If the ground end of a space elevator was severed, what would the unfolding event look like from the ground? What would the movement(s) look like, and over what period of time?
I’m assuming that it’s a “standard” space elevator: situated <= 20 degrees of the equator; diamond nanothread construction; “top” of the elevator in geostationary orbit; tethered weight at 62,000 miles above the Earth’s surface.
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Would the elevator have enough tension to act like a snapped rubber band? – CM_Dayton Feb 14 at 16:09
It's both stiffer and stronger than any known material, including carbon nanotubes. If you'd like, here are the numbers - which, I freely admit, are a tad beyond my own comprehension: stiffness = 850 GPa; strength = 26.4 nN; extension = 14.9%; bending rigidity = 5.35 × 10–28 N·m2; tenacity = 4.1 × 107 N·m/kg. – Ozymandias Feb 14 at 21:32 
Have you ever heard about Tiphares? – PaperBirdMaster Feb 15 at 8:02
Wouldn't a space elevator need to extend beyond geostationary orbit? My understanding is that it would need it's centre of mass there, otherwise the mass below geostationary would pull it down. The mass above geostationary would be moving at a higher angular velocity, providing tension for the elevator. – Baldrickk Feb 15 at 14:06
@Baldrickk Yes, it does need to extend beyond GEO. Compare for example space.stackexchange.com/a/5165/415. – Michael Kjörling Feb 15 at 20:53
My understanding is that the top of the elevator would be in geosynchronous orbit (22,000 miles off the ground) with the "tether" 40,000 miles beyond that. – Ozymandias Feb 16 at 18:38
@DanPiponi - Brilliant! Is it possible to interpolate the speed the event occurs at (again, from the base, with a view of the base) in any way? (Also, the link to the "parent" site will give me quite a bit of info to pour through.)– Ozymandias Feb 16 at 19:40