Fr.: masse relativiste
In → special relativity, the mass that is assigned to a body in motion. Einstein demonstrated that the velocity of the observer has an effect on the way inertial mass is measured. The relativistic mass is expressed by mt = m0 / [1 - (v/c)2]1/2, where m0 is the → rest mass, v is the velocity, and c the → velocity of light. The experimental evidence for this phenomenon is observed in the mass of high-speed electrons accelerated by magnetic fields. This formula shows that it is impossible for a mass to be accelerated to the velocity of light in a vacuum.