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Grade: 11

                        

You are an astronaut in the lounge of an orbiting space station and you remove the cover from a long thin jar containing a single olive. Describe several ways – all taking advantage of the inertia of either the olive or the jar – to remove the olive from the jar.

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Kevin Nash
askIITians Faculty
332 Points
							Weight is a measure of force exerted on the astronaut by gravity. Far from the earth, the astronaut would experience virtually no gravitational force and would have zero weight. But mass is a measure of inertia and does not depend at all on gravity.
True weightlessness can be achieved only in deep space. In a space craft drifting with its engines off, the astronauts would float freely. If the engines fire, the resulting acceleration would cause the ship to be a non- inertial frame; in the astronauts frame of reference, the floor of the accelerating ship would exert an upward force that would be perceived by the astronauts as similar to weight. This is the one way to remove the olive from the jar.
In a similar way, if the space ship rotates, the outer wall of the ship would be the floor that provides the sensation of weight by pushing anything in contact with the floor toward the axis of rotation. This effect is sometimes referred to as artificial gravity and will be used in the International Space station to provide the sensation of weight for biological specimen. Therefore it is another way to remove the olive from the jar.
5 years ago
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