[time-nuts] Pendulums & Atomic Clocks & Gravity
wbeam at gci.net
Sat May 26 17:06:10 EDT 2007
On Sat, 26 May 2007 13:34:24 -0700, Brooke Clarke wrote:
>It's my understanding that a satellite is in free fall, hence zero g.
'Free fall' implies that g is not zero!
If g=0 was true, then the satellite would not be falling at all.
It is beacuse g is not zero, that the satellite is in 'orbit' rather
than moving off in a straight line.
Jumping off a cliff also is "free fall" and surely g is not zero.
The only difference between the cliff jumper and a satellite
in orbit is the satellite never reaches the ground.
The rate of a clock does depend on g.
Now a pendulum clock in orbit has infinate period, but not because
g is zero. This is because the pendulum support point is also
in orbit. This is no different than pushing a pendulum off a cliff.
A pendulum swings back and forth because two forces act on
the bob. One of the forces is mg and the other is the force of
the pendulum support rod.
>Of course there's a gravitational field at the location of the satellite, the
>one from Earth being the largest. Orbital mechanics gives me a headache so
>let's hear from someone more knowledgeable.
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