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Can you help me understand g's and acceleration for a fictional Star Wars spaceship?

  1. Mar 3, 2007 #1
    I read that a space ship can reach 5,100g in space. Is there a way to determine how many kilometers per hour this would be? As I understand it, the only way to feel g force is to be accelerating. The acceleration should slow down as speed increases and eventually stop so there would be 0g at that point.

    I saw somewhere that 5,100g would be equal to 51,000kph but there was no explanation as to how the anwer was calculated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2007 #2


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    The g is an acceleration (the acceleration due to gravity felt on the surface of the earth). Therefore, 5100g is an acceleration and so, no, it cannot be converted into kilometres per hour, since this is a unit of velocity.
  4. Mar 3, 2007 #3


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    Since 1g is 9.8m/s/s, 5100g is 50,000m/s/s or 50km/s/s.
  5. Mar 3, 2007 #4
    OK thanks. Can you explain the meters per second per second to me. I searched the web and found formulas but no examples.
    Meters divided by time divided by time again. Can you give me an example of this formula with actual numbers?
  6. Mar 4, 2007 #5


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    That's the units of acceleration. If you accelerate at 1m/s/s for 10 seconds, you'll be going 10m/s. speed = acceleration * time.
  7. Mar 5, 2007 #6
    Thank you.:smile:
  8. Mar 6, 2007 #7
    Now that you know what a g is, also know that 5,100g would crush pretty much anything experiencing that magnitude of acceleration.

    Check out this article on the effects of acceleration on the human body:

    Even prolonged exposure to 3g's can cause serious health problems.

    Prolonged exposure to 10gs would kill a person, even in a pressures suit.

    Even if inertial dampeners, a device that would somehow less the effects of acceleration and currently only science fiction, were used, I doubt they would be able to compensate for 5,100 times earth gravity.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
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