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Any particle,(with mass), get closer to C than the electron?

  1. Oct 21, 2009 #1
    Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    I thought about this the other day, the question is exactly as stated in the title. Anything, with mass, able to get closer to the speed of light,(in a vacuum), than the electron can? Positron has same mass, same relativistic velocity potential?

    Obviously Cherenkov radiation is a unique example where the electron exceeds the speed of light in a given mediuim. But my question is "in a vacuum".

    Thanks, John
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2009 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    Any particle with mass can get arbitrarily close to the speed of light - it's a matter of putting in enough energy.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2009 #3
    Re: Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    I guess my question is, for a given amount of energy, does anything get closer to "C" than the electron. Is the electron the fastest, or perhaps have the lowest mass of any particle with "mass"?

    What holds the velocity record for a particle with mass, the electron?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  5. Oct 21, 2009 #4
    Re: Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    As pointed out by Vanadium 50 its a matter of putting in enough energy.It is relatively easy to do this with charged particles for example in accelerators.What holds the velocity record?Interesting question and I don't know the answer but my guess is that it is electrons,or perhaps, protons.Hopefully someone will come in with an answer.
     
  6. Oct 21, 2009 #5
    Re: Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    No, there are neutrinos with much smaller mass (if any) so for a given amount of energy a neutrino will be faster.

    Also gravitons may have some small mass but think first of neutrino - they exist for sure.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2009 #6
    Re: Any particle,(with mass), get closer to "C" than the electron?

    Bingo! just what I was looking for, Thanks!
     
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