Problems with variable mass
Even though circumstances like that described at the Cambridge accelerator are conveniently described by assuming an increasing mass, that is not the only way to describe these experiments, and there are problems with the concept of variable relativistic mass. Einstein's point of view is described in the following quote:
|"It is not good to introduce the concept of the mass of a moving body for which no clear definition can be given. It is better to introduce no other mass concept than the 'rest mass' m. Instead of introducing M it is better to mention the expression for the momentum and energy of a body in motion." || |
Upon being introduced to special relativity for the first time, it is easier to contemplate concepts like the speed of light as the speed limit of the universe by envisioning the mass as increasing to infinity at velocity c. However, when one has become familiar with the concepts of relativistic momentum and relativistic energy, there is no real need for the variable mass concept.