A balloon and the space shuttle
If a helium balloon was released inside the space shuttle, what
would be its reaction. Can it go UP? when there is no
true up? Assume it has no leaks. Thank you.
Thanks for the question. If we assume that there is no gravity in the
space shuttle that orbits the earth (of course there is some gravitational
acceleration, even though it may be small), then you should notice no d
difference between the motion of a balloon that contains helium and one
that contains air. The principle that is used to model a balloon that
rises when it contains helium on the earth is named after a Greek
scientist (Archimedes). His principle states that the buoyant force
(the force that an object would feel opposing its own weight) is equal
to the weight of displaced fluid. The weight of an object is defined
as the mass times the acceleration of gravity. Though matter always has a
mass, it may not have a weight if the acceleration of gravity is zero.
Therefore, both the buoyant force on and the weight of an object is zero
in a place where the acceleration of gravity is zero, regardless of what
is contained within the object. I have discussed this rapidly to fit it
on one page. If you have another question, please feel free to ask.
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Update: June 2012