Force
Forces and Motion

Speed of light subs

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

A thought experiment, sometimes called Supplee’s paradox, asks what would happen to a submarine that travelled at close to the speed of light parallel to the surface of the water. Observers stationary with respect to the water might assume that the relativistic contraction of the vessel would cause it to displace less water and hence sink, while observers at rest relative to the submarine might assume the reverse effect. A detailed analysis suggests that the submarine would sink.

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