Sunday, July 15, 2012

Relativistic Baseball

While we're on the subject of baseball (and that is not a subject you'll very often find me talking about--no offense, Red Sox), I have to mention this XKCD page: Relativistic Baseball

Have you considered what the effects might be if a pitcher could throw a baseball toward the plate at just under the speed of light? No? Why ever not? Well, the creator of XKCD has, and you owe it to yourself to read his eye-opening and funny analysis. Suffice to say, the effects on the surrounding habitable zone are not pretty. There is surely an SF story in this somewhere.

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At 9:48 PM, Anonymous princene said...

that was great. checked out the xkcd website, and it is definitely worth reading. you always have great links! thanks for posting!

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Steve Moore said...

Cool! We definitely need to make sure major-league pitchers don't overload on the energy drinks before a game!

Isaac Asimov wrote an interesting short story that you may have read: it ended up with a cue ball being accelerated to the speed of light when its mass was removed. The direction it was moving at that moment was carefully chosen; the result was the perfect unprovable murder.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Jeffrey A. Carver said...

I don't think I've read that Asimov story. Do you remember what it was called?

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Rich said...

The physics of the xkcd are correct, I'm sure, but they don't have the rules of baseball correct. They state explicitly that the ball hits the bat, making it a foul ball and a strike. Even if it hit the batter, he obviously made no attempt to get out of the way, so it's not a hit batsman, and he's not entitled to first base (if he were to still exist).


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