1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B Limit of acceleration

  1. Oct 29, 2016 #1
    Dear PF Forum,
    What is the limit of acceleration?
    I've been reading old threads, and I found this.
    G = 6.673 x 10-11 N m2/kg2
    Solar mass = 1.989 * 1030kg

    And I tried to plug in some numbers....
    In a distance 30 km from a 10 solar mass object the acceleration is...
    ##a = \frac{GM}{r^2\sqrt{1-\frac{2GM}{c^2R}}}##
    ##a = \frac{6.673*10^{-11}*10*1.989*10^{30}}{10^{10}\sqrt{1-\frac{2*6.673*10^{-11}*30*1.989*10^{30}}{9 * 10 ^{16} * 30000}}}##
    ##a = 22725433875431.4000## or 2 trillion km per second squared. (if my calculation is correct. But I calculate it carefully, sorry if I make a mistake here)

    Which seems much higher than the speed of light, 300 thousands km per second

    But, of course that statement above is unreasonable, irrelevant. Because acceleration is in length per time squared. And 300 thousands km per second is in our units, our km, our second.

    So is there a limit for acceleration as in limit for velocity in this universe is the speed of light? (beside expansion of galaxy)
    Thank you very much.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2016 #2

    Buzz Bloom

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hi @Stephanus:

    I am not sure what exactly is confusing you. What Peter's quote shows is that while there is a limit on velocity, there is no limit on the rate at which velocity can increase. Obviously for an extremely high value for a, the time during which an object can have this acceleration is very small.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Oct 29, 2016 #3
    I haven't thought about Peter equation, until I tried pluggin some numbers and ##a=\frac{2,000,000,000,000}{s^2}## came up. Of course you're right, "there's no limit on the rate at which velocity can increase". Just want to discuss it with someone else, I'm afraid I make mistake.
    Yes, yes, I understand. Thank you.
  5. Oct 30, 2016 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    That's not an acceleration. Check the units.
  6. Oct 30, 2016 #5
  7. Oct 30, 2016 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Well acceleration is not speed. And as the speed increases so does the mass ([itex] m_{v}=\frac{m_{0}}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^{2}}{c^{2}}}}[/itex]), so you need to modify the formula to take that into account.
  8. Nov 3, 2016 #7
    I am not expert but I have read somewhere, if we assume velocity of object can't exceed velocity of light - c. Then maximum change in velocity can be 2c per second. Hence acceleration can't exceed 2c, i.e. 2*c is limit of the acceleration.
  9. Nov 4, 2016 #8
    Can you please give some source/ proof for that?
  10. Nov 4, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    That is correct.

    That is not an acceptable source.

    That is not correct. There is nothing magical about seconds.
  11. Nov 4, 2016 #10
    I'm no expert either. :smile:. But I think there is no limit for acceleration.
    You can accelerate ten times the speed of light (whatever it means) say 3 millions km/second squared, but only for 0.1 sec I think.
    - Hence acceleration can't exceed 2c
    Now, I think this is a false statement?
    Intutitively we would have said that accelerate at 600 thousands km / second squared is accelerate 2 times the speed of light. But again I think this is a wrong statement. And doesn't make any sense either.
  12. Nov 4, 2016 #11
    When I first created this thread, I just realize that acceleration can be very high (may be there is a limit?)
    But thinking it over again, I realize that it doesn't make any sense for acceleration having a limit.
  13. Nov 4, 2016 #12
    Why you bring that up when most of the experts here try to convince people to NOT use relativistic mass?
  14. Nov 4, 2016 #13
    Perhaps @Svein is trying to show the relation between acceleration and mass. But either way, I understand now. Intuitively we can get confused seeing 600 thousands km / m2. Seems like twice the speed of light. But it's irrelevant.
  15. Nov 4, 2016 #14
    You mean km/s2, right?
    I suppose you did not yet understand that acceleration and velocity are different quantities and comparing them is meaningless.
    Like comparing your height with your weight and saying that your weight (140 lb) is twice as much as your height (70").
  16. Nov 4, 2016 #15
    Yeah I understand it all right :smile:. But seeing ##600000km/s^2## at first glance I thought I made a calculation error. Then I realize...
  17. Nov 6, 2016 #16


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    From the New Cuyama, California Wikipedia page.

  18. Nov 6, 2016 #17
    Okay, okay. I get the joke. It took me a while. :oldlaugh::oldlaugh::oldlaugh:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted