Following recent news "Spectators Bombarded With Gamma Radiation As Rapidly Spinning Figure Skater Collapses Into Singularity" (Onion), I was wondering, are there any special effects that will occur if figure skater's speed would approach 90% of the speed of light during rotation ("spin")?

Let's assume that we are talking about this geometry, and look at the speed of the tip of the skater's nose, about 30cm away from the axis of rotation:

enter image description here

This gives $8.5*10^9$ RPM. Will matter disintegration follow similar case of baseball pitched with 0.9 speed of light?

  • $\begingroup$ This would make a good xkcd question, but maybe too bloody. You'd see stuff flying apart long before you got anywhere close to 8.5 billion RPM. $\endgroup$ – userLTK Feb 23 '18 at 4:42
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    $\begingroup$ We can always assume an indestructible skater on a frictionless plane. The interaction with the air will be roughly like the XKCD essay. I don't think the different geometry will matter much in terms of the explosion. The angular momentum will be higher, but as particles thermalize it will be efficiently spread out. $\endgroup$ – Anders Sandberg Feb 23 '18 at 10:48

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