The Earth is steadily spinning like the top, even if we can’t see, touch, hear, or feel it. But what if the Earth suddenly stops spinning?
Angular momentum of all objects above when rotation stops Earth The surface will tear and it will be a really, really bad day.
“This is just a thought experiment,” said James Jimbelman, a senior geologist emeritus professor at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. It’s spinning since it was formed, it’s pretty impressive. “
connection: How fast does the earth move?
Put a spin in it
The Earth makes a complete rotation about its axis every 23 hours, 56 minutes, and 4.09053 seconds. According to Gimberman, this means that the equatorial landing will move at about 1,100 mph (1,770 km / h) and the rotational speed will drop to zero at the poles. If the planet suddenly stops, the angular momentum given to air, water, and even rocks along the equator will continue to move at this speed of 1,100 mph. This movement will tear the surface and wash the surface, sending debris to the upper regions of the atmosphere and outer space.
But what is angular momentum?
Let’s take a step back. Linear momentum is the product of the mass of an object and its velocity (direction and velocity). Passengers in a moving car that have stopped suddenly continue to move forward due to linear momentum. painful.
Angular momentum is a rotational analog of linear momentum. This is the product of the moment of inertia (the rotational force required to rotate the mass) and the angular velocity. Quarterbacks give angular momentum when football is lifted in the air towards a wide receiver.
“One of the basics of physics is the conservation of angular momentum,” Zimbelman told Live Science. “If something spins, you need to apply the same force [in the opposite direction] This is to stop the rotation. “
But even if the earth stops spinning, everything is not lost.
Reorganization, reform, addition
According to Gimberman, as the Earth and its debris continue to orbit the Sun, broken pieces from the surface will regain some rotation.Finally, of the planet gravity Pulling pulls back the halo of the fragment, causing unexpected effects.
“what [Isaac] Newton What helped us to understand in classical mechanics is that as they accumulate and approach each other, some of their own energy is released and things get hot, “said Gimbermann. ..
Think like meteorite Streak across the sky. Debris that reaches far away from the atmosphere and outer space is attracted to the surface by the gravitational pull of the planet and releases energy in the event of a collision. The constant impact on these pieces will liquefy the crust into a melted “sea of rocks,” Gimbermann said. Eventually, the colliding debris is reabsorbed into the Molten Sea through a process called accretion.
According to Gimberman, rapid and destructive transitions will also evaporate most of the water on the surface of the planet. Most of this vaporized water is lost, but some can be incorporated into newly solidified minerals such as olivine. Finally, not all fragments are reabsorbed by accretion. Part of the planet Of the moon The gravitational force collides with a nearby satellite, creating a myriad of craters across its surface.
Originally published in Live Science.
What if the earth suddenly stops spinning?
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