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Q & A: moving a long pole instantly?

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Most recent answer: 02/23/2015
If I had a one million kilometre long pole, and I move it sideways or lengthways (assuming I had the strength to move it), would both ends of the pole move instantaneously?
- Jess (age 14)
Sydney, NSW, Australia

No. There's a delay of at least the time it takes for light or other massless particles to travel the distance from your hands to the ends of the pole.

See these old answers for more discussion:

Mike W.

(published on 02/23/2015)

Follow-up on this answer.