Is the world really round?

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mothofela

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Is the world really round?
« on: 26/08/2009 09:30:03 »
mothofela asked the Naked Scientists:
   
How come that the world is round but wherever you go it is flat? Is there a place where everything is upside down?

What do you think?

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Offline Mazurka

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Is the world really round?
« Reply #1 on: 26/08/2009 10:18:19 »
I believe that there are a few places where you can see the curvature ofhte earth - from the tops of some mountains in the himalaya for example.

The other piece of evidence is if you watch a (sailing) ship go over the horizon, the last thing you will see is the mast disapearing. 

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Offline JnA

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Is the world really round?
« Reply #2 on: 26/08/2009 10:18:19 »
because it's a really really big round. To be precise the ground isn't really flat at all.. there's a curvature that engineers need to take into consideration when building skyscrapers (i'm pretty sure)

Some say that everyone is upside down in Australia... but I don't believe them.. all seems pretty up right to me.

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lyner

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Is the world really round?
« Reply #3 on: 26/08/2009 11:16:43 »
It depends what you call 'down' - and what is 'upside down'.

The word 'down' usually means 'the way things will fall when you drop them'. That is towards the centre of the Earth. The beer won't fall out of a glass in Oz when the glass is actually pointing in the opposite direction to a glass in the UK.

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Offline LeeE

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Is the world really round?
« Reply #4 on: 26/08/2009 17:48:31 »
Engineers, or at least suspension bridge designers, need to take the curvature of the Earth in to consideration for very large spans as the towers won't actually be parallel and are further apart at their tops than at their bottoms.  This affects the length of the main suspension cables; the cables would be too short (and ride too high) if only the length of the span was used and the curvature of the Earth wasn't taken into consideration.

Ok, suspension bridges are quite flexible anyway, and it only amounts to a couple of feet at most, but you might as well do it right.
...And its claws are as big as cups, and for some reason it's got a tremendous fear of stamps! And Mrs Doyle was telling me it's got magnets on its tail, so if you're made out of metal it can attach itself to you! And instead of a mouth it's got four arses!