Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

If the earth stopped spinning

  1. Oct 13, 2005 #1

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What would be the gravitational effects on people if this happened? I figure gravitational force - centripetal force = 9.8m/s^2... so is the gravitational force much stronger then 9.8?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2005 #2

    JesseM

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    You can see here that the formula for the centripetal force is [tex]F = mv^2 / r[/tex], so the centripetal acceleration would be [tex]v^2 /r[/tex]. Here, v is the circumference of the earth divided by the rotation period of the earth (assuming you're standing at the equator), or 2*pi*r/(86400 seconds) , so squaring this and dividing by r gives 4*pi^2*r/(7.46496*10^9 s^2) = 0.034 meters/second^2. So, if the earth wasn't rotating gravity would only feel about 1.0035 times as strong as it does now at the equator, not a noticeable difference.
     
  4. Oct 13, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh pff... guess i was wrong :D thanks!
     
  5. Oct 13, 2005 #4

    Chronos

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    2015 Award

    Jesse has it right. The centripetal force due to earth's rotation is minor compared to gravity. The inertial force, on the other hand, might be worrisome were the earth to suddenly stop rotating. Buckle up. According to the Surgeon General, slamming into a mountain at ~1000 miles per hour can be hazardous to your health.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: If the earth stopped spinning
  1. Earth's Spin (Replies: 21)

  2. Earth's spin & Moon (Replies: 1)

Loading...