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Faster than light travel in a vacuum chamber

  1. Feb 12, 2016 #1
    If an object is in a large vacuum chamber and is dropped, what is to stop it from accelerating to the point that it passes the speed of light, because there would be no air resistance to stop it from constantly accelerating?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 12, 2016 #2

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    It doesn't matter how much it accelerates, it cannot exceed c. The closer you get to c, the smaller and smaller amount of additional velocity you get from further acceleration. This is such a basic question that I suggest that you do some reading on Special Relativity and the Lorentz Transform.
     
  4. Feb 12, 2016 #3

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    You're combining notions of Newtonian physics with Einsteinian physics. Newtonian physics is a great approximation to Relativity for slow speeds.

    Basically as the velocity increases past a certain number, you can no longer rely on Newtonian physics and must switch to Einstein relativity to compute the changing velocity. In the relativity realm your object will approach the speed of light limit but never reach it.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_relativity
     
  5. Feb 12, 2016 #4
    Thank you very much, very helpful
     
  6. Feb 12, 2016 #5
    Thank you, I have asked a few people with a more physics related background to myself but they weren't too sure. This clears everything up.
     
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