Rebuttal to Flat Earth argument: Vacuum bottle sucking up water implies atmosphere should be gone

Kelvinsong, Earth’s atmosphere, CC BY-SA 3.0

DOES SIMPLE VACUUM BOTTLE EXPERIMENT IMPLY THAT ENTIRE ATMOSPHERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SUCKED INTO SPACE LONG AGO ACCORDING TO CONVENTIONAL PHYSICS MODEL?

PROBLEM STATEMENT AND RESPONSE by T. Mark Hightower 9/17/2017

SUMMARY OF THIS ARGUMENT USED IN FAVOR OF FLAT EARTH THEORY

First pull some significant level of vacuum in a rigid bottle.  Place the bottom of the bottle into a body of water.  Create a hole in the bottom of the bottle.  A significant amount of water will be sucked up into the bottle above the level of the body of water.  Since this vacuum sucked up water, a liquid, it would be even easier to suck up air (a gas) which is what makes up the atmosphere according to spherical earth theory.  Since the atmosphere does not get sucked up into space, the spherical earth theory fails this simple thought experiment.

T MARK HIGHTOWER’S RESPONSE

This argument appears to make sense in a qualitative sense, but it is far off the mark in a quantitative sense, and does not bring to bear upon the problem enough conventional physics theory to allow any meaningful conclusion to be reached.  Since it is assuming conventional physics in order to show that it gives a result contrary to common observation, I will show that a complete and correct application of conventional physics to this problem will actually give a result in keeping with the observation that pressure gets lower the higher you go in the atmosphere.  I am going to describe a more rigorous thought experiment that will illustrate what we would really expect to happen based upon conventional physics theory.

Suppose you had a rigid bottle 500 miles tall and you could evacuate it to a perfect vacuum and then stick its bottom in a body of water and introduce an opening in the bottom so the vacuum would start sucking water up into the bottle.  What would happen?  The water would get sucked up into the bottle until it reached a level of about 34 feet (atmospheric pressure is equal to roughly 34 feet of water) above the level of the water that it is sitting it.  The water at the level in the bottle would start to vaporize and begin filling the bottle from that point upwards with water vapor, that is, water in the gas phase.  The reason this vaporization takes place is that the vapor pressure of water at room temperature is about 20 mm Hg, so it vaporizes into the lower pressure of the vacuum in the bottle.  Standard atmospheric pressure is 760 mm Hg just for comparison.  Eventually the entire bottle will be filled with water vapor above the 34 foot level where the liquid water had risen to.  The water vapor in the bottle will not all be at the same pressure.  It will be highest at the liquid vapor interface, and decrease to its lowest value at the very top of the bottle.  Calculations could easily be done to determine what this pressure would be at the top, but it is not necessary to go to that level of detail to make the point of this thought experiment.  It would certainly be a very very low pressure, much like the very very low pressures (i.e. high vacuum) of space.

So this shows that the simple experiment of sucking water up into a vacuum bottle does not imply that the entire atmosphere would be sucked up or out into space according to the conventional physics model, of which the spherical earth model is a part.

Now realize that what I have just illustrated is not a final answer.  Nothing ever is.  Things can always be looked into in more detail.  I would pose this question.  Is the atmosphere losing any of its gases to space with time?  The answer may be that it is.  But the rate may be very slow.  But this would certainly be a question worth looking into further.  I have not done so yet, but I will.  Perhaps this is something all Earth Model researchers should pursue further.

END OF PROBLEM STATEMENT AND RESPONSE by T. Mark Hightower 9/17/2017

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