Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Playing basketball on the moon?

  1. Dec 13, 2007 #1
    If the gravitational field strenght is weaker than that of earth, then less force is required to do a certain amount of work than required on earth. So my question is, Would our movements be faster? Like dribbling and hand movements and running?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2007 #2
    Inertia, imparting acceleration to mass, would stay the same. The curvature of the ball's passing would be more rectilinear due to 1/6 the gravity of Earth, and dribbling would be more symmetric (nearer the same speed at the bottom and the top of the bounce). Upward movements would be somewhat faster than on Earth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007
  4. Dec 13, 2007 #3

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The weight of an object is less on the moon, but not the mass. Suppose a ball of mass m is coming at you at speed v, you'd require exactly same impusle as on earth to send it back at speed v. But of course, in order to put the ball in a basket, you will require less speed because it falls slower.

    Have you seen the videos of men on the moon walking or running?
     
  5. Dec 31, 2007 #4
    could you please link me to them?
     
  6. Jan 1, 2008 #5

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

  7. Jan 1, 2008 #6

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Forgot to mention, one of the astronauts played golf there too. I don't recall which mission.
     
  8. Jan 4, 2008 #7
    ok got more questions:

    a bball(.5kg) is travelling straight at your hands and it's velocity is 5m/s right before it hits your hand. If it takes you .5 seconds to stop it, you would have to apply a force of 5N: F=ma=(.5kg)(v2-v1/t)
    =(.5kg)((5m/s - 0m/s)/.5s)
    =5N
    So is it correct to assume that the same force would be required to stop a ball on the surface earth and on the surface of the moon?
     
  9. Jan 4, 2008 #8

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The ball has always a vertical component of accn, which is less on moon. So, it'll always take more uniform force to stop it in 0.5 s on earth, if the ball is on the way down. If it's on the way up, then it'll take less force on earth to stop it in the same time. Balls always travel in parabolas, not flat out.

    But you can say that your derivation is approximately true when the trajectory is very flat.
     
  10. Jan 5, 2008 #9
    would i be correct if i said that you would need more force to dribble a ball on the moon at the same speed as on earth. Moon has less pull on the ball compared to earth.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2008
  11. Jan 6, 2008 #10

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    I don't think so, even though dribbling is a complicated procedure, involving both horizontal and vertical motions (I think). The horizontal motions would need the same force or impulse as on earth, but it'll jump more. For putting the ball in the basket, less impulse would be required. You can send the ball farther on the moon, though.
     
  12. Jan 7, 2008 #11
    dribbling would be hard because the moon's surface is very powdery.

    I guess if you grew up on the moon, then it would be something to play basketball on Earth.
     
  13. Jan 7, 2008 #12

    Shooting Star

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Yes, and also you tend to get so dirty in all that powdery stuff, and there's no water on the moon to take a shower after the game.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Playing basketball on the moon?
  1. The moon (Replies: 11)

  2. Basketball Bouncing (Replies: 8)

  3. The moon (Replies: 25)

  4. Physics of basketball (Replies: 1)

Loading...