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Newton's 2nd Law applied

  1. Oct 20, 2015 #1
    I am trying to explain why a small object falling from a short distance on another object does not have the same impact as a bigger object falling from the same height on another object by using Newton's 2nd Law but I get stuck all the time.
    Can somebody please help me?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2015 #2
    Where do you get stuck? You speak of comparing the "impact", I read that as comparing the force of impact. There is a force in newton's second law. I would set that equation up for each situation and compare the forces.
  4. Oct 21, 2015 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    The falling object is moving at some speed when it strikes its target. A very short time later it has stopped. Therefore it has experienced some acceleration. The force of the impact is what causes that acceleration. According to Newton's second law, how is the force related to the mass?
  5. Oct 21, 2015 #4
    The force equals the mass times the acceleration.
  6. Oct 21, 2015 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    And so...... Where is the problem that you are having here?

    Even trying to deal with your question via qualitative, hand-waving way, the fact that the force of impact here is dependent on the mass should already give you the ability to address your original post, don't you think so?

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