Physics: Principles with Applications (7th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0-32162-592-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-32162-592-2

Chapter 26 - The Special Theory of Relativity - Questions: 12


If the velocity of an object exceeded the speed of light, $\gamma$ would become an imaginary number.

Work Step by Step

Both the length contraction and time dilation formulas include the factor of $\gamma = \frac{1}{\sqrt{1-v^{2}/c^{2}}}$. This would be an imaginary number if v exceeded c, because you would be taking the square root of a negative number.
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