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The Physics Of Party Baloons

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Posted by Aurino Souza on April 8, 2003 14:42:09 UTC

Ever since I learned about it, I have been puzzled by Einstein's realization that inertial and gravitational mass are the same. If they are in fact the same, then we are standing on the surface of the earth, our weight is simply our body's resistance to acceleration. It is not, as we are taught in grade school, the result of a force attracting us to the center of the earth, because a falling body has no weight.

So all evidence seems to point to the fact that we are being "pushed" toward outerspace by.... by what?

" So do you feel your pressured from all sides, or pulled from one? "

Do you think it's possible we are being pressured from one side - the in-side? Imagine two baloons being inflated close to each other. They can't tell they're being inflated because their relative sizes remain unchanged; the only thing they can observe is that the space between them is getting smaller, until their surfaces eventually touch (provided they don't burst). And after they are in contact, one baloon feels the other's internal pressure exactly the same way we feel earth's gravity!

Could it be there's more to that than just a coincidence?

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