Recently I entertained a silly thought about if the earth's rotation can be "harnessed" to do work. So my question is:
We know that earths rotation is eastward.
If i set up 2 mirrors on 2 different points on earth; one "east" and the other "west" several thousand miles apart.
Then, in the center point between these 2 mirrors, I fire a powerful lazer at the two mirrors.
MirrorA(east) ..................LAZER.................. MirrorB(west)
Will the lazer that hits the
MirrorA to east reach faster than the lazer that hits MirrorB? Considering that
MirrorA is moving toward the lazer, and MirrorB is moving away from it?
And are there any experiments that show this? I do not know where to look. Google was not very helpful today.
[EDIT #1] Based on comments below, I learn that the field is called special relativity. Note that there are computer sensors etc behind the mirrors, and that I am not the one measuring the light hitting; computers will be doing that job.
[EDIT #2] OK, this will be my final major edit to the question (based on the comments below) to hopefully get the point across, as I do not want this to get too lengthy.
- We have a lazer that is fired to MirrorA & MirrorB.
- We know earth spins at about 1000-mph, but just so that I can exaggerate the point, lets say it is moving at 100,000-mps. Also to exaggerate the point, lets say the lazer moves at 10mph (so slow that you can literally see the lazer moving to ward the target).
- Measurement is done on this wise: when the light hits the mirror. This triggers a mechanical device which walks the distance on the earth toward the gun in the middle that fired the lazer. There is a mechanical device stationed at both mirrors.
Thus, we have
MirrorA rushing toward the lazer at 100,000 miles per second.
And we have
MirrorB rusing away from the lazer at 100,000 miles per second. And we have a lazer traveling at a slow visible 10 miles-per-hour.
100000mps >>>> 10mph 100000mps >>>> MirrorA(east) ..............<---LAZER--->.............. MirrorB(west)
And here is the confusion (based on your comments below). You guys are suggesting, that with:
- The lazer at constant speed
- The lazer disconnected from the earth after firing. It is in the air.
MirrorAdecreasing the distance that the lazer has to travel by 100,000 miles per second.
MirrorBincreasing the distance that the lazer has to travel by 100,000 miles per second.
You are suggesting that the light will hit both mirrors at the same time. Thus making the mechanical devices coming back to the gun at aprox~ the same time. This is confusing. This is confusing, as one would think that if the distance on one mirror is being shortened, while the other is lengthened, that one would most definitely hit faster than the other. If you and your friend are both walking to 2 cars and the same walking speed. But your car is driving toward you, while your friend's car is driving away from him as he tries to reach it. Then won't you reach your car first?
But i understand that I am not a physics person. So if no one can properly explain it here, or keep posting links to many pages of documents that I have to read through that I will not understand.. then its ok. I will take my time to read your links eventually. I guess I will reach your level sometime in the future. Thanks for all the help thus far.