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 Relativistic bullet (Posted on 2003-11-28)
We all know about the ultimate speed limit... the speed of light.

If person A stands on Earth and shoots his pistol, he observes the bullet to fly directly away at 1000 mph. Person B is standing right next to him (not in front) and watches this event, and agrees that the bullet flies directly away at 1000 mph.

Let's change the situation and say that B is in a spaceship, and A is in a different (and very long) spaceship with lots of windows. B's ship is hovering in space (no thrusters/acceleration). A's ship is approaching from a distance and is going to pass B's ship (very close) but at incredible speed. Make careful note that A's ship is NOT thrusting or accelerating at all, it is "coasting". In fact, A's ship is moving, relative to B's ship at 10 mph less than the speed of light. WOW!

A stands in the middle of his ship and points his gun directly forward (in the direction of travel), and fires the same pistol at the exact moment that he is passing B.

The questions are: How fast does he observe the bullet leave the gun? How fast does B observe the bullet leave the gun?

How do your answers change (if at all) if A aims backwards when he fires?

 See The Solution Submitted by SilverKnight Rating: 3.5000 (8 votes)

 Subject Author Date ?? ofnoconcern 2004-11-28 15:45:53 solution vije 2004-07-03 04:59:54 re(3): We actually tried this experiment Penny 2004-02-26 23:02:44 re(2): We actually tried this experiment Cory Taylor 2004-02-25 14:07:54 re: We actually tried this experiment Ryan 2004-02-24 14:59:42 re(2): Solution - Yes. I have erred. Edward 2003-12-07 06:18:51 re: Solution SilverKnight 2003-12-04 09:05:55 Solution Edward 2003-12-04 08:17:24 re(3): My stilborn dream SilverKnight 2003-12-01 09:33:45 relativity Tristan 2003-11-29 14:55:36 re(2): My stilborn dream TomM 2003-11-29 10:16:16 re: My stilborn dream SilverKnight 2003-11-29 03:29:57 My stilborn dream TomM 2003-11-29 03:24:58 re(2): What a doppler effect! Eric 2003-11-28 22:46:36 We actually tried this experiment Penny 2003-11-28 22:28:59 re: What a doppler effect! Eric 2003-11-28 21:59:53 solution Charlie 2003-11-28 19:37:18 re: What a doppler effect! rerun141 2003-11-28 19:18:06 What a doppler effect! Eric 2003-11-28 19:06:26 A's observations rerun141 2003-11-28 18:23:53

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