When we drop two bodies of mass M and m (M>m),which one will reach the ground first if the air resistance is same for both?

Asked by Satyam Sharma | 5th Jul, 2013, 09:41: PM

Expert Answer:

The reason that two objects of different masses hit the ground at the same time is because, when an object is in free fall, it is "weightless". This is because there is no force pushing up on it whatsoever. Since both of these objects are experiencing the same force, gravitational force (that being -9.8N <<-- it is negative because it is falling), then they both will fall at the same velocity and they will both hit the ground at the exact same time. The only factor that would change this result is air resistance. 
For example: if one were to take a feather and a bowling ball and drop both at the same time, the bowling ball would hit the ground first while the feather remains floating. This is because the feather is experiencing "air resistance" while the bowling ball is barely affected. If one were to take this experiment to the moon, the bowling ball and feather would hit the surface at the exact same time. This is because there is no "air resistance" on the moon.

So, just remember that the mass of an object makes no difference when it is in free fall, because it is basically weightless.

Answered by  | 6th Jul, 2013, 10:38: AM

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