Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Free Fall Air Resistance Model Documents

This material has 2 associated documents. Select a document title to view a document's information.

Main Document

Free Fall Air Resistance Model 

written by Andrew Duffy

This simulation allows students to compare the motion of free falling objects with and without the influence of air resistance. Air resistance is the result of collisions of the object's leading surface with air molecules. On Earth, objects falling through the air usually encounter some sort of air resistance, though the amount is dependent upon several factors. In this model, a blue ball falls under the influence of gravity alone. A falling red ball is subject to both gravity and air resistance. The user can adjust the amount of air resistance with a slider. When the simulation is played, graphs are simultaneously plotted that show position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time for both falling balls.

See Annotations Below for an editor-recommended, interactive tutorial that further explains free fall and air resistance.

This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Last Modified August 19, 2013

This file has previous versions.

Source Code Documents

Free Fall Air Resistance Model Source Code 

The source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Free Fall Air Resistance model.   Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run this model using EJS.

Published April 25, 2010
Last Modified April 27, 2010