You are here:

Physics/Surely something on Wikipedia can't be inaccurate..?

Advertisement


Question
Noticed this bit:

"...in the operational definition, the weight of an object at rest on the surface of the Earth is lessened by the effect of the centrifugal force from the Earth's rotation."

Smells bad. I mean, what if the mass in question is at the south pole..? ;-)

Thanks for any insights/clarification! -JMM

Answer
The mass doesn't change but weight = mg and g varies over the surface of the Earth not just because of a very slight correction for centrifugal force but more for the variation for the height of the object relative to the center of the Earth, since g is inversely proportional to that distance.  You would weight 0.05% less at Denver than New York City.  

Physics

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Richard J. Raridon

Expertise

I can answer most questions in undergraduate physics courses, including electricity and magnetism, atomic and nuclear, mechanics and optics.

Experience

I have taught undergraduate physics courses

Organizations
Sigma Xi, AAAS, SE section of APS

Education/Credentials
BA in math, MA in physics, PhD in physical chemistry

Awards and Honors
Fellow of AAAS

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.