Tag Archive | earth

The Day The Earth Stood Still


What would it take to make the earth stop spinning?  This scenario is not unheard of in B-movies and bad sci-fi shows.  It isn’t uncommon to have plots involving the Earth’s core slowing down or aliens from a different galaxy stopping the Earth’s rotation.  A lot of these plots have the Earth stop spinning either instantaneously or within a very short period of time.  Intuitively, we know that spinning bodies have energy.  The Earth is a pretty massive spinning body.  How much energy would the Earth have to shed to stop rotating?  How would that energy affect us worldly inhabitants?

Here, I will discuss the physics behind rotation and rotational energy.  We shall use simple facts about the Earth’s rotation to calculate what would happen to it were it to stop spinning.

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