Q:

# Do heavy objects fall faster than light ones?

A:

In a vacuum, all objects fall at the same speed regardless of weight. The force of gravity acts on everything equally, causing each object to accelerate downward at the same rate. However, air resistance can affect how an object falls, causing light objects with more surface area to fall slower.

## Keep Learning

In an atmosphere, simultaneous falling requires both objects to have a similar aerodynamic shape. For instance, a one-pound metal sphere and a one-pound sheet of metal fall at different rates, because the greater surface area of the metal sheet creates more wind resistance. Two spheres of different weights but similar size fall at the same speed, since the airflow over their surface produces the same effect on each object.

Galileo demonstrated this principle in his famous Leaning Tower of Pisa experiment in 1589. He dropped two balls of different masses from the top of the tower, and both reached the ground at the same time, proving his theory about the universal nature of free fall. It was also famously demonstrated by astronaut David Scott during the Apollo 15 mission to the moon in 1971, when he dropped a hammer and feather together and both fell at the same speed to the moon's surface.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: Light refracts when it passes through the boundary of two dissimilar materials because the speed and wavelength of light changes in different media. Light ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The speed of light is about 670,616,629 mph, and one could travel round the earth 7 1/2 times in just a second with this speed. For another perspective, th... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: According to the Science Channel, a heavier car moves at a slower rate of speed. To increase the speed of a heavy vehicle requires more force to move the c... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: When light travels in a vacuum, its speed is 186,282 miles per second. The fastest aircraft, which is the Boeing-43 scramjet, has a speed of 7,546 miles pe... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR