Wednesday, February 06, 2008
How to destroy the Earth, part 5
5.You will need: some means of accelerating the Earth's rotation.
Accelerating the Earth's rotation is a rather different matter from moving it. External interactions with asteroids might move the Earth but won't have a significant effect on how fast it spins. And certainly it won't spin the Earth fast enough. You need to build rockets or railguns at the Equator, all facing West. Or perhaps something more exotic...
Method: The theory is, if you spin the Earth fast enough, it'll fly apart as the bits at the Equator start moving fast enough to overcome gravity. In theory, one revolution every 84 minutes should do it - even slower would be fine, in fact, as the Earth would become flatter and thus more prone to breaking apart as you spun it faster.
Feasibility rating: 4/10. This could be done - there is a definite upper limit on how fast something like the Earth can spin before it breaks apart. However, spinning a planet is even more difficult than moving it. It's not as simple as attaching rockets pointing in each direction to each side...
Source: This method suggested by Matthew Wakeling.