Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

Home | Action Research Kit| Sample Problems | Resources | Product Information

Problems Sorted by Type | Problems Sorted by Subject | Problems Sorted by Chapter in UP

Melting the polar caps

The polar ice caps contain about 2.3 x 1019 kg of ice. This mass contributes essentially nothing to the moment of inertia of the earth because it is located at the poles, close to the axis of rotation. Estimate the change in the length of the day that would be expected if the polar ice caps were to melt and the water were distributed uniformly over the surface of the earth. (Hint: The moment of inertia of a thin spherical shell of radius r and mass m is 2mr2/3.)

Not finding what you wanted? Check the Site Map for more information.

Page last modified October 15, 2002: R18