Physics Question #398

Pat, a 40 year old male from the Internet asks on June 19, 1998,

If the earth stopped revolving would humans weigh less or more? Would there still be gravity on earth.

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on June 19, 1998

There would be no difference. Gravity is a property of all bodies, and has nothing to do with the rotation of the earth. For some reason, many people have the misconception that gravity is linked to rotation, and that somehow by rotating, the Earth "gets" gravity. This is wrong. Another misconception has to do with the notion that the spinning Earth would throw us right off the planet if it were not for gravity, and there would be a huge change if the for some reason the Earth stopped spinning. In fact the centripedal force due to the Earth's rotation is about 0.34% of the force of gravity. You can see the calculation at David Stern's NASA website.

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