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Does space create inertia on any level? If so...

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posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 02:32 AM
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We all know that inertia is a part of fundamental physics, but I don't know much about it in other environments such as space.

On Earth to drive in a car at 50 mph and toss a ball out the window it will eventually come to a stop.

In space do these rules not apply? The Earth travels at around 46,000 mph. When you fly a space shuttle far enough away from our earth's gravity pull (out the window) would the space shuttle be effected by the intertia of 46,000 mph?

Does the emptiness of space not carry enough constituents to restrict the mass?

This may seem rather simple to the person holding the correct answer, so be nice about it.


AAC

[edit on 17-12-2006 by AnAbsoluteCreation]




posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 02:40 AM
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Originally posted by AnAbsoluteCreation
We all know that inertia is a part of fundamental physics, but I don't know much about it in other environments such as space.


yes, because of newton's first law of motion.



On Earth to drive in a car at 50 mph and toss a ball out the window it will eventually come to a stop.

In space do these rules not apply?


yes, this law applies in space.

The reason a car will eventually come to a stop is because the tires making contact on the road creates friction, so does the air around the vehicle.

it causes a net force great enough to slow the vehicle.

In space, the reason that the space craft will continue is becasue there isnt enough net force to cause the de-acceleration of the craft and eventually cause it to stop.

space is a vacuum, hence very few external forces to act upon the craft.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 02:48 AM
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Ok, I might of misread your question, but I think I may have still answered it.

the only thing in space, that I know of, that can cause any type of acceleration would be gravity. this is due to the curvature of space time caused by objects.

Even if there were only two very light rocks in the entire universe, they would cause enough curving in space time to draw the objects together.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 02:56 AM
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[edit on 17-12-2006 by AnAbsoluteCreation]



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:53 AM
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Originally posted by AnAbsoluteCreation
[...]

In space do these rules not apply? The Earth travels at around 46,000 mph. [...]


You know I came across this very interesting list of speed the earth is travelling at in relation to points of references in space. First it was the speed we are going through space travelling around the Sun, then it was relative to how fast the whole Solar System is travelling around the Galactic core. Finally it was how fast the Milky Way as a whole is moving in relation to other galaxies in our Local Group.

I can't recall where on-line I saw that, but it was quite enlightening. Is this what you are asking about, or something related? I'm not quite sure I understand your request.



posted on Dec, 17 2006 @ 04:14 PM
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Does the emptiness of space not carry enough constituents to restrict the mass?


No. The vacuum of space is essentially empty, although there are a few stray atoms and other particles. As you might imagine, those very sparse and tiny particles don't really impede the much larger Earth at 46000mph or whatever it's moving at.

Basically, the principle of inertia applies everywhere. It's just that in outer space, there are far fewer forces acting on an object than on the surface of the earth. On Earth, we have gravity, electromagnetic fields, both natural and artificial, we have air resistance and other forms of friction, and probably several forces I've missed that will act on everyday objects.

Throw a baseball out a car window, and sure, it will have the same velocity as the car, but gravity and friction will quickly decelerate the ball and it will eventually land somewhere on the ground and stop.

The earth, however, has only the sun's gravity acting on it in any meaningful way, and because this is a stable orbit with no external influences, the principle of inertia says that the earth will just keep on going round the sun, until an external force acts on the system to change it. (and I hope no such force comes about! :p)



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