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Relativity - running person gains mass

  1. Oct 4, 2005 #1
    My physics book tells me: "A person who runs, and thus gains kinetic energy, gains mass (albeit negligible) according to Einstein's mass-energy relation."

    I do not think that any energy has been gained from 'outside' the system since the kinetic energy is derived from chemical energy that is already in the body prior to the run. So, how can the body have gained mass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2005 #2


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    Homework Helper

    You're right. The energy was already there, albeit in different form. All that happened was a conversion from one type to another. The point they're making, as I'm sure you're aware, is that there is an inertial equivalent to energy.

    Good thinking.
  4. Oct 4, 2005 #3


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    Gold Member

    And leave us not overlook the immense relativistic mass increase in someone boogying his buns off at 20 kph. So much for jogging to lose weight. :biggrin:
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