# Air Resistance effect on different masses

• paperdoll
In summary, the conversation discusses a school experiment on projectile motion involving two balls with different masses and the same air resistance. The question is whether the heavier ball will reach a higher maximum vertical height than the lighter ball. The person conducting the experiment notes that the theoretical and actual heights are almost equal, but the theoretical horizontal displacement is much greater than the actual. They question if this is possible and why air resistance would only affect the ball after reaching its maximum height. Another person suggests that the force of air resistance would be the same for both balls, but the lighter ball will be decelerated more due to its lower mass, resulting in the heavier ball reaching a higher height.
paperdoll

## Homework Statement

Say there were 2 balls of different masses projected at the same angle and subjected to the same air resistance. Will the heavier ball reach a higher maximum vertical height than the smaller ball or vice versa?

This is for my school experiment for projectile motion. I realized that the theoretical height I calculated was almost equal to the actual height it reached in real life. However, the theoretical horizontal displacement I calculated was MUCH more than the actual. Is this possible?

## The Attempt at a Solution

I calculated the theoretical height to be 1.996 metres and the actual height turned out to be 1.2 metres which is even higher it was probably around the same. However, when I calculated the horizontal displacement, the theoretical was 2.7716 metres while the actual was 2.4 metres...is there a reason why this has happened? Why would the air resistance only take affect after the ball had reached it's maximum height?

Up...

Hi paperdoll!

Air resistance will take effect immediately.
Aren't you writing that the actual height is less than the theoretical height?

The force of the air resistance would be the same for both balls, since they have the same shape.
The lighter ball will be decelerated more, since acceleration equals force divided by mass.
So the heavier ball will reach a higher height.

## 1. How does air resistance affect objects of different masses?

The force of air resistance increases as the object's surface area and velocity increase. This means that objects with larger masses and higher speeds will experience greater air resistance.

## 2. Does air resistance affect all objects equally?

No, air resistance affects objects differently based on their shape and size. Objects with larger surface areas will experience more air resistance than objects with smaller surface areas.

## 3. Can air resistance be reduced for heavier objects?

Yes, air resistance can be reduced for heavier objects by changing their shape or increasing their velocity. A more streamlined shape or a higher speed can help reduce the effects of air resistance.

## 4. How does air resistance affect the motion of objects?

Air resistance acts in the opposite direction of an object's motion, slowing it down. This means that heavier objects with greater air resistance will slow down more quickly than lighter objects.

## 5. Is air resistance a constant force?

No, air resistance is not a constant force. It varies based on factors such as the object's shape, size, and velocity. It also changes as the object moves through different air densities, such as at different altitudes.

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