Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

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  1. #1
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Rolling ball down infinitely long slope


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    So I was reading Stephen Hawking's book titled, 'A brief history of time, from the Big Bang to Black Holes' and in it, he talks about Galileo's experiment with rolling different weighted balls down a slope and seeing if the larger ones accelerated faster or not. Needless to say unrelated to the point of my thread, there was no difference in the speed of acceleration and they all accelerated at the same speed. (Approximately 1 meter per second per second, 2 meters per second per second, 3 meters per second per second and so on.) Anyways...

    Now, this made me wonder, what if you had a slope that went on forever and had 0 friction, that was in an 'atmosphere' with 0 resistance of any kind. For example we'll say it used magnetic levitation to levitate the ball above the slope, and you were in a 100% complete vacuum. What would happen if you rolled the ball down the slope after a significant amount of time? (Yes, I know if you were in a 100% complete vacuum you wouldn't be able to, this is just a theoretic example) According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, and the laws of physics, nothing can go faster than light, due to resistance, as-well as his equation which demonstrates that the faster an object goes, the more mass it gains.

    But, if there were no resistance from air or any kind of particles in the atmosphere, and there were no friction between the ball and the slope (maglev) what would happen after an infinite amount of time? Because if there is no friction or resistance, there is nothing from stopping the ball from gaining speed indefinitely - unless that's where Einstein's equation comes into play (Energy = mass times the speed of light in a vacuum squared) which details that, again, the faster you go the more mass you gain.


  2. #2
    Extremely Salaried Member cinos11 is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    It would implode on itself once it gained enough mass, due the slope having infinite energy to give the ball

  3. #3
    Non Omnis Moriar Kreeate is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    @Justice For All

    Hypothetically speaking we can juggle and play around with this idea indefinitely. The laws of physics restrict our game though.
    If those laws could be bent or adjusted, then it certainly would be a great subject for discussion :P

    Not meaning to kill the discussion though. It's an interesting topic indeed. It just bends my mind a bit when thinking about it too long, lol.
    Last edited by Kreeate; 17-03-17 at 02:31 AM.
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  4. #4
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    Quote Originally Posted by Kreeate View Post
    @Justice For All

    Hypothetically speaking we can juggle and play around with this idea indefinitely. The laws of physics restrict our game though.
    If those laws could be bent or adjusted, then it certainly would be a great subject for discussion :P

    Not meaning to kill the discussion though. It's an interesting topic indeed. It just bends my mind a bit when thinking about it too long, lol.
    I don't know, I like cinos11's answer, makes sense to me. When an object gains enough mass it implodes on itself (hence most black holes) because the gravity becomes too strong for it to withstand.
    Quote Originally Posted by cinos11 View Post
    It would implode on itself once it gained enough mass, due the slope having infinite energy to give the ball
    Hmm, that makes sense to me now honestly when I think about all of the documentaries/papers I've been reading by prominent astrophysicists and mathematicians. Like I was saying to Kreeate, and like you said, due to the ball gaining an 'infinite' amount of mass, it would eventually implode on itself. I don't know why I didn't take gravitational collapse into consideration.

    So, another hypothetical/theoretical question than. What would happen if you had a 'point' that gained an 'infinite' amount of mass? Say, the point of a black hole? (Okay, now we're just discussing what happens when you fall into the event horizon of a black hole essentially - although the volume is 0, the density is still 'infinite' of the 'point' at the event horizon)

  5. #5
    Extremely Salaried Member cinos11 is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    I don't know, I like cinos11's answer, makes sense to me. When an object gains enough mass it implodes on itself (hence most black holes) because the gravity becomes too strong for it to withstand.

    Hmm, that makes sense to me now honestly when I think about all of the documentaries/papers I've been reading by prominent astrophysicists and mathematicians. Like I was saying to Kreeate, and like you said, due to the ball gaining an 'infinite' amount of mass, it would eventually implode on itself. I don't know why I didn't take gravitational collapse into consideration.

    So, another hypothetical/theoretical question than. What would happen if you had a 'point' that gained an 'infinite' amount of mass? Say, the point of a black hole? (Okay, now we're just discussing what happens when you fall into the event horizon of a black hole essentially - although the volume is 0, the density is still 'infinite' of the 'point' at the event horizon)
    If it creates a black hole, the slope becomes irrelevant since now the ball is attempting to pull the slope towards its gravity well (The slope is now being pulled towards a new slope).
    Now the question becomes what happens to the slope once its enters a black hole (Which is unknown due to the event horizon)

  6. #6
    Gamma Justice For All is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    Quote Originally Posted by cinos11 View Post
    If it creates a black hole, the slope becomes irrelevant since now the ball is attempting to pull the slope towards its gravity well (The slope is now being pulled towards a new slope).
    Now the question becomes what happens to the slope once its enters a black hole (Which is unknown due to the event horizon)
    Well let's say hypothetically for the sake of this thread that black holes didn't exist and enough matter/mass being present in a certain specific set of dimensions does not create a black hole (Just for the sake of this thread lol) What happens to the ball after an infinite amount of time? Does it just keep gaining speed? Do the photons of light not create 'black holes' because they have no mass theoretically?

    While we're on the subject of black holes however, this is an interesting read if you have the time;

    Astronomers to peer into black holes for the first time with Black Hole telescope

    Also here is another one appears. I haven't read it (yet) but I'm going to;

    Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes' : Nature News & Comment

  7. #7
    Extremely Salaried Member cinos11 is offline
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    Re: Rolling ball down infinitely long slope

    Quote Originally Posted by Justice For All View Post
    Well let's say hypothetically for the sake of this thread that black holes didn't exist and enough matter/mass being present in a certain specific set of dimensions does not create a black hole (Just for the sake of this thread lol) What happens to the ball after an infinite amount of time? Does it just keep gaining speed? Do the photons of light not create 'black holes' because they have no mass theoretically?

    While we're on the subject of black holes however, this is an interesting read if you have the time;

    Astronomers to peer into black holes for the first time with Black Hole telescope

    Also here is another one appears. I haven't read it (yet) but I'm going to;

    Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes' : Nature News & Comment
    Assuming that theoretical prerequisites:

    Speed of light off top my head requires infinite energy.
    If ball can attain infinite energy while still having mass, it would finally make it to the speed of light as its terminal velocity.




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