# FREE FALL

Case 1: Dropping

Objectives:
1. Explain the conditions how Free Fall is achieved and the factor(s) affecting it; 2. Express the importance of equality by showing respect to individual differences; and 3. Solve problems involving free-falling objects.

Which will hit the floor first?

1-Peso coin

a piece of paper

Suppose that an elephant and a feather are dropped off a very tall building from the same height at the same time. Suppose also that air resistance could somehow be eliminated such that neither the elephant nor the feather would experience any air drag during the course of their fall. Which object - the elephant or the feather - will hit the ground first? The animation at the right accurately depicts this situation. The motion of the elephant and the feather in the absence of air resistance is shown. Further, the acceleration of each object is represented by a vector arrow.

Test your understanding by making an effort to identify the following statements as being either TRUE or FALSE.

a. The elephant and the feather each have the same force of gravity. b. The elephant has more mass, yet both elephant and feather experience the same force of gravity. c. The elephant experiences a greater force of gravity, yet both the elephant and the feather have the same mass. d. On earth, all objects (whether an elephant or a feather) have the same force of gravity. e. The elephant weighs more than the feather, yet they each have the same mass. f. The elephant clearly has more mass than the feather, yet they each weigh the same. g. The elephant clearly has more mass than the feather, yet the amount of gravity (force) is the same for each. h. The elephant has the greatest acceleration, yet the amount of gravity is the same for each.

Free Fall: A Brief Description

Three (3) Cases of Free Fall
Case 1: Dropping (vi = 0) Case 2: Throwing Down (vi , downward) Case 3: Throwing Up (vi , upward)

a. The elephant and the feather each have the same force of gravity. False b. The elephant has more mass, yet both elephant and feather experience the same force of gravity. False c. The elephant experiences a greater force of gravity, yet both the elephant and the feather have the same mass. False d. On earth, all objects (whether an elephant or a feather) have the same force of gravity. False e. The elephant weighs more than the feather, yet they each have the same mass. False f. The elephant clearly has more mass than the feather, yet they each weigh the same. False g. The elephant clearly has more mass than the feather, yet the amount of gravity (force) is the same for each. False h. The elephant has the greatest acceleration, yet the amount of gravity is the same for each. False

None of the statements is True. In the absence of air resistance, both the elephant and the feather are in a state of free-fall. That is to say, the only force acting upon the two objects is the force of gravity. This force of gravity is what causes both the elephant and the feather to accelerate downwards. A simple rule to bear in mind is that all objects (regardless of their mass) experience the same acceleration when in a state of free fall. When the only force is gravity, the acceleration is the same value for all objects. On Earth, this acceleration value is 9.8 m/s2 or the acceleration due to gravity (g).

 If something falls freely under the effect of earth’s gravity without any effect of air then the phenomenon is called free fall.  While the free fall, no matter how big, small or weighty the object is, every object feel the same constant acceleration, the constant acceleration during free fall is called free fall acceleration.  This definition of free fall leads to two important characteristics about a free-falling object: – Free-falling objects do not encounter air resistance. – All free-falling objects (on Earth) accelerate downwards at a rate of 9.8 m/s2 or 32ft/s2.

Galileo Galilei
1564 –1642

vf = vi + gt y = vi t + ½ gt2 vf2 = vi2 + 2gy

(Eqn. 1)

(Eqn. 2)

(Eqn. 3)

where a = g = 9.8 m/s2, downward in earth

Sample Problem:

If the ball is dropped from a height (y) of 50 m, find (a) time of flight, and (b) velocity before the impact

Solution:

(a) From y=vi t + ½gt2 and vi = 0, (Eqn. 4)

Thus,

=

= 3.2 s

(b) vf2 = vi2 + 2gy
(Eqn. 5)

vf =

31.3m/s

Using Equation 1:

since t = 3.2 s, vf = vi + gt = 0 + 9.8 m/s2 (3.2 s) = 31.3 m/s

Table of Values
Time (s) Velocity (m/s, down) Displacement (m, down)

0

0

0

3.2
*Use Equations 1 and 2

31.30 m/s

50 m

Table of Values
Time (s) Velocity (m/s, down) Displacement (m, down)

0 0.8 1.6

0 7.84 m/s 15.68 m/s

0 3.14 m 12.5 m

2.4
3.2

23.52 m/s
31.30 m/s

28.2 m
50 m

The Schematic Diagram of the Fall

Essential Questions: 1. How do you describe the motion of the ball as it travels toward the ground? 2. What do you think will happen if the object having this vf falls from a building and hits the ground? 3. After knowing the concept of Free Fall, what did you realize in your life now?

Problem:

1. A stone is dropped from the top of a building. If it takes 5 s for the stone to hit the ground, how high is the building? What is the velocity just before it hits the ground? 2. A stone is dropped from a cliff 490 m above its base. How long does it take for the stone to fall?

Hammer vs Feather - Apollo 15 on the Moon

Feather and Ball Bearing Dropped in Vacuum

Agreement/Assignment

1. Cite some situations where Free Fall is (a) an advantage, and (b) a disadvantage. 2. Give a strategy people use nowadays to minimize Free Fall.

FREE FALL
Case 2: Throwing Down

Three (3) Cases of Free Fall
Case 1: Dropping (vi = 0) Case 2: Throwing Down (vi , downward) Case 3: Throwing Up (vi , upward)

Sample Problem
From the top of a 122.5-m building, a stone is thrown downward with a velocity of 10 m/s. (a)What is the velocity just before it hits the ground? (b)How long does it take the stone to reach the ground?

Given vi = 10 m/s, downward y = 122.5 m Find (a) vi (b) t Solution (a)

vf2 = vi2 + 2gy

vf = √vi2 + 2gy

vf = √(10 m/s)2 + 2 (9.8 m/s2) (122.5 m)

vf = 50 m/s

(b)

vf = vi + gt

v f - vi

t=
g

50 m/s – 10 m/s
t= 9.8 m/s2 40 m/s t= = 4.08 s

9.8 m/s2

1. A ball is thrown vertically downward at 10 m/s. What is its velocity 1 s after? 2 s later? 2. At what velocity should a stone be thrown downward from a cliff of 120 m high to reach the ground in 4 s?

FREE FALL
Case 3: Throwing Up

What would happen if the ball were thrown upward?
In this case, we would have two types of motion: upward and then downward. We would be treating each case differently. When the ball is thrown upward, its displacement and velocity is upward, but acceleration, g acts downward, causing the ball to slow down until it stops. Once the ball stops, its behavior is similar to Case 1, but the height is higher because of the initial upward motion. The best way to show this type of motion is through this example. Take note, ALL TIMES during the flight, the acceleration is ALWAYS equal to 9.8 m/s2 downward, even if the ball stops at the highest point.

Sample Problem

From the top of a 122.5-m building, a stone is thrown upward with a velocity of 10 m/s. (a)What is the velocity just before it hits the ground? (b)How long does it take the stone to reach the ground?

Thank You! 