I was drawing a diagram and trying to resolve all the forces. It seems to me that because of gravity, centrifugal force will produce a sort of "dragging" motion along the surface of the earth. The centrifugal force is quite small (I got around 2.5 N at the equator). This force is easily neutralized by friction. Is this right?

EDIT: I did not consider any complexities that may arise due to revolution, I just considered rotation.

  • $\begingroup$ Yes gravitational force on equator is weaker (only a tiny bit) because of rotation of earth (centrifugal force). $\endgroup$ – Gigi Butbaia May 8 '14 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ You might look at this answer regarding "dragging". But @GigiButbaia is right, we aren't thrown off because gravity still trumps centrifugal force. Put in some numbers and convince yourself. $\endgroup$ – garyp May 8 '14 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ I have put in the numbers. I know that gravity trumps centrifugal. But according to my resolution of forces diagram if there was no friction we would slide around the earth as centrifugal and gravity are not exactly opposite at all latitudes. $\endgroup$ – user42991 May 8 '14 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ possible duplicate of Why don't we consider centrifugal force on a mass placed on earth? $\endgroup$ – DumpsterDoofus May 8 '14 at 12:24
  • $\begingroup$ Also answered in If the earth would stop spinning, what would happen?. $\endgroup$ – DumpsterDoofus May 8 '14 at 12:25