Understand why we do what we do :P

If you dug a hole through the center of the earth, and jumped in, would you stay at the center because of gravity?

Gravitational field lines around the Earth.

Image via Wikipedia

Now, we know that gravity does strange things. This coupled with Einstein’s theory and the basic idea that the above would never be possible as:-

  1. No one can dig right through the middle of the Earth
  2. If we do jump in, we would burn to a crisp

But hypothetically, avoiding the above doubts, if there was a hole across the diameter of the Earth, and we jumped in, would we hang out in the middle? And if so, why?

No matter how confidently most of us can answer, “yes we would stay at the center because of gravity”, there is a little more at work here.

Actually, this is what would happen, considering we have a hole through the Earth, and ignoring various factors, such as temperature, pressure, air resistance etc..

At first, we would hurtle downwards, but as we approach the center, the force of gravity would start to decrease, and eventually disappear completely.  This so happens because, when we approach the center, the Earth pulls you in all direction and not just the center. Hence this leads to no gravity and hence no force at the center of the Earth.

Now, when we approach the center, we would have accumulated enough velocity to be thrown in the opposite direction, with an increasing gravitational force pulling you back to the center (kinda like a jump, where you feel a force pulling you back down). You then get pulled back to the center and keep oscillating in a similar fashion, until you stop and stay still at the center of the Earth.

So would we stay in the center of the Earth because of gravity, well Yes!! but one should also note, that there is “No Gravity” in the center itself.

Some interesting Trivia!!

If we were to fall into the hole, how long before we reach the other side?

Well, take a guess…..

The answer is 42 mins as explained here:-

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_long_would_it_take_to_fall_through_the_earth_if_there_was_a_hole_through_it

-wikianswers

So if this were ever possible, we would not only have a fast way to travel, but it would literally be a jump to the other side 😛

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2 responses

  1. 45 minutes

    August 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm

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