If your mass increases the closer you get to the speed of light, then do you also weigh more?

Let's say the earth is thrust little by little, till it reaches a speed close to that of the speed of light. Your mass would increase right? So if you stepped on a scale, would you weigh a lot more than you normally would too?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Many contemporary authors such as Taylor and Wheeler avoid using the concept of relativistic mass altogether:

    "The concept of "relativistic mass" is subject to misunderstanding. That's why we don't use it. First, it applies the name mass - belonging to the magnitude of a 4-vector - to a very different concept, the time component of a 4-vector. Second, it makes increase of energy of an object with velocity or momentum appear to be connected with some change in internal structure of the object. In reality, the increase of energy with velocity originates not in the object but in the geometric properties of spacetime itself.



    Scroll Down to “Relativistic Mass”

    When we get into Relativity, “mass” has 2 different meanings. There is “Rest Mass” and “Relativistic Mass” and they are NOT the same thing.

    If you were standing on a scale measuring your weight, because of all the relativistic effects on you and the scale, the reading would not change. This goes back to the basic concept of inertial frames of reference being indistinguishable. There is no way to tell if you are in a moving inertial frame of reference that it is moving ===> The reading on the scale cannot change.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Confusing question...

    Yeah, i guess so, when travelling at the speed of light, the earth's mass will increase. Relative to the earth, our speed is zero, but since everything on it moves at 'c', our mass might increase as well....so, according to F = GMm/r^2, the weight will increase by a large amount.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, although this could never happen.


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