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Gravity & Free Fall

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Elephant vs. Feather If both are dropped from the same height at the same time, which will hit the ground first? On Earth? On the moon?

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**Freefall Movement of an object towards earth solely because of gravity**

Gravity acts downwards towards center of earth Acceleration due to gravity for any falling object = g g= 9.8 m/s2

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What “g” means Any object in free fall will increase its speed/velocity by 9.8 m/s each second. g (9.8 m/s2) stays constant for the duration of free fall

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**Ball in free fall Time = 0 s v = 0 Time = 1 s v = 9.8 m/s**

The change in ball’s speed is always 9.8 m/s2 Time = 2 s v = 19.6 m/s ball is covering more distance the longer it falls Time = 3 s v= 29.4 m/s

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Viewing Free Fall Free Fall applet

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**Air Resistance Present on earth acts in opposite direction of gravity**

(reduces acceleration) Falling Ball Gravity g=9.8m/s2 Air resistance

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**Air Resistance If objects fall for long period of time:**

Force of Air resistance = force of gravity Forces balanced Object falls at constant speed called terminal velocity

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**Terminal Velocity Air resistance increases with: 1. Increasing Speed**

2. Increasing surface area Parachutes slow downward acceleration

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**Viewing Terminal Velocity**

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**Elephant vs. Feather Without air resistance (outer space)**

Free falling objects Both hit at same time

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**Elephant vs. Feather With air resistance (earth) With air resistance**

Elephant hits first

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