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Newton's Second Law, Revisited 171

eldavojohn writes "Dust off your fundamental physics books, an aspiring astrophysicist by the name of Alex Ignatiev has published a paper that proposes testing special cases of Newton's Second Law on earth's surface. His goal is sort of ambitious. The time he has to test his theory is only 1/1000th of a second, twice each year, in either Greenland or Antarctica. What would he look for? Spontaneous motion. From his interview with PhysOrg: 'If these experiments were to take place, Ignatiev says that scientists would look for what he calls the SHLEM effect. This acronym stands for static high latitude equinox modified inertia and would be noticed in a condition where the forces of the earth's rotation on its axis, and of the orbital force of the earth as it moves around the sun, would be canceled out ... In the end, if Newton's Second Law could be violated, he would be forcing physicists to reevaluate much of what we understand derived from that law — which is quite a bit.'"

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