These original Kirt's Cogitations™
may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt
– noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Falling Through the Earth
So, what WOULD
happen if you could drill a hole through the center of the earth and
then jump into it? To make it easy, we must assume no air resistance,
no bumping the sides on the way through, a perfectly homogeneous mass
distribution for the earth, and a few other idealities. About 42 minutes
after jumping in to the hole, you would emerge at the other side of
the earth, 7,926 miles away, at the same height above the surface from
which you jumped into the hole. Unless you grab onto something to keep
you from falling back through to the other side again, you would oscillate
back and forth forever in 84 minute round-trips.