Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Velocity and Mass

  1. Nov 29, 2014 #1
    When something is moving very fast, does it exert a greater gravitational field, in accordance with its new increased mass?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 29, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    This is a very common question, asked here many times. You can probably do a forum search and see the previous discussions.

    The short answer is no, the concept of "relativistic mass" (the idea that mass increases as you go "faster") has very limited applications, gravitation not being one of them. The gravitational field does look different to a moving observer than a stationary one, but it's not so simple as "faster objects exert more gravity".
  4. Nov 29, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member
    2017 Award

    See also: https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/what-is-relativistic-mass-and-why-is-it-not-used-much.783220/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  5. Nov 29, 2014 #4


    User Avatar

    I was under the impression that both mass and energy create gravitational fields. If an object with a given rest mass is moving very fast past an observer will it not create a stronger peak gravitational field than a slow moving object with the same rest mass?

    Similarly, consider a confined sphere of gas, does it's gravitational field increase with temperature?
  6. Nov 29, 2014 #5


    User Avatar

    P.S. It should be clear that the inertial mass of a confined gas increases with temperature (when the gas molecules move at "relativistic" speeds).
  7. Nov 29, 2014 #6


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook