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Homework Help: Air Resistance effect on different masses

  1. Mar 2, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    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 realised 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?
    2. Relevant equations

    3. 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 :confused: 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?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2012 #2
  4. Mar 3, 2012 #3

    I like Serena

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    Homework Helper

    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.
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