What happens to a ball thrown forward vs. backward in a moving train?

• Transformati
In summary, the speed of the train being constant, both balls will land at equal distances from the thrower regardless of their direction. This is due to Galilean relativity, which states that there is no difference between a motionless train and one that is moving at constant speed. This concept was first explored by Galileo Galilei in his book, where he tested moving objects within a ship's hull.
Transformati
Can someone answer this question? If I throw a ball forward and another one backward (opposite to the train's movement) in a moving train, do both balls land at an equal distance from the thrower? I suspect throwing a ball forward is the same as throwing it in a motionless train but what about the ball thrown backward - does it land within a shorter distance?

The speed of the train is constant.

Assuming that the ball and the throw are the same, the ball will land at the same distance from the thrower.

As you mentioned yourself, there is no difference between a motionless train and one that is moving at constant speed (Galilean relativity).

Transformati
Thanks for the reply DrClaude. Right after my post I read an excerpt from Galileo Galilei's book and I understood how it works (in Galileo's case he was testing moving objects within a ship's hull).

PeroK

1. What happens to the ball when it is thrown forward in a moving train?

When the ball is thrown forward in a moving train, it will continue to move forward with the same velocity as the train. This is because the ball has the same initial velocity as the train and there are no external forces acting on it to change its motion.

2. What happens to the ball when it is thrown backward in a moving train?

When the ball is thrown backward in a moving train, it will initially have a velocity equal to the train's velocity in the opposite direction. However, as the train moves forward, the ball will experience air resistance and friction from the train's surface, causing it to slow down and eventually come to a stop.

3. Why does the ball behave differently when thrown forward vs. backward in a moving train?

The ball behaves differently when thrown forward vs. backward in a moving train because of the direction and magnitude of the initial velocity. When thrown forward, the ball's initial velocity is in the same direction as the train's velocity, resulting in a constant motion. When thrown backward, the ball's initial velocity is in the opposite direction of the train's velocity, causing it to experience external forces that slow it down.

4. Will the ball eventually stop moving in both cases?

Yes, the ball will eventually stop moving in both cases. In the case of throwing the ball forward, it will continue to move with the same velocity as the train until it experiences external forces that slow it down. In the case of throwing the ball backward, it will eventually come to a stop due to air resistance and friction acting on it.

5. Does the speed of the train affect the ball's motion?

Yes, the speed of the train does affect the ball's motion. The faster the train is moving, the greater the initial velocity of the ball when thrown forward or backward. This means that the ball will travel further and take longer to come to a stop in both cases. Additionally, air resistance and friction will also be greater at higher speeds, causing the ball to slow down faster in the case of throwing it backward.

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