Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Earth and Weight Differences
Name: Charles
Status: N/A
Age: 60s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
Due to centrifugal force induced by the earth's rotation, would a person weigh less, standing at the equator North or South Poles?


Replies:
Yes, around 3% less.

Tim Mooney


Because of the Earth's rotation it is not a perfect sphere, but described as an oblate spheroid. The Earth is slightly flattened at the poles and slightly bulged at the equator. Therefore, a person standing at the equator would weigh slightly less than at either of the Poles. The weight difference however is not very significant, only about 0.3%, because the distance from the Earth's center is only slightly different.

Steve Miller


Yes. The effect is small, but real. Barrans


A person who is standing on a mountain top will weigh less than a person standing at sea level (or below), however, Earths gravity is equal all around, since it is nearly circular. The rotation of the earth cannot be detected('felt') by us, nor can it be detected by a scale.

Katie Page



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory