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Drag acting on ball the moment it bounces

  1. Mar 19, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Suppose a very light ball is thrown at a wall.

    The wall may be thought of as an xy-plane.

    At the moment the ball hits the wall, does it have 0 velocity in the x, y and z directions?

    Is drag on the ball (in each respective direction) small enough to be ignored at the moment the ball hits the wall?

    2. Relevant equations

    D ~ (Av^2)/4

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I think the ball momentarily has 0 velocity in the z-axis since the ball is changing direction along this axis.

    I think the ball will be slowed in the x and y axes at the moment it hits the wall, but its velocity in these directions will not equal zero at that instant.

    Therefore, drag can only be ignored in the z-direction.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    The actual collision with the wall takes place very quickly. Drag in any direction is so small that it can be ignored.
  4. Mar 20, 2010 #3

    Theoretically, is it correct to say that there is no drag in the z-axis at the moment of collision when the ball has zero velocity in the z direction? And that drag is present in the x and y axes at the moment of collision?
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