# OT: When you have a REALLY fast fastball...

• posted on July 11, 2012, 11:36 pm
"What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?"
http://whatif.xkcd.com/1 /
Spoiler:
"The first thing you see is a blinding light, far outshining the sun. This gradually fades over the course of a few seconds, and a growing fireball rises into a mushroom cloud. Then, with a great roar, the blast wave arrives, tearing up trees and shredding houses. Everything within roughly a mile of the park is leveled, and a firestorm engulfs the surrounding city. The baseball diamond is now a sizable crater, centered a few hundred feet behind the former location of the backstop."
The good news is that, according to the rules of baseball, the batter would be deemed to have "been hit by the pitch and entitled to take first base."

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• posted on July 12, 2012, 1:02 am

I took a Modern Physics class in college.
There was a single question on the final exam and everyone knew what it was from day one. Only the numbers in used for the various variables changed, so the answer was always slightly different. In order to pass the final you had to write down every calculation that got you to the answer. i.e. Show Your Work.
Just picking some random numbers, the question went something like this:
You are standing 100 ft away from the side of a garage that measures 15 ft in length. The garage has doors at both ends. How fast would a 17 ft vehicle have to be traveling for it to appear that the entire vehicle was inside the garage as it passed through?
I don't recall my exact variables, but I do recall that the answer was .98c.

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• posted on July 12, 2012, 1:15 am

A friend's grandmother attempted to conduct that experiment in her own garage. Except there was only the one door, and the car did finally fit...more or less.
R