What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?
– Ellen McManis
Let’s set aside the question of how we got the baseball moving that fast. We’ll suppose it’s a normal pitch, except in the instant the pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c. From that point onward, everything proceeds according to normal physics.:
The ideas of aerodynamics don’t apply here. Normally, air would flow around anything moving through it. But the air molecules in front of this ball don’t have time to be jostled out of the way. The ball smacks into them hard that the atoms in the air molecules actually fuse with the atoms in the ball’s surface. Each collision releases a burst of gamma rays and scattered particles.
That’s xkcd‘s new blog. And there’s this incredible illustration:
And much much more.
The most exciting blog idea I’ve come across in years? Yep.