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Old 2015-09-19, 15:41   #1
jasong
 
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Default What would increased and reduced gravity do to a person's abilities?

In a scifi book I'm reading, 2 males are about to fight aboard a large spaceship with an artificial gravitational field that's 75% as strong as the Earth's. In the book, this gives them increased maneuverability and speed.

I tried to Google for information about what would probably happen in these situations and didn't get anything relevant, maybe you guys will have better luck. Anyway, what do you think would happen to a person if the Earth's gravity went down by 25%? I know the atmosphere would probably do some odd stuff, and the oceans and rivers as well.(higher tides?) But I'm specifically asking what the experience would be like for a person experiencing this.

I'm not sure about people's ability to walk around, but it would probably mess with a person's equilibrium if the gravity suddenly reduced. Not sure if they'd become ill, but it would probably affect their balance. Swimming would be an interesting activity, you'd be slightly higher in the water than normal. Metal chairs would become more tolerable to sit in. Any sports involving manual transportation, like rowing or bicycling, would become easier. Running, I don't know, your balance would probably be a problem for at least a few days.

There have been experiments aboard planes to simulate increased gravity, and it was found people were able to break the normal maximum walking speed rather easily, or at least active duty NASA astronauts are able to do this easily. Looks very awkward and dangerous, according to NASA.

What do you guys think the experience would be like?

Edit: Looks like my search terms were bad, was asking about exercising on the moon, should've just said decreased gravity.

Last fiddled with by jasong on 2015-09-19 at 15:43
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Old 2015-09-19, 16:06   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong View Post
In a scifi book I'm reading, 2 males are about to fight aboard a large spaceship with an artificial gravitational field that's 75% as strong as the Earth's. In the book, this gives them increased maneuverability and speed.

I tried to Google for information about what would probably happen in these situations and didn't get anything relevant, maybe you guys will have better luck. Anyway, what do you think would happen to a person if the Earth's gravity went down by 25%? I know the atmosphere would probably do some odd stuff, and the oceans and rivers as well.(higher tides?) But I'm specifically asking what the experience would be like for a person experiencing this.

I'm not sure about people's ability to walk around, but it would probably mess with a person's equilibrium if the gravity suddenly reduced. Not sure if they'd become ill, but it would probably affect their balance. Swimming would be an interesting activity, you'd be slightly higher in the water than normal. Metal chairs would become more tolerable to sit in. Any sports involving manual transportation, like rowing or bicycling, would become easier. Running, I don't know, your balance would probably be a problem for at least a few days.

There have been experiments aboard planes to simulate increased gravity, and it was found people were able to break the normal maximum walking speed rather easily, or at least active duty NASA astronauts are able to do this easily. Looks very awkward and dangerous, according to NASA.

What do you guys think the experience would be like?

Edit: Looks like my search terms were bad, was asking about exercising on the moon, should've just said decreased gravity.
I believe it could depend on what type of physic you use. Newtonian physics would either increase the radius from any planet they are on or around, depending on velocity relativity may give them an observed mass that's different than rest mass. Back in Newtonian physics to do the same amount of work they would need to have a force go through a larger distance. etc.
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Old 2015-09-19, 17:06   #3
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A part of the answer
https://what-if.xkcd.com/124/ (lunar swimming)
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Old 2015-09-19, 20:58   #4
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why would a swimmer be higher in the water?

I don't think 75% of regular gravity would make very much difference. Physical feats in moon-gravity would be rather interesting, though.
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Old 2015-09-19, 21:54   #5
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Physical feats in moon-gravity would be rather interesting, though.
Indeed.

The Apollo astronauts found that walking on the moon required a different "gait" than that used on earth to be efficient.

Last fiddled with by chalsall on 2015-09-19 at 22:00 Reason: s/guant/gait/
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Old 2015-09-20, 07:57   #6
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why would a swimmer be higher in the water?
There would be absolutely no difference. Although the swimmer would weigh less, so would the displaced water.
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Old 2015-09-20, 08:01   #7
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There would be absolutely no difference. Although the swimmer would weigh less, so would the displaced water.
How about the minute differences due to compressibility (such as it is) of water?
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Old 2015-09-20, 08:26   #8
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How about the minute differences due to compressibility (such as it is) of water?
Homework assignment: Use the known compressibility of water at standard temperature (20C, IIRC) to estimate the order of magnitude of the effect in question.

In the opposite direction, I've always thought it would make for an interesting athletic strength-training regimen to flush one's system with heavy water, D2O, effectively increasing one's weight by ~10%. Would perhaps be too dangerous for swimmers, but for a boxer to train his muscles for months at 10% extra weight, then to revert to normal H2O for weigh-in and the bout and suddenly have the same strength but 10% less weight would be interesting. Would the 'superfast' effect be offset by the negative effects of having one's timing thrown off?
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Old 2015-09-20, 10:23   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Homework assignment: Use the known compressibility of water at standard temperature (20C, IIRC) to estimate the order of magnitude of the effect in question.

In the opposite direction, I've always thought it would make for an interesting athletic strength-training regimen to flush one's system with heavy water, D2O, effectively increasing one's weight by ~10%. Would perhaps be too dangerous for swimmers, but for a boxer to train his muscles for months at 10% extra weight, then to revert to normal H2O for weigh-in and the bout and suddenly have the same strength but 10% less weight would be interesting. Would the 'superfast' effect be offset by the negative effects of having one's timing thrown off?
Even more interesting would be to have ones metabolism thrown off by the differential reaction rates of H and D containing molecules.

I doubt you'd survive for very long if you tried it.
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Old 2015-09-20, 13:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
In the opposite direction, I've always thought it would make for an interesting athletic strength-training regimen to flush one's system with heavy water, D2O, effectively increasing one's weight by ~10%.
An easier and safer alternative is living and training under reduced oxygen levels. I knew a fellow that worked aboard a nuke sub. They typically ran about 18.5% O2 in the atmosphere aboard the sub, or even down to 18 (the safety meters that I work with alarm at 18.5). When they came back to port they would play a game of basket ball with the fellows that were to deploy soon. The ones from the sub always won.
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Old 2015-09-20, 13:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
An easier and safer alternative is living and training under reduced oxygen levels. I knew a fellow that worked aboard a nuke sub. They typically ran about 18.5% O2 in the atmosphere aboard the sub, or even down to 18 (the safety meters that I work with alarm at 18.5). When they came back to port they would play a game of basket ball with the fellows that were to deploy soon. The ones from the sub always won.
Some athletes do this at their house so that they can live at the equivalent of high altitude and train at low altitude. Apparently this is the perfect training scenario, and it is cheaper and faster than transporting each day up and down a mountain between training and housing.

Some cheaper options for those that are not so cash replete is to only have a canopy over the bed with the low oxygen environment. And naturally because of the shorter hours under low oxygen the effect is somewhat reduced but still quite noticeable.
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