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Author Topic: If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?  (Read 8318 times)

paul.fr

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« on: 25/07/2007 17:20:59 »
would we be Okay, or drift off in to space or something...


 

Offline syhprum

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #1 on: 25/07/2007 17:47:48 »
I believe it did stop once so that the Israelite's could finish a battle, it did not seem to cause any long term problems.

See http://www.jpdawson.com/joshua.html
« Last Edit: 27/07/2007 07:46:31 by syhprum »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #2 on: 25/07/2007 18:11:13 »
It would depend to a large extent on how quickly it stopped spinning. If it just suddenly stopped the G force involved would cause every man-made structure to fall apart and, probably, everyone would die.

I believe it is actually slowing down very gradually and we are suffering no bad effects as a result. However, I'm pretty sure that weather systems would have fun if it slowed to any great extent.
 

Offline eric l

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #3 on: 25/07/2007 18:51:32 »
Some people would obviously stay way too long in the sun.
And the difference in g-force would be in the order of 0.0033 g or less than half a percent - at the equator.
 

Heronumber0

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #4 on: 26/07/2007 00:08:40 »
Are there any planet-sized objects in space that are not spinning?
 

another_someone

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #5 on: 26/07/2007 04:09:57 »
Spinning with respect to what?

The Moon is not spinning with respect to the Earth, hence it always shows us the same face; but it does spin in relation to the Sun (so you have a sunrise and sunset on the Moon).

At one time it was thought that Mercury does not spin in relation to the Sun, but I think this view has now been changed.

One consequence of a planet not spinning in relation to its Sun is that one side of the planet will become very hot, and the other side very cold (this can be mitigated to an extent by the atmosphere of the planet, but is unlikely to be totally removed).
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #6 on: 26/07/2007 08:06:58 »
Some people would obviously stay way too long in the sun.
And the difference in g-force would be in the order of 0.0033 g or less than half a percent - at the equator.


As far as I know the Earth's rotational velocity at the equator is in the region of 1,800kph. I'm pretty sure that if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning, that would equate to a lot more than 0.0033g (I'm not sure how to calculate g-force with zero deceleration time. Would it be infinite?  ??? )
 

another_someone

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #7 on: 26/07/2007 10:22:22 »
As far as I know the Earth's rotational velocity at the equator is in the region of 1,800kph. I'm pretty sure that if the Earth suddenly stopped spinning, that would equate to a lot more than 0.0033g

It is not tangential velocity that matters but angular velocity (approximately 0.00007 rpm).  Bear in mind the Earth's diameter at the equator is just under 8000 miles (approx 12,700 km).  If the Earth was spinning with a tangential velocity of 1,800kph, but with a diameter of just a few kilometres, then it would indeed be a massive g force (probably enough to tear it apart).

(I'm not sure how to calculate g-force with zero deceleration time. Would it be infinite?  ??? )

Which is the reason why it could never happen in zero time.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #8 on: 26/07/2007 21:25:05 »
There are 2 different things here. The earth spins and so we are flung off it like a merry go round - the effect is small after all, the earth only spins once a day andd that's the 0.0033G.

If the earth stopped spinning fairly quickly (to get round the infinite acceleration problem) then we would certainly notice. Currently my house and I are doing roughly 500 miles an hour on the surface of the spinning earth. If the earth stopped then I would carry on doing 500 MPH until I hit the wall. At the equator it would be worse- the earth's about 25000 miles round and it covers that every 24 hours so it moves a bit over 1000 Miles an hour.
At the pole's I'd be OK from that point of view but I think there would be other problems.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #9 on: 27/07/2007 00:28:43 »

If the earth stopped then I would carry on doing 500 MPH until I hit the wall.

But, surely, the wall would also try to continue at 500mph & I doubt it could take the strain. That was the point I was trying to make when I said that man-made structures would collapse. And the end result of people flying through the air at 500mph could be rather unfortunate too!
 

Offline _Stefan_

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #10 on: 27/07/2007 08:18:47 »
Well this is all very interesting, but is Earth likely to ever stop spinning suddenly and completely? Wouldn't it gradually decelerate instead? Then what would happen?
 

Offline eric l

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #11 on: 27/07/2007 08:58:07 »
Just trying to imagine where to fix the brake on that you would need to stop the Earth from spinning, not to mention how hard you should have to squeeze that brake.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #12 on: 27/07/2007 09:34:52 »
Just trying to imagine where to fix the brake on that you would need to stop the Earth from spinning, not to mention how hard you should have to squeeze that brake.

Ceramic brakes from a Formula 1 car should do the trick  :D
 

lyner

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #13 on: 27/07/2007 23:56:48 »
Sounds like the old unstoppable force and the immovable object thing my Grandad used to ask me.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #14 on: 28/07/2007 16:47:20 »
"But, surely, the wall would also try to continue at 500mph & I doubt it could take the strain. That was the point I was trying to make when I said that man-made structures would collapse. And the end result of people flying through the air at 500mph could be rather unfortunate too! "
Good point, the building would fall down and I'd hit a stack of flying bricks at 500 MPH. Not nice.
 

lyner

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #15 on: 29/07/2007 13:20:47 »
Go back to Newton
The force needed to accelerate (in this case, slow down) an object is equal to its mass times its acceleration. Do it gradually enough  (low acceleration) and the forces on you and your wall would be very small. 
To achieve the slowing down of the Earth's rotation, did you have in mind a lot of rockets with long ropes? Some quite big forces required there, though! Some very strong tent pegs would be needed to attach the ropes, as well.


The worst problem would be the very long / infinite day lengths - extremes of climate or what????
 

Offline that mad man

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #16 on: 29/07/2007 20:33:23 »
Would it have an effect on the Earth's magnetism as the core would also stop rotating?

Bee
 

Offline Bored chemist

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #17 on: 29/07/2007 21:19:35 »
I'm not old enough to go back to Newton so I will just go back to what I posted earlier "If the earth stopped spinning fairly quickly (to get round the infinite acceleration problem) then we would certainly notice."
Conversely, if it were very slow then I doubt I'd notice (not until my watch started to disagree with my sundial anyway)
 

Offline syhprum

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #18 on: 29/07/2007 23:13:36 »
A vast amount of energy is stored is stored in the earth by virtue of its rotation, for the small change of the day to lengthen by one second in a year this energy would have to be dissipated in some form.
The only way I could see this happening is if was converted to heat and radiated away the effect of which would be most noticeable!.
If my calculation is correct the energy that would have to be radiated away would be of a rate of 1.7 times that we receive from sunlight
« Last Edit: 01/08/2007 07:45:26 by syhprum »
 

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If the Earth stops spinning, what happens to us?
« Reply #18 on: 29/07/2007 23:13:36 »

 

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