Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Different in acceleration?

  1. Feb 8, 2005 #1
    Different in acceleration????

    Hello, I'd like to know what's the different between an acceleration of a basketball and the acceleration of a small ball(tennis ball) when we drop the balls...

    I think they will not be the same, but why? is it because of the weight?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2005 #2
    No. Unless you are talking about gravity between object of masses relatively close to eachother, weight has nothing to do with it. (The mass of a tennis or basketball is nothing compared to the mass of earth).

    What is different is air resistance. If one has more air resistence, it will fall slower. Otherwise, for most physics purposes we neglect air resistence and assume everything falls at 9.8 "meters per second" ...per second
     
  4. Feb 9, 2005 #3
    Yes Air resistance is what causes one to fall faster than the other, however if you dropped lets say a lead musket ball and a cannonball they would fall at the exact same rate for the most part. So in response to your question... they would fall very similar in speed because the terminal velocity(maximum freefall speed of an object through a fluid) of both is very similar.... and it also depends on the distance they both fell, if it was from the exosphere one would fall faster eventually because im sure they dont have the same terminal velocity. But if you are talking about dropping them off a building or something of a similar nature it would not be very noticeable.
    And there is a reason that air resistance is neglected especially early on in physics, as some on this thread were so kind as to show me..... :wink:
     
  5. Feb 10, 2005 #4
    Just to be clear, if there was no air, a feather and a bowling ball would fall with the same acceleration and hit the ground at the same time.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2005 #5
    What thread? I want to know why air resistance is neglected early on :)
     
  7. Feb 12, 2005 #6
    This is neglecting the fact that the earth falls towards the object slightly also, but it is negligible on this scale, but on the case of comparing the moon being dropped to the earth and a basketball being dropped on the earth, the moon will collide faster, due to this attraction of earth to the moon.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?