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written by Tom Henderson
This webpage contains detailed discussions and information on free fall and the factors affecting it. This is one of the sections of the tutorial on Newton's Second Law. In addition to acceleration due to gravity, the effect of air resistance on free fall is also discussed in detail.

The topic is explained through the use of an example. The factors affecting free fall such as mass and force on the object are also explained through the example. The discussions aim to develop a basic understanding of the acceleration due to gravity. Similar examples are used to illustrate the effect of air resistance as well as the factors affecting it. The discussions are aided by free body diagrams, WolframAlpha widgets and animations.

This item is part of The Physics Classroom, a comprehensive set of tutorials and multimedia resources for high school physics.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Gravitational Acceleration
- High School
- Middle School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Illustration
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
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Free access
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© 1996 Tom Henderson
Keywords:
drag, g, terminal speed, terminal velocity
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created March 28, 2011 by Tom Henderson
Record Updated:
July 13, 2012 by Gnana Subramaniam
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 1, 2011
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 6-8: 4G/M1. Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 6-8: 11B/M5. The usefulness of a model depends on how closely its behavior matches key aspects of what is being modeled. The only way to determine the usefulness of a model is to compare its behavior to the behavior of the real-world object, event, or process being modeled.
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
T. Henderson, (1996), WWW Document, (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm).
AJP/PRST-PER
T. Henderson, Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance (1996), <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm>.
APA Format
Henderson, T. (2011, July 1). Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance. Retrieved August 22, 2014, from http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm
Chicago Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance. July 1, 2011. http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm (accessed 22 August 2014).
MLA Format
Henderson, Tom. Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance. 1996. 1 July 2011. 22 Aug. 2014 <http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Tom Henderson", Title = {Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {22 August 2014}, Month = {July 1, 2011}, Year = {1996} }
Refer Export Format

%A Tom Henderson
%T Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance
%D July 1, 2011
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Henderson, Tom
%D July 1, 2011
%T Physics Classroom: Free Fall and Air Resistance
%V 2014
%N 22 August 2014
%8 July 1, 2011
%9 text/html
%U http://www.physicsclassroom.com/Class/newtlaws/U2L3e.cfm


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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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