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Old 03-07-2006, 09:31 PM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 12,684
Originally Posted by zut
Why not? The realistic limiting factors that I can think of are: a) material limitations of the tire and bearings and belt and so forth, b) velocity limit of the motor or whatever power source moves the treadmill, c) compressibility effects (sonic shock waves) when the conveyor exceeds the speed of sound, and d) speed of light.

To turn this into a thought experiment, I'd be comfortable ignoring all of these (and Chronos pointed out that the last one--the speed of light--isn't a problem).

In any case, a thought experiment is useful in exploring the relative magnitudes and effects of various causes. To my mind, this airplane question is similar to "what happens when you approach the speed of light?" When you ask that question, you don't get hung up on how long it takes, or what kind of vehicle you travel in, or where the fuel comes from, or any of those kind of questions.
I think it's finally getting through to me that you think BR#2 is a neat problem.