The Earth Belt


by Martin Gardner

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Imagine that you are on a perfectly smooth sphere as big as the earth. A steel belt is stretched tightly around one of its equators.

One meter of steel (a little bit more than a yard) is added to this belt so that it is raised off the surface of the sphere by the same distance all the way around. Will this lift the belt high enough so that you can:
1) Slip a playing card under it?
2) Slip your hand under it?
3) Slip a baseball under it?

Last Updated: March 5, 2006
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