January 19, 2018

What’s an orbit

A physics riddle:

When the space shuttle is in orbit, astronauts experience “weightlessness”. But weightlessness implies a lack of gravity, and we know that gravity doesn’t simply disappear in low-earth orbit. So how does this happen? What is “weightlessness” exactly? If gravity ACTUALLY disappeared, then how is it that the moon stays in orbit around the earth?

And here’s one for those interested in environmental science:

Why is it that common spaces like public parks are more often treated poorly as compared to privately-owned spaces. In a classic essay from 1968, Garrett Hardin suggest that leaving litter is the RATIONAL choice in the commons. Those who pick up after themselves actually are being altruistic but actually a bit irrational.

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