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Interesting Conversations

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One of my favorite things about this class is how it can lead to some of the most entertaining sort-of-on-topic-but-not-entirely conversations.  One recent conversation in class stands out in my mind as the spirit our group seems to have when we work together.  I wish I had done this post sooner so I could remember what exactly we were working on or how we got to this topic.  I believe we were working on the Work, Energy, and Power unit.  We were working through a problem when one of us said, "what would happen if all of the people on earth all stood in one place?  Like if all that mass were just in one spot?"  Naturally, that sparked an ongoing conversation about gravity and Newton's laws.  I can't remember exactly how long it went on, probably too long.  Eventually, after talking to Mr. Fullerton, we did the math assuming the average mass of a person and multiplying it by 8 billion.  We then realized that even all of that mass was still negligible compared to the mass of the earth.  So our grand conclusion?  Absolutely nothing would happen.  But it was a good talk.  The follow up to this was wondering what would happen if the moon were placed on top of the earth (besides like everything being destroyed).  That also made me think back to other physics conversations from last year, like my friend asking "how many fire extinguishers would it take to put out the sun?"  

Only the most important questions in physics.  

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I remember this conversation! It was strange to think that, since the earth pulls on us, we pull on the earth back because of Newton's third law. Physics is weird.

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