What happens if you try to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light
This time the question posed is, “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?”
The entire piece is brilliant, but my favorite lines are:
When it [the pitch] reaches the batter, the center of the cloud is still moving at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. It hits the bat first, but then the batter, plate, and catcher are all scooped up and carried backward through the backstop as they disintegrate. The shell of x-rays and superheated plasma expands outward and upward, swallowing the backstop, both teams, the stands, and the surrounding neighborhood—all in the first microsecond.
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.