A basketball and a 5kg medicine ball are dropped simultaneously. Which one hits the ground first? It seems obvious that the heavy one should accelerate at a greater rate and therefore land first because the force pulling it down is greater. But this is forgetting inertia - the tendency of mass to resist changes in motion. Therefore, although the force on the medicine ball is greater, it takes this larger force to accelerate the ball at the same rate as the basketball.
Tagged under: science literacy,gravity,gravitational force,weight,inertia,object drop,Newton' Laws
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