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Author Topic: Would we be taller in space?  (Read 1399 times)

Offline jeffreyH

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Would we be taller in space?
« on: 24/09/2013 18:35:27 »
Does length contraction apply under the influence of gravity meaning we get taller the further we are from earth.
« Last Edit: 25/09/2013 19:00:52 by chris »


 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Would we be taller in space
« Reply #1 on: 24/09/2013 18:54:12 »
Does length contraction apply under the influence of gravity meaning we get taller the further we are from earth.
If we measure our length with a ruler we bring with us we won't measure any change since gravity increases our length nearer the earth.

However let's forget about the relativistic effects. The fact that we're in a weightless enviroment means that our spine is no longer compressed due to our body's weight and we will be taller all day long while in orbit by perhaps a half an inch.

Try this in the morning. Measure your height before you go to bed and then when you get out of the bed in the morning. I did this when I was a kid. It was pretty cool. :)
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Would we be taller in space
« Reply #2 on: 24/09/2013 21:45:33 »
I was also thinking about aging people.  Many adults loose an inch or so in their later life.  Perhaps more. 

Osteopenia/Osteoporosis is a major problem in space, but perhaps one wouldn't loose as much height during aging.
 

lean bean

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Re: Would we be taller in space?
« Reply #3 on: 29/09/2013 10:45:35 »
Does length contraction apply under the influence of gravity meaning we get taller the further we are from earth.
A very gentle form of spaghettification. So, I would say you lengthen and get thinner as you neared the earth.
 

Offline jeffreyH

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Re: Would we be taller in space?
« Reply #4 on: 29/09/2013 17:41:20 »
Thanks for all the replies. I hadn't taken into consideration the lengthening due to gravity. This may be offset to a degree by the effects of weightlessness. Interesting.
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Would we be taller in space?
« Reply #5 on: 29/09/2013 18:12:08 »
I was also thinking about aging people.  Many adults loose an inch or so in their later life.  Perhaps more. 

This is principally due to pressure desiccation of the intervertebral discs, stooping posture, and compression insults to the vertebrae - all because we fight gravity. If you drink plenty of water under zero gravity you will grow a bit. Things can happen very quickly: a military pilot acquaintance pulled 11 g  momentarily to avoid a collision and shrank nearly 2 inches in half a second - his prescribed rehabilitation program consisted of lying down and drinking weak beer until he regained an inch, and he eventually returned to active duty with a slightly shorter dress jacket.   
 

Offline dlorde

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Re: Would we be taller in space?
« Reply #6 on: 29/09/2013 20:44:33 »
his prescribed rehabilitation program consisted of lying down and drinking weak beer until he regained an inch...
Now that's my kind of rehabilitation!
 

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Re: Would we be taller in space?
« Reply #6 on: 29/09/2013 20:44:33 »

 

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