Heavy question; the gravity of a thought experiment

  • Thread starter mjhilger
  • Start date
  • #1
93
14
Just thinking about gravity. How is the gravity effected by the surroundings of a location?

Suppose we have a giant farris wheel with very good bearings and we place it in a location; like the Grand Canyon - somewhere with a very steep dropoff; such that say 40% of the wheel is over the cliff. So the buckets that cross the boundary of the cliff have no earth below them for say 2500 feet at least; while the other side is positioned over solid rock/earth. Would there be a large enough difference in the delta of the gravity to cause a spin from the buckets over the solid earth having more pull? I have not worked out the math yet, just a ponder?

Thanks,
Mitch
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
UltrafastPED
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,912
216
The local gravitational field varies with the density of local/underground rock formations. Mining companies have been using this information as part of their scientific prospecting technique since Eötvös developed practical devices. See the Wikipedia article on Eötvös.

But is it enough to move something besides the most delicate of balances? The answer is not so that anybody would notice.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
Mentor
21,081
7,826
Gravity doesn't just pull in one direction, it pulls in all directions. So you can't prevent the ground underneath the ferris wheel from pulling on the entire ferris wheel.
 
  • #4
Khashishi
Science Advisor
2,815
493
Of course not. Energy is conserved. It takes as much energy to lift a bucket as you get from dropping a bucket. It doesn't matter if you lift it in some zig-zag direction or straight up.
 
  • #5
644
27
No one side of the wheel would be attracted more than the other, so it would just stop.
Say it was a very sensitive beam balance hanging over the cliff with equal weights one end would go down and the other up and then stay there what makes you imagine it would spin.
 

Related Threads on Heavy question; the gravity of a thought experiment

  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
125
Views
18K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
20
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
10
Views
2K
Top