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john65pennington's avatar

If all gravity on earth ceased to be, what would be the outcome?

Asked by john65pennington (29168points) September 1st, 2011

Question: if all gravity on earth ceased to be, what would be the outcome?

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23 Answers

flutherother's avatar

Everything that wasn’t tied down would be flung into space by centrifugal force, including the oceans and the atmosphere.

Coloma's avatar

All the poop in my corral would never need to be shoveled again.
Of course, I’d be screwed trying to keep my hot tub filled. lol

Mariah's avatar

Furthermore, if the centrifugal force overcame the planet’s cohesive forces, little chunks of earth would be thrown off all the time and the earth would eventually disintegrate (I think).

erichw1504's avatar

My wish to fly would come true.

ragingloli's avatar

The planet would disintegrate and everything on it would be flung out into space.
And it is not just the centrifugal force that would drive the planet apart. The interior of the planet is high pressure, high temperature liquefied rock and iron, so I would expect massive volcanic eruptions all over the globe.

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Qingu's avatar

I don’t think we can meaningfully parse this question. The only reason there is an Earth in the first place is because of the force of gravity. Gravity underlies the behavior of all matter. You can’t simply take gravity out of the equation and meaningfully predict how matter would behave without it.

GladysMensch's avatar

Everything with mass has gravity. So, the only way for Earth to lose it’s gravity would be to lose it’s mass. And the only way for Earth to lose it’s mass is for it to cease to exist.

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Qingu's avatar

@ragingloli, I think your vulcanism would be a bridge too far. At least I can’t comprehend it. Doesn’t hydrodynamics, and really the concept of “pressure” in general, depend on a gravitational force?

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marinelife's avatar

All life would cease to be. The atmosphere would float away into space.

ragingloli's avatar

According to my understanding, pressure depends on the amount of atoms in a volume and the speed with which the atoms move. The hotter something becomes, the more it “wants” to expand its volume, like metal that expands when heated.
With the very hot earth core the inclination to expand is massive, which is held back and counteracted by the liquid rock’s own mass and resulting gravity. Take the gravity away, and there is nothing to hold that expansion back, so all that magma would rapidly shoot out of the gaps in the crust.

Qingu's avatar

I get that… I guess I am thinking if it’s even conceivable to have a universe where gravity doesn’t act as a counterbalance to outward pressure. I mean, obviously if you remove the force generated by gravity from the equation, what you describe would happen… but what else happens if you remove gravity from the equation? Could you even have the equations that govern hydrodynamics without gravity?

ragingloli's avatar

Not a physicist, but I am pretty sure fluids and gases in motion would still behave almost the same even without gravity

Qingu's avatar

I guess you would just treat them as if they were in freefall, but still something seems off. Maybe I’m thinking of the lack of convection (hotter fluids rising doesn’t exist without gravity) but I guess that’s distinct from pressure.

Hibernate's avatar

Then this Earth would cease to exist. It’s sorta lame to have things floating around ^^

gondwanalon's avatar

The forces within the space time continuum would squash the Earth down into a singularity of a black hole.

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