Well not unless you dropped your pen. You then might wonder why it is floating in the air in front of you. And when you jumped the fact you don't land would be a dead giveaway.russ_watters said:You would not be able to tell the difference between an elevator at terminal velocity and an elevator that is stationary (until it hits the ground, of course...). You can jump exactly the same height in it in either case.
The thread is entitled Free Falling Elevator. The second poster clarified that, it's terminal velocity is when it hits the ground at which time you're jam and won't be jumping anywhere.russ_watters said:No, Art. If the elevator is at its terminal velocity, as the op and I stated, it would not be accelerating and therefore nothing would seem different from if it was standing still (or moving at a constant velocity, supported by its cable). Only when it is accelerating (at the start of the fall) would you be weightless.
Okay - I read it the same as poster 2 that in this thought experiment other factors were discounted and so the elevator would continue to accelerate at g until it landed.Danger said:Art, terminal velocity is the maximum speed that a given body will accelerate to in free fall. Given enough time or great enough height, that is reached well above ground level. The OP specified that the elevator is at its maximum speed, so that has been reached even though it's still falling.
I agree. The OP's question was very badly written and shows more than a little confusion of the concepts.ZapperZ said:I think it is best to wait for the OP to come back and explain him/herself. I have a feeling that this is another case of "bad wording" with a misconception of "free fall" implying "maximum speed" of some kind.
cyrusabdollahi said:As you and the elevator fall, the elevator will fall FASTER than you do, because it weighs MORE than you do. Because the elevator falls faster, there is the possiblity that it looses contact with your feet.
But then your argument works backwards: the elevator is exposed to the air resistance, while you, inside, aren't (unless there's a big hole in the floor of the elevator, in which case the situation changes). So you fall faster than the elevator which is slowed down by the air flow, no ?cyrusabdollahi said:I was talking about falling in air (where heavier masses DO fall faster), which is what is happening when you drop an elevator in a shaft with a fluid contained below that elevator.
Ive often heard orbits being compared to a perpetual free fall, but why then doesnt the satellite or shuttle or whatever keep accelerating (at 9.8 m/s^2)?? The only formal class instruction ive had on orbital mechanics described the weightlessness as being the net of gravitational acceleration and centripetal (sp) acceleration. is this "perpetual free fall" an accurate description??Farsight said:An orbiting shuttle is effectively a free-falling elevator. It's falling towards the earth, but it's also moving forward at 18000mph, so it falls "around" the curve of the earth and never gets any closer to the surface.
The conditions inside the shuttle are basically be the same as inside your falling lift. You'd be weightless, and could push off the walls and ceiling etc, do pirouettes in the air, and fool around with globules of water.