Calculating Time in gravity/acceleration problem

  1. I understand that gravity acts upon objects at a fairly steady rate on earth. How could I calculate the time in the following example:

    An object falls ten centimeters before hitting the ground. How much time has passed from when it fell to when it hit the ground?

    I can't use a stopwatch because the distances are so small. Since gravity is a constant (9.8 m/s2), how can I calculate the time over such a short distance? I'm sure that a computer could calculate this almost instantly, but I would like to know how to perform the calculation on paper.
  2. jcsd
  3. mathman

    mathman 6,756
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The general form for your problem is d=vt+gt2/2, where v is the initial speed and d is the distance. Air resistance is neglected. Assuming you simply drop it, you will get t=(0.2/9.8 )1/2 sec.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  4. Not d, it is s for displacement :).
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thead via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?