If you were travelling downwards in an elevator from the 20th floor to the lobby, and at about the 10 floor you swallowed a mouthful of water, would the water take longer to get into your stomach than if you had swallowed it while standing in the lobby?

Originally posted by uzless If you were travelling downwards in an elevator from the 20th floor to the lobby, and at about the 10 floor you swallowed a mouthful of water, would the water take longer to get into your stomach than if you had swallowed it while standing in the lobby?

If we assume that the force of gravity does not change significantly between the 20th and 1st floors, and the elevator is not accelerating but traveling downward at a uniform speed, the water will reach your stomach in the same amount of time as usual. If the elevator is accelerating downward, the water take longer than usual.

Originally posted by PBE6 If we assume that the force of gravity does not change significantly between the 20th and 1st floors, and the elevator is not accelerating but traveling downward at a uniform speed, the water will reach your stomach in the same amount of time as usual. If the elevator is accelerating downward, the water take longer than usual.

if you drink while free falling... do you choke because it won't go down at all? I assume not, since astronauts can somehow drink.

Originally posted by PBE6 If we assume that the force of gravity does not change significantly between the 20th and 1st floors, and the elevator is not accelerating but traveling downward at a uniform speed, the water will reach your stomach in the same amount of time as usual. If the elevator is accelerating downward, the water take longer than usual.

But Uzless specified the 10th floor - assume a TurboLift - it accelerates down to the 10th floor at 5 g's (aprrox 50 m/s^2 or 150 ft/s^2) and then decelerates from there, again at 5 g's. In the initial phase (going down the first 10 floors) the passengers are stuck to the ceiling, after that they are all knocked unconcious as the effective force of gravity reverses and they are flung to the floor. The trick then is to drink the water in the first place...

Originally posted by Coconut if you drink while free falling... do you choke because it won't go down at all? I assume not, since astronauts can somehow drink.

I think it all depends on how we envision the drinking. I was picturing a person drinking out of a water bottle such that there would be a stream from the bottle to the person's mouth (i.e. the water in the stream is not attached to the person or the elevator), and the water sliding right down the person's throat as if it were just being poured into a stomach-shaped bucket.

Before the elevator moves, the water is in free fall but the person is not. Once the elevator starts moving, the water is still in free fall, and the person moves down with the elevator. If the elevator moved fast enough, both the person and the water would be in free fall. Now, two objects in free fall will fall at the same rate (barring air resistance, etc...), which means that the water being "poured" out of the bottle would never catch up with the person's stomach below it if they were both in free fall. It obviously does catch up with the stomach when the elevator is not accelerating downwards. I can't see any reason why the transition between these two states would be anything other than a smooth one, therefore the water must take longer to reach the stomach if the elevator is accelerating downward.

Originally posted by Coconut if you drink while free falling... do you choke because it won't go down at all? I assume not, since astronauts can somehow drink.

Astronauts do drink in space, but they don't pour liquids down into their mouths using gravity as the driving force, they suck it out of little Capri-Sun like packets (otherwise the surface tension force, so miniscule here on the surface of the Earth compared to gravitational effects, makes the liquid creep out of the glass and cover it like the Blob).

Originally posted by uzless If you were travelling downwards in an elevator from the 20th floor to the lobby, and at about the 10 floor you swallowed a mouthful of water, would the water take longer to get into your stomach than if you had swallowed it while standing in the lobby?

What if you're in a lift going from the 90th floor down to the 12th floor. It's an old lift and isn't very fast. If you start drinking cider at the 78th floor and you drink at a rate of 1 can every 4 floors, how drunk will you be when the lift stops?

Originally posted by Nicky4815 What if you're in a lift going from the 90th floor down to the 12th floor. It's an old lift and isn't very fast. If you start drinking cider at the 78th floor and you drink at a rate of 1 can every 4 floors, how drunk will you be when the lift stops?

And on what floor do you begin to wish the elevator had a bathroom?

Originally posted by Coconut if you drink while free falling... do you choke because it won't go down at all? I assume not, since astronauts can somehow drink.

Think about it, you can hang upside down and still swallow, so gravity is overcome in any event.

Peristaltic movement moves the water, coordinate muscle contraction that also prevent backflow. Works quite well. Anyone who has been to college knows that you can drink beer while standing on your hands leaning against a wall.