Lectures on Physics has been derived from Benjamin Crowell's Light and Matter series of free introductory textbooks on physics. See the editorial for more information....

Sports in Slowlightland

In Slowlightland, the speed of light is 20 mi/hr = 32 km/hr = 9 m/s. Think of an example of how relativistic effects would work in sports. Things can get very complex very quickly, so try to think of a simple example that focuses on just one of the following effects:

  • relativistic momentum

  • relativistic kinetic energy

  • relativistic addition of velocities

  • time dilation and length contraction

  • Doppler shifts of light

  • equivalence of mass and energy

  • time it takes for light to get to an athlete's eye

  • deflection of light rays by gravity

Last Update: 2009-06-21