Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

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Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:34 am

This is a stupid question that came up last night. The urban myth is that if a billion Chinese climb up on their chairs and all jump back down to Earth at the same time. it would throw out Earth's orbit. I stupidly suggested it may not be true because of the conservation of energy. Someone else said "but don't they also push Earth downward when they get on the chair?" That stumped me. :D

As a hypothetical, if a billion Chinese climbed on their chairs and then all jumped back to Earth, would that throw out Earth's orbit around the sun?
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:29 am

The Earth is not solid, so any jump push will dissipate. The only effect possible is shifting the center of mass.

And any tsunami in the Pacific has a greater effect on the Earth's orbit than a billion Chinese can.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:13 am

Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Of course not.

The only way for a billion Chinese to knock the Earth out of orbit is for them to eject a large mass from the Earth without having it return. In other words, if they all jumped to Mars, that might make a difference, but just jumping up and down won't do it. It's the same principle as a person lifting himself up by his own bootstraps.

Here, read more about it at wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Jump_Day#Science

Ooooh, and the Straight Dope! http://www.straightdope.com/columns/rea ... ysm-result
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:29 am

More importantly, just how would you get a billion Chinese to do this? (Or anything else for that matter?)

Also.... at about 60kg per person, versus the total weight of the earth, their weight would be (almost) immeasurably insignificant.


edit... OK, OK... ALMOST immeasurably insignificant - but insignificant, just the same.
Last edited by TJrandom on Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:46 am

No one said by how much: extremely accurate measurements can detect that the earth's rotation slows down in winter since snow/ice accumulates on the top of mountains.
So if we get as many Chinese and Indians to move to the Himalayas (and not kill each other), there would probably be a measurable effect on the speed of the earth's rotation.

But forget about the orbit.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:49 am

TJrandom wrote:More importantly, just how would you get a billion Chinese to do this? (Or anything else for that matter?)

Free rice!

Or, if you wanna be all racist about it: Flee lice!

But I don't think that would be appropriate. You racist. :beee:
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby TJrandom » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:53 am

Gord wrote:
TJrandom wrote:More importantly, just how would you get a billion Chinese to do this? (Or anything else for that matter?)

Free rice!

Or, if you wanna be all racist about it: Flee lice!

But I don't think that would be appropriate. You racist. :beee:


Maybe if they were encouraged to bonk.... bonk for science!

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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:43 am

Don't forget that the force would be applied in a billion (slightly) different directions.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:36 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Don't forget that the force would be applied in a billion (slightly) different directions.

The vectors would all be toward the Earth's center of mass. Anyway, that's of dubious relevance. It's negligible compared to the Earth's mass, and it would all be lost in the elasticity of the Earth's crust. The best it could do is raise the temperature of the crust by a billionth of a degree or so. Or a trillionth - whatevs
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:59 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Don't forget that the force would be applied in a billion (slightly) different directions.

The vectors would all be toward the Earth's center of mass.

So what? They might intersect there, or maybe not. Depends on how the Chinese land. Point is you'd have to find the center of the collective thrust and determine the value of that thrust after deducting thrust that cancels out .
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Thu Jul 27, 2017 3:49 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Don't forget that the force would be applied in a billion (slightly) different directions.

The vectors would all be toward the Earth's center of mass.

So what? They might intersect there, or maybe not. Depends on how the Chinese land. Point is you'd have to find the center of the collective thrust and determine the value of that thrust after deducting thrust that cancels out .

The acceleration vector due to gravity will be toward the center of mass. The acceleration vector due to muscle power can be in any direction. Since the objective is to knock the earth out of it's orbit, we need only concern with vectors toward the center of mass, which have the potential of changing orbital speed, and hence, the orbit. Horizontal vectors would contribute to changes in angular momentum, which would affect day length type thingies.

It's moot, anyway, as the elasticity would absorb the whole works, raising temperature, rather than changing orbital speed or angular momentum.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:27 pm

We're having two different conversations. However you position one billion Chinese they're going to be on different angles to the center of mass (COM).
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby ElectricMonk » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:46 pm

To make sure that their vector is straight towards the gravitational center of the earth, maybe we can get them to jump not from a chair but from a plane?
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
Spoiler:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:49 pm

ElectricMonk wrote:To make sure that their vector is straight towards the gravitational center of the earth, maybe we can get them to jump not from a chair but from a plane?

ALL of their vectors are "straight towards the gravitational center of the earth" if they're vertical to the ground. But we're talking a billion square meters of people, or there abouts.

Maybe if they all jump from the same chair?
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:34 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote: Someone else said "but don't they also push Earth downward when they get on the chair?" That stumped me. :D

I don't know, but my thought would be that they would act much like those rocket ships we are supposed to send to asteroid to "move" them out of the trajectory to hit earth? Wouldn't the Mass of the Chinese being 18 inches away from Earth actually move Earth towards them?..........Not push Earth Back in the opposite direction?

Everything does strike me as too minimal....................I'm not even getting hungry in consideration.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Matthew Ellard » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:53 pm

Gord linked me to a wiki page that summarised the physics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Jump_Day#Science

"It is impossible to permanently change the Earth's orbit using the planet's own mass (which includes that of the world's population) unless such mass is ejected from the Earth at escape velocity (see Newton's third law of motion)."

There are quite a lot of variables and I do understand that we are talking about a negligible human body mass compared to the earth. I was thinking of the thought experiment.

I was specifically confused about the orbit of the Earth around the sun. If a billion chinese climb on their chair or jump or do anything else on Earth the mass is still the same. I now understand that this could make the earth wobble in different ways in its orbit, but the orbit itself would remain constant.

