Europhys. Lett.
Volume 71, Number 5, September 2005
Page(s) 699 - 704
Section General
Published online 27 July 2005
Europhys. Lett., 71 (5), pp. 699-704 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10143-x

Forces due to contraction on a cord spanning between two spaceships

D. T. Cornwell

Kraainem, Belgium

received 21 February 2005; accepted in final form 28 June 2005
published online 27 July 2005

A formula is derived estimating the additional tensile forces which a cord must be able to exert to support the Lorentz contraction of itself and of two spaceships, positioned line-ahead, which it spans between, as those ships steadily and identically fire their thrusters. It is found that even a spider's thread of length one metre can exert the forces required to reach half light speed in less than half an hour between ships each weighing a hundred metric tonnes. A critique is also provided of previous published work in this area.

03.30.+p - Special relativity.

© EDP Sciences 2005