May 30, 2008

Jumping Into a Tunnel Through the Center of the Earth.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 8:58 pm

This knocks me out.

Suppose, theoretically, you could dig a tunnel from one point on the earth all the way through the center of the earth and out the opposite side. Suppose further that you jumped into said tunnel. Gravity would pull you at high speed (very high speed) to the center, but then the same gravity would cause you to decelerate until you coasted comfortably to the surface of the other side of the earth.

The whole trip would last exactly 42 minutes!

In addition, it doesn’t matter which two cities on earth you connected with this tunnel, the trip would still take 42 minutes!

It’s all in the physics.

Ties my cruller in knots, that does.


  1. As long as you jump in a vacuum. All claims void if air molecules interfere.

    Comment by Hank — May 30, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  2. The written explanation of this that I read stated that you wouldn’t quite make it to the other side before ‘falling’ back (again, almost to where you started. The cycle would repeat until such time (would take a while!) as you came to a complete stop in the middle.
    Me, I think I’d take the ‘long way’ — half the fun is in the journey 🙂

    Comment by DMerriman — May 30, 2008 @ 9:59 pm

  3. So 42 really IS the answer to Everything.

    [/nerd reference]

    Comment by dogette — May 31, 2008 @ 6:37 am

  4. Well, you might arrive at your destination but not without looking like Flat Stanley before you got there. Or something.

    As long as Star Trek needs inertial dampeners to make Warp drive feasible…

    Comment by Joan of Argghh! — May 31, 2008 @ 8:40 am

  5. Wouldn’t you be traveling through hot molten lava at the center of the Earth? I’d suggest wearing something summer-ish.

    Comment by Jerry — May 31, 2008 @ 8:53 am

  6. I KNEW I should went to law school..then I could sit around and think about stuff like this..and there has to be a tort looking for a place to happen if this ever becomes possible..and if it can be thought of it do be possible if one could just figure out how to do it…

    Comment by GUYK — May 31, 2008 @ 9:21 am

  7. Sounds like Vincent Price and Doug McClure should be involved…

    Comment by gregor — May 31, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

  8. Jerry “I’d suggest wearing something summer-ish” Wiley, you are just TOO much. Dat made me LOL.

    You know, my sweet, gentle and most tolerant Hairboy, what else 42 is the number of? A certain someone for whom gravity + very high speed were integral forces ensuring that he slid SAFE-ly into home plate.

    I think it may possess some mystical powers, that #42.

    Comment by Erica — May 31, 2008 @ 5:00 pm

  9. So, umm…you can dig to China?

    Comment by RT — May 31, 2008 @ 6:00 pm

  10. I read this on my treo earlier today when my brain was even mushier than usual and totally missed it. I think Dogette has come directly to the point.

    My question is… where are the mice in all this? I think we should adjourn to the nearest Italian Bistro and discuss it.

    [/yet another nerd reference]

    Comment by Teresa — May 31, 2008 @ 11:41 pm

  11. …. according to “The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy”, you have proved their equation….. 42, my friend….. that IS the answer…..

    Comment by Eric — June 1, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

  12. 9.86 meter per second per second (9.8 m/s/s) Easy actually. That is gravity. On the surfacing side that would be -9.8m/s/s
    Beside the roasting you would get halfway, Mrs,Mz,Miss,Mr,Ms,Sir,Ma’m DMerriman is correct and you would never get to the other side because of friction.
    Not between churches or race, but the friction between you and the air in this hole that have dug.
    Why do we use lawyers to legislate on technical matters?
    Yeah I know, we use peaceniks to legislate on gun control, what’s wrong with that?
    I do believe gun control is the ability to shoot a 3 inch group at 200 meters, as they are running away.
    That way they can’t regroup to shoot at you the next day.

    The MAGIC of 42 passed when I got older than that and the number of my conquests got more.

    Comment by keeskennis — June 2, 2008 @ 11:52 am

  13. I’m busy digging a hole to work. Forty-two minutes is a helluva lot shorter than my present commute.

    Comment by Shamrock — June 3, 2008 @ 7:52 pm

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