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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/27/2014 in all areas

1. ## How Gravity Stole Christmas...

...(But probably not.) In light of the holiday season, I bring to you a Christmas-themed blog post, with a pinch of love and some hints of gravitation. I came home from school today and stepped into the living room, astutely noticing that the Christmas tree had fallen. Obviously, the first thing that ran through my mind was that gravity did this. I mean, gravity's everywhere - it's a pretty likely culprit. You may or may not notice the lamp just above where the tree fell, but I believe it to be of great importance in this investigation. I have deduced that, at any time from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, December 16, the gravitational attraction between the tree and lamp created a gravitational orbit that forced the tree out of its holder, and onto the cold ground. Let's take a look. First off, the tree had to begin in static equilibrium - it was still at first. Due to Newton's first law, an outside force had to act upon this tree, and I do believe that the placement of the lamp near this tree provided an IMMENSE GRAVITATIONAL FORCE. So let's dive in. We know that the magnitude of this force is given by GMm/r^2, where G is a constant, M is the tree, m is the lamp, and r is the distance between the two. G = 6.67E-11 Nm^2/kg^2, we know this. The average mass in kilograms for a Christmas tree is about 70 pounds at this height of tree, or 31.75 kg. The mass of the lamp is about 8 pounds, or 3.63 kg. I can already see this force is about to be massive. And the distance between the center of mass of the tree and lamp? About 5.5 feet, or 1.68 meters. Time to calculate. F = [(6.67E-11 Nm^2/kg^2)(31.75 kg)(3.63kg)]/((1.68m)^2) Therefore, the force due to gravity is a whopping 2.72 NANONEWTONS. This incredibly large force undoubtedly caused the displacement of the tree; therefore, gravity ruined Christmas. You may be subconsciously pointing out the holes in my story, like how did a gravitational orbit just occur if the lamp was there the whole time, or perhaps just pointing out the fact that two objects on Earth will likely only apply negligible forces to each other. Fair enough, but keep in mind that there is absolutely no other worldly explanation for this phenomenon. So it's either gravity, or ghosts. You decide. Or maybe the cat just knocked it over.
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