What If?

There is a new geek blog called “What If?”, subtitled, “ANSWERING YOUR HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS WITH PHYSICS, EVERY TUESDAY.”

The first question was:

What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?

The blog describes in great detail the effects of a baseball moving that fast. The details are fascinating (involving constant fusion at the front of the ball) and the end result is:

Everything within roughly a mile of the park is leveled, and a firestorm engulfs the surrounding city. The baseball diamond is now a sizable crater, centered a few hundred feet behind the former location of the backstop.

But the blog is not without a sense of humor:

A careful reading of official Major League Baseball Rule 6.08(b) suggests that in this situation, the batter would be considered “hit by pitch”, and would be eligible to advance to first base.

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