Atmospheric Pressure

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troy2000

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Atmospheric Pressure
« on: August 06, 2008, 06:25:16 PM »
I just had this sudden thought while posting something completely unreleated on another forum and need some feedback (I'm betting Dogplatter will be the first to jump on this one ;D).

If the Earth was accellerating upwards, wouldn't this mean that atmospheric pressure would be identical regardless of altitude?  Because I'm pretty sure it would.

We already know for a fact that pressure decreases with altitude.  If the Earth was spherical, it's own gravitational field would pull the atmosphere towards the surface and it's effects would dicsipate as distance from the core increases.  Thus creating different atmospheric pressure.

I've gone over this idea countless times and it seems to be indisputable evidence in my opinion.
"There's coffee in that nebula!" - Capt. Katherine Janeway.   Star Trek fan since I was 2 years old and proud of it! :).

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James

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Re: Atmospheric Pressure
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 06:37:09 PM »
You're right that the atmolayer itself does thin out at higher altitudes. It's tricky to give you a precise answer, because I'm not entirely sure you're actually talking about pressure*, but here goes anyway. Air particles at the Earth's surface are sandwiched between the Earth and several miles of other air, so when momentum is applied to one side of the sandwich (i.e., the bottom of the Earth), pressure on those particles is marginally greater than those at the top?

*Just as a side issue, air pressure is far from the uniform gradient which you present it as - weather systems influence it a great deal, and it varies greatly from time to time even in the same location and at the same altitude.
"For your own sake, as well as for that of our beloved country, be bold and firm against error and evil of every kind." - David Wardlaw Scott, Terra Firma 1901

Re: Atmospheric Pressure
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2008, 06:39:17 PM »
interesting point but just of the top of my head air pressure would still vary because closer to the ground there is still more weight pushing down on it than at a highter altitude but the difference in pressure I believe should be different at thos higher altitudes because the acceleration would remain constant instead of diminishing as gravity does
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jdoe

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Re: Atmospheric Pressure
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2008, 06:44:42 PM »
troy 2000, just keep in mind the equivalence principle.  The atmosphere on an FE is the same on an RE because being in an accelerated frame is equivalent to being in a gravitational field.
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James

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Re: Atmospheric Pressure
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2008, 07:02:35 PM »
troy 2000, just keep in mind the equivalence principle.  The atmosphere on an FE is the same on an RE because being in an accelerated frame is equivalent to being in a gravitational field.

Yeah, at the end of the day:

"gravity is indistinguishable from acceleration" - Albert Einstein
"For your own sake, as well as for that of our beloved country, be bold and firm against error and evil of every kind." - David Wardlaw Scott, Terra Firma 1901