T-man! Welcome to my Packets post! I go by the name “mohini” here – hopefully that won’t confuse you.
I won’t tell you why it’s named “packets” – maybe you can figure it out later. OK, I thought it might be fun to first throw out a couple questions. You know the first one but you didn’t answer correctly, so let’s figure this one out:
If hot air rises why are mountain tops almost always colder than lower elevations? For you to answer, you need to understand a little bit about what heat and temperature are. I didn’t know those two things until I was 15, so no reason that you will. Let’s dive into this subject though, because it’s a good place to start a discussion about Physics.
What if you could build a perfectly rigid tower as high as you wanted? And what if you could take a fast elevator to the very top in very little time? And what if you were wearing a space-suit that allowed you to breathe and move your arms and legs around freely in outer space?
Now bring a baseball with you when you go up that elevator. Don’t forget your space-suit.
If you get high up enough you can throw the ball into an orbit around the Earth and it will stay in orbit for a very very long time. What I think is most interesting about that is this: you don’t have to throw it straight out in a direction that is level with the tower platform. You can throw it out at a bunch of angles including straight ahead which is the zero angle. You can throw it up at some angle or down at some angle and if you are high enough and throw it fast enough it will stay in orbit.
Why is that?