Why does a hammer fall the way it was held when dropped?

  • #1
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526

Main Question or Discussion Point

I already know that a hammer will drop to the ground on Earth the way it was held, but I don't understand why.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
jbriggs444
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
2019 Award
8,097
2,930
I already know that a hammer will drop to the ground on Earth the way it was held, but I don't understand why.
Why would you expect it to do otherwise?
 
  • #3
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
Hmmm . . . well, now that I think about, would it by any chance fall the same way that it is dropped because, regardless of mass, everything will fall at the same rate? Since the acceleration due to gravity on Earth is -9.8 m/s^2, the heavy side of the hammer will still drop evenly with the lighter wooden side?

The explanation I was reading for class was talking all about how "scale falling with an object registers zero" but I don't know what that means.
 
  • #4
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,831
5,476
I already know that a hammer will drop to the ground on Earth the way it was held, but I don't understand why.
Do you think that objects with different weight fall at different rates?
 
  • #5
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
Do you think that objects with different weight fall at different rates?
They fall in the same rate . . . -9.8 m/s^2
 
  • #6
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,831
5,476
  • #7
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
Hmmm . . . well, now that I think about, would it by any chance fall the same way that it is dropped because, regardless of mass, everything will fall at the same rate? Since the acceleration due to gravity on Earth is -9.8 m/s^2, the heavy side of the hammer will still drop evenly with the lighter wooden side?

The explanation I was reading for class was talking all about how "scale falling with an object registers zero" but I don't know what that means.
Is this it? What about the "scale falling with an object registers zero" part?
 
  • #8
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,831
5,476
Is this it? What about the "scale falling with an object registers zero" part?
Have you ever been in an elevator going down?
 
  • #9
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
Of course

EDIT: But an elevator isn't in free fall, is it?
 
  • #10
phinds
Science Advisor
Insights Author
Gold Member
2019 Award
15,831
5,476
Of course

EDIT: But an elevator isn't in free fall, is it?
Post deleted after a PM from the OP.
 
Last edited:
  • #11
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
20,717
4,423
Hmmm . . . well, now that I think about, would it by any chance fall the same way that it is dropped because, regardless of mass, everything will fall at the same rate? Since the acceleration due to gravity on Earth is -9.8 m/s^2, the heavy side of the hammer will still drop evenly with the lighter wooden side?
That's exactly it.

The explanation I was reading for class was talking all about how "scale falling with an object registers zero" but I don't know what that means.
It means that since both the scale and the object fall at the same rate, the object isn't applying a force to the scale and thus the scale registers no weight.
 
  • #12
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
That's exactly it.



It means that since both the scale and the object fall at the same rate, the object isn't applying a force to the scale and thus the scale registers no weight.
Thank you! You explained the latter part perfectly.
 
Last edited:
  • #13
142
64
Hmmm . . . well, now that I think about, would it by any chance fall the same way that it is dropped because, regardless of mass, everything will fall at the same rate? Since the acceleration due to gravity on Earth is -9.8 m/s^2, the heavy side of the hammer will still drop evenly with the lighter wooden side?
That's a nice explanation. Another one ( if you're familiar with the concept of torque) is that the only force acting on a falling body is gravity. Since this acts on the centre of gravity it creates no torque, so the body wouldn't change its orientation.
 
  • #14
ProfuselyQuarky
Gold Member
814
526
That's a nice explanation. Another one ( if you're familiar with the concept of torque) is that the only force acting on a falling body is gravity. Since this acts on the centre of gravity it creates no torque, so the body wouldn't change its orientation.
Wow, I never thought that before! Torque has not yet been covered in my class yet, but I have a brief understanding that it's the measure of the force that causes things to rotate. Torque is NOT a force in of itself, right? Man, I have to look into that for myself, too . . .
 
  • #15
142
64
Torque is NOT a force in of itself, right?
Yes, that's right. Torque is not a force, it's the counterpart of force in rotational dynamics.
 

Related Threads for: Why does a hammer fall the way it was held when dropped?

Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
620
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
3K
  • Last Post
2
Replies
37
Views
5K
Replies
7
Views
4K
Replies
5
Views
2K
Top