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Conveyor belt to Mars

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  1. Jul 20, 2011 #1
    Consider a very long conveyor belt from Earth to Mars. If we turned on the conveyor belt from Earth, would its opposing end instantly move on Mars? Or would the timing be slowed somehow from relativity? Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2011 #2

    Pengwuino

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    Yes, assuming it's frictionless and everything perfect, it would still be slowed down. The movement of the conveyor is the atoms in the conveyor belt moving and this movement is basically propagated by the electromagnetic force, which of course is not an instantaneous force and obeys relativity.
     
  4. Jul 20, 2011 #3
    So if I turned it on, it would take about 8 minutes to just start moving on Mars?
     
  5. Jul 20, 2011 #4

    Pengwuino

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    Actually I should have mentioned this in the first post. The disturbance would propagate at the speed of sound in the material. So it would take far far far longer than that. Physical disturbances travel at the speed of sound in the material
     
  6. Jul 20, 2011 #5
    thanks!
     
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