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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:21 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:Gord linked me to a wiki page that summarised the physics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Jump_Day#Science

"It is impossible to permanently change the Earth's orbit using the planet's own mass (which includes that of the world's population) unless such mass is ejected from the Earth at escape velocity (see Newton's third law of motion)."

There are quite a lot of variables and I do understand that we are talking about a negligible human body mass compared to the earth. I was thinking of the thought experiment.

I was specifically confused about the orbit of the Earth around the sun. If a billion chinese climb on their chair or jump or do anything else on Earth the mass is still the same. I now understand that this could make the earth wobble in different ways in its orbit, but the orbit itself would remain constant.


If all the people in the world piled themselves up in a pyramid, there might be enough change in the mass distribution to change the tidal drag slightly. That would increase or decrease the orbital speed, (depending on the location of the pyramid) and hence, change the orbit.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:09 pm

Weight of the Earth: 1.317 × 10^25 lbs = 13.17,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs.

Weight of one billion Chinese: 100 x 1,000,000,000 = 100,000,000,000 lbs.

Image
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:15 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Weight of the Earth: 1.317 × 10^25 lbs = 13.17,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 lbs.

Weight of one billion Chinese: 100 x 1,000,000,000 = 100,000,000,000 lbs.

Image

You are neglecting the obesity epidemic. Make that 200,000,000,000.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:53 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:If all the people in the world piled themselves up in a pyramid, there might be enough change in the mass distribution to change the tidal drag slightly. That would increase or decrease the orbital speed, (depending on the location of the pyramid) and hence, change the orbit.

Any change would be negligible.

I base this assumption on several things: (1) entire mountains have been removed through mining practices, and nobody seems to have noticed any orbital deviations caused by that; (2) all the people in the world don't amount to a hill of beans, metaphorically speaking; (3) piling anything up into a pyramid would displace air (which has some weight) and cause the ground beneath the pile to subside to some degree, further reducing the overall change in mass a tidal drag in the location; (4) natural forces such as clouds, volcanoes, and tides already cause tidal drag far greater than a pile of people would make; and (5) people don't pile very well -- you're going to get slumping, people are going to be turned into liquid and ooze away, and those in the middle will undergo such extreme heating that they will turn to steam and char and slurry and goo which will cause further instability ultimately resulting in an enormous patch of human pancake batter spreading out to assume the stablest shape possible, like a crepe.

Mmmm, pancakes and crepes.... Is anyone else hungry all of a sudden?
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 28, 2017 5:55 pm

Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:If all the people in the world piled themselves up in a pyramid, there might be enough change in the mass distribution to change the tidal drag slightly. That would increase or decrease the orbital speed, (depending on the location of the pyramid) and hence, change the orbit.

Any change would be negligible.

I base this assumption on several things: (1) entire mountains have been removed through mining practices, and nobody seems to have noticed any orbital deviations caused by that; (2) all the people in the world don't amount to a hill of beans, metaphorically speaking; (3) piling anything up into a pyramid would displace air (which has some weight) and cause the ground beneath the pile to subside to some degree, further reducing the overall change in mass a tidal drag in the location; (4) natural forces such as clouds, volcanoes, and tides already cause tidal drag far greater than a pile of people would make; and (5) people don't pile very well -- you're going to get slumping, people are going to be turned into liquid and ooze away, and those in the middle will undergo such extreme heating that they will turn to steam and char and slurry and goo which will cause further instability ultimately resulting in an enormous patch of human pancake batter spreading out to assume the stablest shape possible, like a crepe.

Mmmm, pancakes and crepes.... Is anyone else hungry all of a sudden?


Agreed, especially the last bit - it's almost lunchtime.

Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:43 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass

Spoiler:
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:54 pm

Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass

Spoiler:


Look how much more you learned by doing your own research. :razz:
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Fri Jul 28, 2017 6:58 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass

Spoiler:

Look how much more you learned by doing your own research. :razz:

Three years of university astronomy set me up first. :beee:
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:06 pm

Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass

Spoiler:

Look how much more you learned by doing your own research. :razz:

Three years of university astronomy set me up first. :beee:

Well, I sure wasn't going to do THAT for you! :no:
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:21 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gord wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Spoiler:
The point of the post was to show that it is possible to change an orbit without losing mass

Spoiler:

Look how much more you learned by doing your own research. :razz:

Three years of university astronomy set me up first. :beee:

Well, I sure wasn't going to do THAT for you! :no:

Me neither!

I did it for the boooooze.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Nikki Nyx » Fri Jul 28, 2017 7:35 pm

OlegTheBatty wrote:If all the people in the world piled themselves up in a pyramid, there might be enough change in the mass distribution to change the tidal drag slightly. That would increase or decrease the orbital speed, (depending on the location of the pyramid) and hence, change the orbit.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby OlegTheBatty » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:00 pm

Nikki Nyx wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:If all the people in the world piled themselves up in a pyramid, there might be enough change in the mass distribution to change the tidal drag slightly. That would increase or decrease the orbital speed, (depending on the location of the pyramid) and hence, change the orbit.
Dibs on the apex! And a vac suit!


7 billion humans would make a pyramid about 5 -6km high if the base was 1 km2. Thermal undies would be a good idea too.
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Lance Kennedy » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:42 am

The other way to change the orbit, apart from losing mass, would be if something big wandered past, like a planet, neutron star, or black hole, and it's gravity pulled the Earth into a different orbit (if we are very lucky. If we are not lucky, it is goodnight nurse.).

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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:34 am

its
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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby TJrandom » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:00 am

Gord wrote:its


It won`t matter if its it`s or its if the world gets torn asunder. What are ya going to do then? :mrgreen:

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Re: Billion Chinese jump / Earth's orbit?

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:37 pm

Correct its spelling.

( it's )
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