If gravity were to suddenly vanish, will we feel the rotation of the Earth?

I mean if gravity just disappeared, will we find ourselves getting slammed onto the wall because of the earth's rotation?

Just a silly thought. ~:D

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favourite answer

    If gravity just disappeared, then all heck would break loose. But let's assume heck remains caged.

    Generally, the force you experience as a 60kg person due to the rotation of the Earth is about 1.5 ounces. That effect is distributed over your entire body. It's tough enough to detect a force of 1 ounce or so on your limbs as a point mass, but if distributed, it's well below your detection threshhold. So no, you won't feel the rotation of the Earth.

    Now uncage the heck. The Earth's atmosphere is held here by gravity. Released, it would expand away from the Earth. Pressure on the surface would lessen, at an ever decreasing rate. But that's the least of your worries... because within the Earth is a molten core under enormous pressures of millions of atmospheres. That residual pressure and heat would blow the Earth apart.

  • 7 years ago

    At first you would feel nothing but weightlessness. Initially you'd think you'd fly towards the ceiling because of the rotational momentum you posses. But in actuality if gravity suddenly disappeared then there would be nothing holding the planet together besides the regular inter molecular bonds and whatever viscosity it has. This would likely be dwarfed by the rotational momentum that the earth has, resulting in the earth flinging apart in bits. You'd feel nothing in the short term as you would fling off the surface at the same velocity and in the same direction as the room you were in, which is the same a the building, which is the same as the street. But at the larger scales the planet would soon experience humongous lateral forces as all the bits want to move off in slightly different directions. The continents would be ripped apart and fly off, followed by the mantle and the core. The destruction would be experienced in stops and starts as pockets in the interior open up unevenly, leading to massive surface vibrations. You'd of course also lose air pressure pretty quickly and suffocate as the atmosphere rapidly expands into space. This would also have the effect of rapidly cooling, leading to freezing temperatures. Interestingly the outspiraling of matter wouldn't be a spiral at all as there's no longer a force acting inward to produce an orbit: everything would simply fly off in the direction it was travelling at the point gravity vanished - anything orbiting the core (including everything on the surface) is travelling at a direction tangential to their orbit. Anything West of you would start to sink and fly off beneath you relative to your position. Anything East of you would appear to rise and fly off above you. Those at the equator would suffer the most destruction the fastest. Those at the poles would experience the end more slowly and less violently.

  • 7 years ago

    Dear do do doer,

    More than likely float up against the ceiling when inside, but float out into deep space otherwise. Of course, there's no telling, with all the building collapses in the news nowadays, how many buildings would take off, as rubble, into deep space as well. So you might bump into a ceiling and then fly off into deep space with the building you just smashed into.

    At 600 to 1000 mph rotation speed for Earth, where people live the most, you, me, and my dog Boots are being subjected to centrifugal force that wants to throw us up and out. Only gravity prevents that from happening. [See source.]

    Without the gravity...bye bye.

    Source(s): The centrifugal force at a given latitude is found from F = ma = m W^2 R cos(LAT) where W = 2piF and F = 1 cycle/24 hrs = 1/(24*3600) cps is the rotation frequency. R = 6371E3 m is Earth's radius. m is your mass and LAT is the latitude you live at. Plug in the numbers and you'll see how much centrifugal force is acting on you right now. EX: F = 100*(2*pi()*(1/(24*3600)))^2*6371E3*cos(radians(50)) = 2.165745165 = 2.166 N. Is the centrifugal force on me at LAT = 50 deg N. At m = 100 kg, I would accelerate A = F/m = .022 m/s^2 off the planet should gravity cease. (Of course, so would the air leave as it's normally held by gravity; so I'd suffocate long before reaching any significant height off the surface.)
  • 7 years ago

    You would appear to float upwards.

    That's because you would continue (tangentially) in a straight line with the same velocity you had at the moment when gravity was switched off.

    But the earth continues to rotate - so the gap between the point you were standing and your position gradually increases, giving the effect of you floating upwards.

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  • 7 years ago

    If gravity suddenly vanished we would all go hurtling into space in the direction of the earth's spin at over 1,000 mph, not accounting for air resistance. Which wouldn't be as high as normal, because the atmosphere would go flying into space as well. We'd also probably die pretty quickly because atmospheric pressure would drop off without gravity smushing it down onto us.

  • RickB
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    No. For the same reason that you don't go flying into the wall when you jump up off the floor. Right now, both you and the wall have a large "eastward" momentum (as seen from an observer outside the system; say somebody viewing you from the moon). That momentum is there whether you're stuck to the floor or not.

  • goring
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    Gravity exists because time exists. Without time energy would not exist. Our physical structure could not be maintained without Gravity power holding our bodies together.

    Source(s): Gravity definition me me own little brains
  • KennyB
    Lv 7
    7 years ago

    Simplistically, we would no longer be held to the surface of the earth and we probably would begin floating.

  • 7 years ago

    no.without gravity we would not be standing on the ground but would be floating towards space.

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