# [Off-topic, my apologies]: Gravity (was: IDE freeze for seconds)

Justin Hahn (jehahn@raven.bu.edu)
Thu, 03 Dec 1998 14:46:00 -0500

> What is the first thing that ceases when you spin down a planet? That's
> right, gravity. Everything not tied down would just fly out into space,
> and that includes the atmosphere. Simple.

Um, no. Gravity is a function of mass. Every basic mechanics course
does the calculation which determines the amount of centrifugal force
due to the rotations of the earth is s approximately .5% at the
equator. Moreover, the gravitational force at the equator is actually
LESSENED due to the spin of the earth, as it is providing the
centripetal force.

Gravity is defined by newton's law of gravitation, that is
G*m1*m2/(r^2) where m1 and m2 are the masses of the objects (earth and
your) and r is the distance between their center of masses. G is the
gravitational constant, and it is suitably puny (6.67259 x 10E-11 in
metric units...). It has nothing to do with rotation.

However! If we were to stop the rotation of the earth about the Sun,
then we'd have a different problem: we'd collapse into the Sun's core,
and burn up. But that is independent of the earth's axial rotation.

Also, the dark side of the earth would like die off due to cold, but
that's irrelevant to the problem.

------------------------------------------------
| Justin Hahn <jehahn@raven.bu.edu> |
|Systems Administrator, Boston University SPI Lab|
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