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Homework Help: Theoretical Gravity Situation

  1. May 28, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The strength of gravity here on Earth is suddenly reduced to half of its present value. In what way would life be different? What safety precautions would you have to exercise?

    2. Relevant equations

    Eg = (-Gm1m2)/r

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Well I realize that the atmosphere would probably at least partially be released, resulting in an increase in a gamut of radiation, possibly even causing the ocean to boil...but this is supposed to be for a comic strip project, so i was hoping for scenarios that were more friendly towards humanity?

    People would be able to jump higher, but i am unsure as to whether their landing would cause pain/injury? i assume it would be the same, as the acceleration due to gravity would be halved, but we'd be able to jump twice as far, so they'd cancel each other out. it sounds good in my head, but again, i'm unsure.

    I also thought that birds would start to fly higher initially, leading to problems with airplanes, but i's guess the airplanes would just fly higher too? i dunno.

    I was hoping that maybe you guys could supply some interesting other scenarios. If you include any mathematical calculations in you answers that too would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanx in advance.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2008 #2


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    The air pressure would rapidly fall to 1/2 what is now (upper Himalayan levels at sea level) and the earth will expand somewhat. I think the initial seismic and atmospheric disturbances would be spectacular. That's not enough of a drop to boil the oceans, but I don't think the weather will ever be the same. If you want to be a little more eco-friendly you might want to just equip everyone with an anti-gravity pack. You are right about jumping. You could jump twice as high as before, but you'll still land at the same velocity you took off at.
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