UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
I have heard that if you travel at the speed of light you have infinite mass, but what if you have an infinite gravitational field around you to keep you intact?
Question Date: 2007-06-07
Answer 1:

The problem with traveling at the speed of light is getting there. It requires an infinite amount of energy, which is just impossible for us to achieve as human beings (since our rest-mass is not zero). The best way to describe it is that all of the mass in a photon is due to its energy, and so it moves at the speed of light. But if all of our mass were in energy form, that means either we would be made of mass less particles (like light) or we would have essentially zero rest mass compared to our energy (which means our energy would have to approach infinity). And since mass generates gravity, your infinite gravitational field would be generated by you, and you would become the center of a new black hole if you ever put that much energy in once place. Also, there isn't an infinite amount of energy in the observable universe, and as we know we simply can't compact all that stuff into one place feasibly.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use