Answer in Brief
Answer the following question in detail.
Derive an expression for variation in gravitational acceleration of the Earth at with latitude.
- Latitude is an angle made by the radius vector of any point from the center of the Earth with the equatorial plane.
- The Earth rotates about its polar axis from west to east with uniform angular velocity ω as shown in the figure.
Hence, every point on the surface of the Earth (except the poles) moves in a circle parallel to the equator.
- The motion of a mass m at point P on the Earth is shown by the dotted circle with the center at O′.
- Let the latitude of P be θ and the radius of the circle be r.
∴ PO' = r
∠EOP = θ, E being a point on the equator
∴ ∠OPO' = θ
In Δ OPO', cos θ = `"PO'"/"PO" = "r"/"R"`
∴ r = R cos θ
- The centripetal acceleration for the mass m, directed along PO' is,
a = rω2
∴ a = rω2 cos θ
The component of this centripetal acceleration along PO, i.e., towards the centre of the Earth is,
`"a"_"r" = "a" cos theta`
∴ `"a"_"r" = "R"omega^2 cos theta xx cos theta`
`"a"_"r" = "R"omega^2cos^2theta`
- Part of the gravitational force of attraction on P acting towards PO is utilized in providing this component of centripetal acceleration. Thus, the effective force of gravitational attraction on m at P can be written as,
mg' = mg - mRω2cos2θ
Thus, the effective acceleration due to gravity at P is given as,
g' = g - Rω2cos2θ
Concept: Variation in the Acceleration Due to Gravity with Altitude, Depth, Latitude and Shape
Is there an error in this question or solution?