have been shocked if they couldn't get energy to convert into matter. After all, the entire universe began with an explosion of energy--the Big Bang. And physicists who smash atoms together have witnessed the conversion of energy into matter--"virtual" photons that flit in and out of existence just long enough to spawn the particles of exotic matter routinely observed in particle accelerators. But such virtual photons aren't under the direct control of physicists; these photons arise as part of a complex chain of events starting with a collision of two particles of matter. Until now, no one had directly created matter from light. "Back in 1934 physicists realized that it would be possible to do this in principle," says McDonald, "But it just wasn't technically feasible."

By the early 1990s, McDonald and his colleagues had all the technological pieces in place to conduct such an experiment. The key piece was a laser capable of packing a tremendous amount of energy into a small space. The laser that McDonald and his collaborators use at Stanford generates a trillion watts of power, enough to light every home in North America. But rather than drain the national electric grid, the laser takes a rather ordinary amount of energy and compresses it into a pulse for about a trillionth of a second. By focusing this pulse on an area of just 16- millionths of a square inch, the physicists bathe a spot with an incredibly intense electromagnetic field. But even with this crowd of high-power photons squeezed together, the energy is still only about a millionth of what's needed to make matter.

The problem is that the laser's green-light photons don't pack much of a punch. McDonald needed a way to boost the energy of these photons. He and his colleagues knew that a photon, which is massless, can sometimes siphon off part of the energy of a high-speed particle with mass. This occurs because the total energy of the particle, which includes its mass, may exceed that of the photon, just as a truck moving at 60 miles per hour may have more total energy than a sports car traveling at 70.

At the Stanford Linear Accelerator, a two-mile-long drag strip for subatomic particles, McDonald found just what he needed. The accelerator drives swarms of electrons to speeds close to that of light. When McDonald shot photons from the laser at the racing electrons, the photons ricocheted off, absorbing so much energy that they changed from run-of-the-mill green photons to powerful gamma rays. These gamma-ray photons then merged back into the intense stream of green-laser photons, and when a group of photons with the right energy crowded close enough together, out popped a pair of particles: an electron and its antimatter twin, a positron. The reaction is the reverse of the usual matter- antimatter annihilation: the blaze of energy becomes matter.

The method isn't foolproof. Of about 22,000 beams fired into the Stanford accelerator, just over 100 pairs of particles materialized. With the development of increasingly powerful lasers, McDonald estimates that in another five or ten years this may be an efficient way to make small amounts of antimatter. But the technique will never generate a cheeseburger. For example, even if all the sun's power could be focused on one spot, there still wouldn't be enough energy, says McDonald, to make even an ounce of matter.
I gather that at the incredible energy levels necessary to accelerate mass particles to close to the speed of light, energy is actually converting to matter on a palpable scale. Apparently, basic mass particles such as protons are being created. Not out of nothing, rather, out of energy! The conservation theorem holds; as acceleration increases there is more matter, and proportionately less energy in the system!

I am not a theoretical physicist, although I have read as extensively in this field as my mathematical background allows.

If we have a person well trained in these disciplines reading here, I, for one, would appreciate an elaboration of these concepts, i.e. the actual mechanics of the mass increase of matter traveling at speeds approaching C. Perhaps Dave can help?
Edited by - bngbuck on 09/19/2008 16:55:08
Go to Top of Page

Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  21:23:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok... That's really; really cool!


I wonder though, when when I start my car, my speed increases ever so slightly. So, I guess, it means I am gaining mass.
Does that mean that my body now contains more particles? And where do they come from? Or does it just means that, comparatively to an immobile reference point, the individual mass of every specific particle appears to increase? Which I could imagine would be the case if their individual 'gravitic field' increased?

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
Go to Top of Page

Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2008 :  23:12:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Simon asked:
Or does it just means that, comparatively to an immobile reference point, the individual mass of every specific particle appears to increase?

If an object has velocity in a direction away from you, in your frame of reference it has more mass. If you were moving exactly along with it, you would not detect any mass increase.

At least, thats how I understand it.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
Go to Top of Page

bngbuck
SFN Addict

USA
2437 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2008 :  07:50:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send bngbuck a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude.....

If an object has velocity in a direction away from you, in your frame of reference it has more mass. If you were moving exactly along with it, you would not detect any mass increase.
This is true, but it does not address the question that Simon asks:
Does that mean that my body now contains more particles? And where do they come from?
This is essentially the same problem that I juggled with, but did not answer, in my earlier post. And it is a good one.

If the mass of the object being accelerated increases as it's speed increases, does this mean that the actual constituent particles of that object - molecules, atoms, fermions/bosons, and quarks/leptons (the various sub-atomic particles) - have increased in number; or have they increased in mass?

It seems obvious that the latter is the answer, else the size of the accelerated object would increase exponentially as it gained speed and I have not seen any speculation that this (theoretically) would take place if an object were to reach near light speed. This would be the flying spaghetti monster that ate the universe!

The fact that if the platform of the observer is accelerating parallel to the platform of the accelerated object, the observer will not note the changes in the mass of the object that an observer on a static platform would observe, is certainly true according to relativity theory; but is unrelated to the question of what is the actual mechanism of mass increase - which is the essence of Simon's query.

However, all of this theorizing dances around the question of what is really happening mechanically when mass increases while size remains constant.

I am intrigued by this obtuse area of particle physics, and I have been reading diligently over the past few days, both in textbooks, popularization hardbacks, and everything that Google and several other search engines can generate. All to no avail.

So far, I cannot find an explanation understandable to a layman (that is in primarily non-mathematical terms) of the supposed mechanism that produces a mass increase at the particle level in matter accelerated to extremely high speeds.

There is plenty of fairly high level mathematical formulation that purports to prove conclusively that this would be the case, but absolutely nothing demonstrating how this mass increase would take place as a consequence of the transformation of energy into matter!

Again, I appeal to SFN members or lurkers here that have expertise or a high knowledge level in particle physics, quantuum mechanics, relativity theory or associated fields of study with this question:

Question to SFN Members and Lurkers


What happens to the molecular, atomic, or sub-atomic structure of an object that is (theoretically) accelerated to nearly the speed of light? What does "increase in mass" mean in bricks and mortar descriptive terminology?

Dave? Your elucidation of the gamma equation was precise, mathematically accurate, and highly illuminating. What is your understanding of the mechanics of mass increase?

Zeked? Several of your previous posts have displayed an above-average understanding of particle physics. Do you have an understanding of the physical processes that are hypothecized to be in operation when an object of ordinary matter is (hypothetically) accelerated to speeds nearly that of C? How do protons "gain weight"?

Anyone? out there reading this that has interest in and some understanding of modern particle physics - can you offer some insight into the question that Simon has asked?

Go to Top of Page
Page: of 7 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.84 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000