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Author Topic: Why don't we feel the earth moving?  (Read 14706 times)

Michael Collings

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« on: 19/12/2008 09:14:08 »
Michael Collings  asked the Naked Scientists:

Dear TNS
 
I have always wondered the following:
 
Why do we not feel the earth moving? I know we spin through space at fast speeds, but everything is always so still to our perspective?
Can mankinds construction projects affect rotation?

Does gravity pull objects directly to earths centre, or does it pull them around in an orbit?
 
I would be interested to know
 
Regards
 
Mike Collings

What do you think?


 

blakestyger

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #1 on: 19/12/2008 09:48:07 »
I've never felt the Earth move, but a long time ago, a girl I was with said that she had felt it move. ;)
 

Offline Hammurabi

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #2 on: 02/01/2009 02:10:06 »
I asked the same questions in one of my physics classes! It seems as though humans only feel acceleration. For example, you do not feel a 65 mph force when you are cruising on the interstate, but you do feel the acceleration on the on ramp. This is the same for humans when we are born. We are conceived and born in the rotation of the earth so we do not feel the acceleration. In response to your second question about constructions having an effect on rotation, I see this as a conservation of momentum issue. Although I cannot recall the specific details, if we built a really (and I mean really) large spinning wheel that spun opposite to the Earth's rotation we could effectively stop it. Other than that, the buildings we have made are too small to change the rotation.
 

Offline JnA

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #3 on: 02/01/2009 03:57:39 »
Michael Collings  asked the Naked Scientists:

Dear TNS

Can mankinds construction projects affect rotation?



What do you think?


Once I read something about the massive mine pits on Earth. If the earth was the size of a golf ball all the pits together wouldn't be a deep as a dimple... or something like that. So I would say that relative to the size of the earth, anything we build would have minuscule to no effect on the earth's rotation.
 

Offline awake

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #4 on: 22/01/2009 00:56:45 »
I'm not able to find this specific answer anywhere on the internet.  Yes, i understand that if something is moving at a constant speed and not accelerating, then you don't feel motion.  However, when something is spinning and orbiting, like the earth is, it is CONSTANTLY accelerating.  Change of direction equals acceleration.  Yes, I wouldn't feel anything if i was in a plane travelling at 1000mph but if it started going in circles at 1000mph, i'd instantly start feeling the centrifugal (sp?) force.  The earth is spinning so our motion relative to it's center is accelerating and it's revolving around the sun which is also subject to a centrifugal force.  Why don't we, or anything else on earth (maybe?) feel that or somehow be able to measure it?  What do you think we would feel if the earth slowly stopped spinning?  Not taking into account the slowing motion, just once it's at a dead stop...would living things be affected?  If so, than we do feel the motion but are somehow compensating for it.  no?

What would happen if something was on the earth's surface but had no friction to anything surrounding it?  Like say a perfectly polished marble ball on a marble floor.  Don't the laws of momentum say that everything "wants" to stay still so you would think the ball would move in some way slightly as it's floor is being spun around.  how can that be explained? (that fact that this does not happen)
 

Offline Irishgirl

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #5 on: 05/02/2009 07:52:49 »
I think the reason why we don't feel the earth move is because the scale of the earth is endlessly greater and the unit of life is like a piece of dust so its volume size does not allow it to be noticed.

Also the earth moves in a constant speed. The Constance of the earth's speed does not allow for movement to be noticed.

For instance, if your going on the freeway using a cruse control speed of whatever it may be, after a while you don't feel like the car is moving. I know I have experienced that happen to me where I thought I was not going to reach my destination because I was caught up with the illusion of no-motion.

 
 

Offline Gigacore

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #6 on: 28/02/2009 14:34:28 »
Simple! Because we move along with Earth at constant speed. And we have been traveling with earth ever since we have born and that makes us unaware that we are actually had no start! It's pretty hard to explain in words.

If earth stops moving or rotating.. there will be a catastrophic destruction.. if u ask why.. try accelerating to speeds about 500 MPH and stop the vehicle from 500 to 0 in few nanoseconds..(just assume) u will know what happens ;)
 

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Why don't we feel the earth moving?
« Reply #6 on: 28/02/2009 14:34:28 »

 

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