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Alternative theories to why the earth spins


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#1 nichaleh

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 05:12 AM

Has anyone heard any alternative theories to the conservation of angular momentum as to why the earth spins?

#2 modest

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:37 AM

Are you looking for an alternative, or are you going to tell us one?

~modest

#3 nichaleh

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:09 PM

im looking for an alternative theory. Trying to settle an argument with a friend who insists there are other commonly accepted theories but I haven't found any yet.

#4 Zythryn

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:36 PM

Well, hate to stoop to this, but in this case I think it appropriate:
I would ask him to "name one" :hyper:

#5 modest

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:37 PM

I have a thought...

There is no sensible alternative for conservation of angular momentum as to why the earth continues spinning, day to day. It is understood with the conservation laws, and more generally, with Noether’s theorem. It’s also well-confirmed with human activity in space. For example, the pioneer probes were the first spin-stabilized craft which allowed for very precise confirmation of conservation of angular momentum in space.

Conservation of angular momentum also explains Kepler's laws of planetary motion which are, again, well-confirmed.

However, my thought... your friend may be talking about why earth is spinning in the first place. Four and some odd billion years ago the solar system’s protoplanetary disk condensed into the planets and we have some good models as to how this happened and why it led to spinning planets. The formation of the solar system and its planets also relies on conservation of angular momentum, but how exactly the process evolved is not perfectly understood. There is some wiggle room in interpreting the evidence and certainly room to investigate and improve the model. Perhaps this is what your friend is talking about - in which case, he may not be 100% wrong.

Have him join Hypo and get involved with the discussion. We are open-minded and I for one would like to hear what he’s thinking.

~modest

#6 HydrogenBond

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 08:12 AM

The core of the earth spins faster than the surface, gaining a full turn about every 400-500 years. Considering the viscous nature of the mantle there needs to be a constant energy source in the core of the earth to overcome the loss of energy due to mantle friction.

One alternate theory is the core is leading the surface, which it is, and is therefore an engine that keeps the surface in constant motion in spite of the gravity drag from the moon.

#7 modest

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Posted 10 September 2008 - 04:11 PM

The core of the earth spins faster than the surface, gaining a full turn about every 400-500 years. Considering the viscous nature of the mantle there needs to be a constant energy source in the core of the earth to overcome the loss of energy due to mantle friction.

One alternate theory is the core is leading the surface, which it is, and is therefore an engine that keeps the surface in constant motion in spite of the gravity drag from the moon.


Are you suggesting that the rotation of the earth doesn't slow with the recession of the moon?

~modest

#8 HydrogenBond

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 07:16 AM

I was suggesting, since the core is moving faster than the surface, it is the aspect of the earth that is leading the spin. This creates an odd situation in that the angular momentum of the earth is divided into two sectors that are connected by a dense visco-plastic interface that has to be generating heat due to friction for billions of years, yet the separation remains. This suggest an engine and not the traditional inertia due to the original formation.

I am not even taking into consideration the tidal effects of the moon that had to be compensated for, for billions of years. The total heat generated at the interface should then affects the assumed heat generation ratio due to nuclear decay. That theory's fission heat is too high and was based on not knowing about the core spinning faster. Also the magnetic field reverses periodically, yet the engine continues in one direction.

#9 Eclogite

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Posted 12 September 2008 - 06:46 PM

Also the magnetic field reverses periodically, yet the engine continues in one direction.

There seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding here. The rotation of the core is not what is responsible for the generation of the magnetic field. This seems to be a common miscomprehension.

#10 marlyn

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 10:47 AM

there is a physicist Nassim Haramein who wrote a paper entitled 'The Origin of Spin'. It can be found at:

theresonanceproject.org/pdf/origin_of_spin.pdf

His work is extremely interesting. There is a 2 part lecture on video google that is 8 hours long and very interesting. Just search his name and look for the lecture at the Rogue Theatre if you are interested.

#11 matterdoc

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 01:12 PM

You can read an alternative explanation to 'planetary spin' in an article or in the book 'Hypothesis on MATTER' at website matterdoc.info.