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Theory - Why Mass Increases With Velocity

  1. Oct 19, 2003 #1
    I have had an interesting thought. As you may or may not know, Higgs particles are thought to be responsible for, (the "illusion" of), mass.
    According to Newton, unless an external force acts on a body it will continue to travel in a straight line at a uniform velocity or stay at rest, (or words to that effect).
    This leads me to the conclusion that Higgs particles resist changes to a bodies acceleration.

    My theory is this:

    Firstly: For each Higgs particle that acts on a particle, the mass of that particle is increased by a fixed quantized amount of mass, (ie: a very small fundamental amount, eg: 10^-100 Kg).

    Secondly: When particles move faster, they pass through more space and therefore more Higgs particles act on the particles per unit time. Therefore the mass of the particles increases slightly with velocity.

    Thirdly: All Higgs particles act on particles for a fixed amount of time, regardless of how fast the particle is moving. This gives the effect of accumulating mass exponentially while the velocity increases uniformly, although I admit that I haven't quite twigged where the speed of light limit comes in yet.
    It does however explain why the mass stays constant with velocity, because for any one particle travelling at a fixed velocity it will always have a fixed number of "hangers on".

    Feel free to pick holes in it, add to it, make suggestions or point out things that I've over-looked etc.
    All I ask is that you just don't bury me in maths.

    If you have an alternative theory on why mass increases with velocity, or even why mass exists at all, I'd love to hear it.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2003
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  3. Oct 19, 2003 #2

    Chi Meson

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    One thing you will have to explain is why your mass does not appear to increase when it is YOU that is travelling fast.

    Einstein's predictions are based on the fact that you can never determine an "absolute" velocity. IF the mass increase is caused by an accumulation of Higgies, then we would have a method of determining absolute speed, and the theory that predicted mass increase would itself be proved wrong!

    Mass increases of particles travelling near light speed are well documented, but they only appear to our stationary selves to have this increase. All objects will always observe themselves to have a "rest mass."
  4. Oct 20, 2003 #3


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    I'm not sure if I mentioned this before but mass increase (ie. increase in resistance to change in momentum) with velocity is a direct result of time dilation and length contraction - they are one in the same phenomena.

  5. Oct 20, 2003 #4
    Methinks it's time for a new theory.

    It did seem to fit with what I knew though, so it was good while it lasted. Do you know where I can read anything about Time Dilation and length contraction?
  6. Oct 20, 2003 #5

    Chi Meson

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    If you can get your hands on a physics textbook called "Conceptual Physics" by Paul Hewitt, you will have one of the best primers on special relativity. IT will just get you started though. before you get to the cutting edge stuff, you should also read Richard Feynman's section on Special reletivity in his "Lectures on Physics" (read it in a library, or in one of those big bookstores with a cafe). He puts in more math, but it is not too difficult. You could also read Al Einstein's own book, but I find that he is not the best at explaining his own theory. After that there are HUNDREDS of books, more coming every year, explaining SR. Do a google search for "length contraction" or "time dialation" and your screen will explode.
  7. Oct 20, 2003 #6

    Chi Meson

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    It seems to fit mathematically. Is this a currently accepted viewpoint?
  8. Oct 20, 2003 #7


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    Nobody claims that it's wrong. The only debate is what how this word ---> "mass" should be defined. And that's a hot and emotional charged debate.

  9. Oct 20, 2003 #8
    In fact if you even somebody else try to measure a mass, then you even somebody else can obtain only a (rest) mass. In this sense a mass doesn't increase with velocity, nobody can to measure it because a (rest) mass is an invariant.
  10. Oct 20, 2003 #9


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    I disagree. One does not directly measure either mass or rest mass. One directly measures things like position and time etc.

    For example: Some at sci.physics.relativity claimed that the Lorentzz force equations

    F = dp/dt = q[E + vxB]

    is wrong (Yeah. There are a ton of wackos there). He mumbled something about how that gives you the wrong value for the cyclotron frequency. So I derived the correct relation and made a web page on it (its a standard derivation so its no big deal).


    The relation is defined as follows

    r = radius of cirlce charge is moving in
    B = magnitude of uniform B field
    p = mv = momentum

    They are related by

    p = qBr = mv


    m = qBr/v

    The m defined as such is, as you know, what some call "relativistic mass" or "inertia mass" or "relativistic inertial mass" or just plain "mass." I use the last one of course.

    B is a given. r is measured. velocity is measured. Therefore one gets calculates the mass m according to

    m = qBr/v

    The rest mass, m_o, is obtained by by solving for m in

    m = m_o/sqrt[1-(v/c)^2]

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