A Puzzling Question 2

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14 Oct 2022
24


“If you were to dig a hole that went through the center of the earth and you jumped through, will you be falling or floating upwards?”


I stumbled across this question online and it really triggered me into thinking so I tried doing justice to it. Before you read my point of view on this question, take a minute and try bringing out a justifiable answer to it. Any answer you get please share it and compare with the one we have here.

To answer the question, let’s ask ourselves a vital question.  What is falling? According to Newtonian physics, falling is the action of the gravitational force of the earth on a body as it pulls the body to the center of the earth. So for an object to fall it must be above the earth surface.

When the hole is made through the center of the earth and you jump through, you will start 'falling' at first as the gravitational force at one end will try to get you to the center of the earth. When you get to the center of the earth, your velocity will be so high that you will pass it at first. While passing it , you will come in contact with the gravitational force at the opposite end which will try to return you to the center of earth again thereby acting against the direction of your fall until it reduces your falling velocity to zero and thereby makes you fall back  the center of the earth.

You will keep falling and changing direction until your velocity becomes zero and you then 'float' at the center of the earth where the gravitational force is zero due to the counter-balancing effect of equal and opposite force. The effect will be synonymous to the action of a pendulum pop that is suspended using a string and made to swing to and fro until it’s amplitude reduces to zero and it comes to rest.

Again this is my point of view. If you don’t agree with me feel free to air out your view.

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