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About A Hole In The Ground

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N'ow, as to what would be the result of dropping a ball into a hole through the diameter of the earth, Dexter has become so much absorbed as to almost forget New Years. Mr. D. C. Van Buren, a skilied diameterologist recently published a thoughtful article on the subject, which brings A. D. DeWitt out of the hole in the sanie paper as follows: "A body on the earth's equator is moving in a circle of about 25,000 miles. It takes twenty-four hours for the body to complete the revolution. Henee the body has a velocity of more than 1,000 miles per hour. Now as it falls it continually passes into regions where the particles of matter revolve in smaller circles than particles on the equator, henee the circular velocity of the ball would be greater than the circular velocity of portions of the earth through which it was falling. This would be true and a body would rub the east side until the ball reached the center, when the facts would be reversed. But, Mr. Van Buren, this would not be true if the body were allowed to fall through the earth on its polar diameter, or axis of revolution. On this line and on this line alone would the body be free from rubbing the sides ot the hole and according to 'Newton's First Law of Motion' it would vibrate forever. Of course the body must fall in vacuo, and in the above we bar all motions of the earth save that of its revolution about its polar diameter." Mr. Van Buren is also heard from again, thus: "Editor Leader- While I readand enjoy (as who does not?) the Argus' funny man, I must correct him as to my statement in the Leader concerning the conduct of a ball falling through the earth. I do not say, as he seems tothink, judging from his illustration, that the ball would lose the motion of the earth and henee lag behind; if it should do so, it would rub the west side of the hole going down. My idea was that the ball would retain the motion of the earth's surface and henee would have an eastward motion greater than that of the earth at a point say 1000 miles below the surface. This would tend to make it get ahead of the earth and to rub the east side of the hole going down. I think that no one will question that after passing the earth's center the ball would lag behind and rub the west side of the hole going up. A hundred pound weight falling through a hole one foot in diameter would not have muchroom for lateral displacement. Could the ball fall through instantly, orcould the hole be bored along the earth's axis, the rotary motion referred to would cause no friction. As in all other cases the ball is acted upon by two forces, one of which is accelerated at a diminishing rate all the way to the earth's center. To lócate the ball at any moment of its flight or to trace the peculiar curve which it would seek to pursue, becomes a problem in calculus, to the solution of which I presume you would not care to give space." The Argus has taken a deep interest in this discussion and the scientific phases which involve the subject. But it cannot contémplate without disquiet the thought of what might result should the ball in falling through the earth, happen to "hit the polar diameter or axis of revolution." It is very likely that such a thump would break the ex and leave the earth to go wobbling through space like aChristmas drunk from the back door of a closed saloon. Mr. De Witt has raised an apprehension not easily allayed. Mr. De Witt will please slide down the pole. Monday night, in Northfield, solemn high mass was held at midnight by the people of St. Patrick's parish, Rev. Fr. McGrath, of Sandwich, being the celebrant, Rev. Louis P. Goldrick, deacon, and Jas. J. McCabe, sub-deacon.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News