MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Relativistic Paradox

Date: Sun Jul 20 00:16:02 1997
Posted by Craig Lancaster
Grade level: grad
School: No school entered.
City: Brisbane State/Province: Queensland
Country: Australia
Area of science: Physics
ID: 869375762.Ph
Suppose two objects are travelling towards each other (but not quite 
on a collision course) at (almost) the speed of light. The 
relativistic mass increase could be expected to reach the point where 
either object could be described as a black hole. If the two objects 
have different masses, their corresponding black holes would have 
event horizons of different diameters. It is conceivable that the two 
objects could pass within a distance that lies between these two 
diameters. Thus, according to the lighter body, it would be expected 
to get sucked into the other. The heavier body would see the distance 
as being a safe distance, and would expect to pass the lighter object 
with nothing more than a deviation due to the gravitational effect of 
the other body. What gives?

Also, consider two such black holes travelling towards each other. At 
impact, conservation of momentum would suggest that the two bodies 
would slow to a much slower speed, whereafter the black holes may not 
exist. How does this figure into the above question?

Re: Relativistic Paradox

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