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Thread: Interesting, but rather weird question(s).

  1. #1
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    Interesting, but rather weird question(s).

    Ok, just suppose that a spaceship "magically" had its mass simply disappear. Poof, gone. Same mass as a photon: zip.

    What would happen to it? It has no inertia because it has no mass, so what does it actually do? If something hits it (say, space junk from numerous launches of satellites) does it go shooting off somewhere? Does it still exist as something that we can percieve?

  2. #2
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    What would happen to it?
    Well, since everything that has extremely low or no mass that we know of to date travels at the speed of light, then I would assume that it would start accelerating and do the same.
    something hits it (say, space junk from numerous launches of satellites) does it go shooting off somewhere?
    Most likely a large object with zero mass impacting ANY object while traveling at the speed of light would destroy that object. IF though the large zero mass object was stationary and was hit, it would absorb the energy of that object and accelerate in the direction that the aforementioned object was traveling.
    Does it still exist as something that we can perceive?
    It would still exist since protons (which are the closest comparable objects) exist.

  3. #3
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    Oops, I should've clarified that last one. I meant something that we could actually see, or something like that.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by xbck1
    Oops, I should've clarified that last one. I meant something that we could actually see, or something like that.
    Err... If it was stationary, it would probably appear as a ghost like image of its original self. If it was moving at the speed of light, it would probably not be visable to the nekid eye. I have no idea what it would look like on a computer scan though. :P

  5. #5
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    For a fictional treatment of this, read the short story The Billiard Ball by Isaac Asimov.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptain K
    For a fictional treatment of this, read Billiard Ball by Isaac Asimov.
    I was thinking E.E."Doc" Smith myself.

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