Originally posted by DeepThought
Yes, you've calculated the force on someone whose motion matches a satellite in a geostationary orbit, it had to match the orbital condition on the satellite.
One thing weird to me about the concept of the space elevator is this:
If you could imagine instead of a cable, you have a building 22,000 miles high.
The building can take the huge winds and so forth at the bottom and it is super strong. So there you are on top of this building and you have this combination of Earth attractive force and slinging away force and it looks like they more or less balance out.
But with a space elevator they say you want a much longer dangler to balance out the forces or something. The thing I can't figure out is how do you make an object be in a stable orbit if the one big bang station is at geo altitude and the other end of the balancing act is 60,000 miles high. If you could picture a building 22,000 miles high and then one 90,000 miles high and super strong the outer end would certainly have a huge centripetal force, haven't done the arithmetic on that one yet. The thing about that imaginary object is it is all one piece and flies around the Earth as a giant building so it hangs together.
Now look at the elevator concept. Here you have the big bang at geo altitude and then another 60,000 miles of dangling line with a big weight at the end. How could it possibly not get tangled up? There is no horizontal stability in a cord and if you put something another 60,000 miles out on a cable and the inner section is quite happy going one revolution per day, the outer end could not have the same orbital velocity and would drag behind. So I can see this thing dragging behind so far the cable could theoretically slam into the elevator station at the geo altitude. What could keep the outer end in sync so it doesn't do that? I have imagined some kind of permanent rocket powered by solar energy, like a Vasimir motor or something that would force the thing to keep up with the lower station but without that how could the thing possibly be stable?
If you read about space elevators they always talk about a stabilizing object something like 100,000 miles up or some shyte.