Originally posted by vivify
If I'm correct, the larger an object is, the larger it's gravitational pull will be, right? And yes, i know that other factors such as an objects density and magnetic field are to be considered. But most objects have at least some gravitational pull, right? Again, please correct me if I'm wrong.
Assuming that the above is correct, wouldn't it follow ...[text shortened]... row a rock off of a really high mountain, will the rock start to curve back toward the mountain?
All objects with mass generate a gravitational field.
And so a pen dropped from a skyscraper [lets assume a vacuum] will experience a
pull towards the skyscraper that will deflect it from falling strait towards the centre
of the earth.
This is a long known and detectable and important effect.
In fact it's big enough that it had to be taken into account by Victorian map makers
who were going around the Himalayas and mapping the mountains.
In territory where they might be killed if they were detected to be westerners they
travelled in disguise with important equipment disguised [to, for example, look like a set
of prayer beads] and made trigonometric readings of the mountains. And when they
had got around the entire mountain range, a journey of many hundreds of miles, they
were only a couple of hundred yards out.
However this was in their eyes an appalling inaccuracy, And unable to determine what
went wrong, they published their results and asked if anyone could figure out their mistake.
And the problem it turned out was in accounting for the deflection from vertical in their
plumb-lines due to the gravitational pull of the mountains.
Not because they didn't account for gravity, but because the mountains were lighter
than they thought they were.
The Earth's crust floats on the molten mantle, and does so because the crust rocks are
lighter than the mantle materiel. So when you have mountains rising up adding lots of
extra mass, that pushes down crust materiel into the mantle to create a 'root' to the
mountain, which creates extra buoyancy to support the mountains above.
As this root is made of lighter material than the mantle, it means that there is less pull
towards the mountains than there would be without the root.
This meant that they were over-compensating for the pull of the mountains on their plumb-lines
which was why they were 'so far' out.