Does the acceleration of free fall take air resistance into account?

• Andy21
In summary, the conversation discusses whether the acceleration of free fall takes air resistance into account and whether it is equal to the acceleration of free fall on Earth in a vacuum. It is mentioned that in physics, free fall typically refers to motion under the force of gravity only, while in real life situations air resistance is often present. The use of a dictionary is suggested to clarify the definition of free fall.
Andy21

Homework Statement

Does the acceleration of free fall take the effect of air resistance into account or is it equal to the acceleration of free fall on Earth if the Earth was in a vacuum?

Thanks

The Attempt at a Solution

Hello Andy what do you think?

I think it doesn't and that the acceleration of free fall is assuming the Earth was in a vacuum. I wanted to check.

I think it's a matter of definition and that in physics free fall refers to motion under the force of gravity only.With most real problems air resistance is present and free fall often refers to events like sky diving and parachuting.I think it's time to get the dictionary out.

The acceleration of free fall, also known as the acceleration due to gravity, is a constant value that is equal to 9.8 m/s^2 on Earth. This value is the same regardless of air resistance. However, air resistance does play a role in the overall motion of an object in free fall. As an object falls, it experiences air resistance which opposes its motion and can decrease its acceleration. In a vacuum, where there is no air resistance, the acceleration of free fall would remain constant. Therefore, while the acceleration of free fall does not directly take air resistance into account, it is affected by it and can vary depending on the environment in which the object is falling.

1. What is free fall and how does it relate to acceleration?

Free fall is the motion of an object when it is falling under the sole influence of gravity. In free fall, the acceleration of the object is constant and equal to the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s^2 on Earth).

2. Does air resistance affect the acceleration of free fall?

Yes, air resistance does affect the acceleration of free fall. As an object falls, it experiences air resistance, which is a force that opposes its motion. This force increases as the object falls faster, eventually reaching a point where it balances out the acceleration due to gravity. This is known as terminal velocity.

3. How does air resistance change the acceleration of free fall?

Air resistance acts in the opposite direction of an object's motion, slowing it down. This results in a decrease in the net force acting on the object, which in turn decreases its acceleration. As the object's speed increases, air resistance also increases until it reaches a point of equilibrium with the object's weight and the acceleration becomes zero.

4. Can the acceleration of free fall be calculated with air resistance taken into account?

Yes, the acceleration of free fall with air resistance can be calculated using Newton's second law of motion, which states that the net force acting on an object is equal to its mass multiplied by its acceleration. In free fall with air resistance, the net force is equal to the difference between the force of gravity and the force of air resistance. By rearranging the equation, the acceleration can be calculated.

5. How does the presence or absence of air resistance affect the acceleration of free fall?

The presence of air resistance decreases the acceleration of free fall, while the absence of air resistance (such as in a vacuum) allows the object to fall with a constant acceleration of 9.8 m/s^2. In the absence of air resistance, an object's weight is the only force acting on it, resulting in a constant acceleration due to gravity.

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