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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Extending Relativity to FTL Velocities

NBC News reports on two mathematicians, James Hill and Barry Cox, who have extended relativity to explain what happens to an object moving faster than light:
Despite an apparent prohibition on such travel by Einstein’s theory of special relativity, the scientists said the theory actually lends itself easily to a description of velocities that exceed the speed of light.

"We started thinking about it, and we think this is a very natural extension of Einstein's equations," said applied mathematician James Hill, who co-authored the new paper with his University of Adelaide, Australia, colleague Barry Cox. The paper was published Oct. 3 in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical and Physical Sciences.

. . . Hill and Cox's equations suggest, for example, that as a spaceship traveling at super-light speeds accelerated faster and faster, it would lose more and more mass, until at infinite velocity, its mass became zero.

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