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Inertia of the Earth and my biological cycle

  1. Feb 1, 2006 #1
    Greetings nerds! Please just read the bold-style basic question at the end of the message if you don't care what my personal problems are. You'll find out soon enough... when I have summoned founds for my 0.27 billion rockets engines.

    I have this problem:
    My "biological clock", the part of my autonomus nerve system that is telling me when to sleep is wacked due to serious abuse of caffeine, maple and pipe tobacco. My biological clock simply fail to keep up with the 24 hour period which for some arbritary reason happens to be the rotational period of the planet, namely the Earth, on which I for some equally random reason is set to spend my life.

    My life seem to attract to this cycle: 12 hours of sleep, followed by 24 hours of beeing awake. This is a serious issue as it, given that I elect say 7 o'clock as a standard wake-up-and-go-to-bed point (going to bed at 7 in the morning one day, waking up at 7 in the evening the same day, then going to bed at 7 in the evening the NEXT day and then vaking up at 7 in the morning the same day and then repeating the cycle), I am only able to have meeningful interaction with the society in my vicinity every second day. I live in Sweden, but I literally spend half my life living according to local time of well, Bangkok perhaps or maybe Sydney.

    The solution:

    The only reasonable solution I can find to this problem is to slow down the rotational period of the Earth to correspond to the actual 36 hours that constitutes my life cycle. This could for example be accomplished by firing a number of rockets distributed around the equator in the opposite direction of the Earths' rotation. I am considering the use of an array of Rocketdyne F-1 engines as those are the most powerful available to the best of my knowing.

    I have done some rough math and calculated the number of engines required, or more generally, the total energy required to slow down the Earth the corresponding number of radians/second to be approximately
    3.34*10^17 J.

    One F-1 engine is generating something like 7740.5 kN of thrust and has a typical burn time of 161 seconds, making the number of required engines something like 270*10^6 units or an equivalent of 540*10^5 Apollo Saturn class moon rockets (having five F-1 engines each,YES I KNOW IT IS ONLY THE FIRST STAGE)...

    Now thats one hell of a lot of rockets, but I have counted a little high. I considered the Earth to be of uniform density but, as any enlightened human would claim, the Earth is more dense at higher depths. Due to its' highly compressed iron core for example.

    So my question is: Is there a way to describe the density of the Earth as a continous function of distance from the center? If not, dividing our planet in a number of spherical shells of different density would give me a better model. Where do I find such information?

    Don't hesitate to ask for the details of my calculations. This is physics when it is at its' best: totally pointless. My next attempt to adjust nature to me is perhaps a giant solar sail? Stay tuned!

    Cheers/ Jomiq.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 1, 2006 #2
    Someone move this to the Earth section >_>
  4. Feb 1, 2006 #3
    Yeah. Not sure if i got this in the right section. Thought I was posting in the general physics forum?

  5. Feb 1, 2006 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    There are several other (much more reasonable) solutions, but first, I've got to ask -- what kind of work do you do?
  6. Feb 1, 2006 #5


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    Gold Member

    The most reasonable solution seems to be to eliminate the caffeine and nicotine, which are disrupting your normal sleep cycle. I'd prefer you didn't alter the rotation of the earth to suit your own individual cycle, because if we did it for you, we'd have to do it for everyone, and at least every 3 days you're on a normal schedule, but others don't even synchronize that well.
  7. Feb 1, 2006 #6
    You know, it's funny how you say
    When you could simply stop your caffeine intake and stay up as long as you can until you are very tired and it is around 10PM.... then you would set an alarm for the next day at 7AM ish. It works quite well, lollll....

    Anyway, is this a problem from your physics class or what? O__O
  8. Feb 1, 2006 #7
    The National Geographic Channel has a program about the history of the earth/moon relationship, and the rotation of the earth seems to be highly dependent on the moon. Back a couple billion years ago, before there was life on earth, the moon was 15 times closer and the tidal bulge the moon pulled around the earth as it orbited was enormous. Days were also only 6 hours long. As the moon slowly acquires a larger and larger orbit, our rotation has slowed down. The moon gets about an inch and a half farther from the earth each year.

    Anyway, if you'll just be patient for another billion years or so, the days will be very much longer and your circadian rythms may fall in to place.
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