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Rocket attached with a single hair

Posted by: TimmysSisterNewt - Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:18 pm
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Rocket attached with a single hair 
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Post Rocket attached with a single hair   Posted on: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:18 pm
Ok, so I have googeled for an hour now and I just can't find the reason for this not to work (and that can't be right!). My question is this:

Imagine an object in space that has a rocket engine attached to the side of it by only a human hair. If that engine is fired will the hair snap? I'm thinking of course if will! But since there is no air resistance or gravity I can't see any reason for any drag causing it to break.
Can someone please enlighten me as to why the hair (surely!) will break?


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Post Re: Rocket attached with a single hair   Posted on: Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:42 pm
TimmysSisterNewt wrote:
Ok, so I have googeled for an hour now and I just can't find the reason for this not to work (and that can't be right!). My question is this:

Imagine an object in space that has a rocket engine attached to the side of it by only a human hair. If that engine is fired will the hair snap? I'm thinking of course if will! But since there is no air resistance or gravity I can't see any reason for any drag causing it to break.
Can someone please enlighten me as to why the hair (surely!) will break?


If the Newton force of the rocket is greater than the breaking strain of the hair it would snap if your hair can lift a small apple without breaking it would not break if the rocket was exerting only one Newton of thrust.

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Post Re: Rocket attached with a single hair   Posted on: Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:23 pm
Every massive object (no matter how small that mass is) resists against any acceleration (including deceleration, aka negative acceleration). This is called inertia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inertia

So when the rocket starts pulling in one direction (doesn't matter which one), the object that is attached to it through the human hair will resist that change of its state of motion. If the resulting force is greater than what a human hair can sustain, it will snap.

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Post Re: Rocket attached with a single hair   Posted on: Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:35 pm
F = m*a


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Post Re: Rocket attached with a single hair   Posted on: Wed Feb 11, 2015 2:01 am
Marcus Zottl wrote:
So when the rocket starts pulling in one direction (doesn't matter which one), the object that is attached to it through the human hair will resist that change of its state of motion. If the resulting force is greater than what a human hair can sustain, it will snap.


Including the mass of the hair itself.

This is the biggest headache of space elevators (besides getting the thing up there to begin with).


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