1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Free Fall and gravitational field strength

  1. Jul 12, 2012 #1

    For free fall to occur, does the rate at which you fall have to equal the gravitational field strength at that point above the surface?

    If I'm in an airplane and accelerate towards the ground at an acceleration of 9.8ms^-2 equal to that of the Earth's gravitional field, then I experience zero g and therefore, weightlessness.

    Is that right?

    Also, if this is correct, and hypothetically I travel towards a black hole whose gravitational field strength is infinite, how would this work?

    Help please!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2012 #2
    That is the condition for free fall.

    A black hole's gravitational field strength is not infinite everywhere; from a distance, it has more or less the same gravitational field as any normal star of the same mass. It would only be (supposedly) infinite at the singularity.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook