Do Heavier Objects Fall Faster? Gravity in a Vacuum
Do heavier objects fall faster? Newton observed the infamous apple falling from a tree, and drew important conclusions about the behavior of everyday objects under the force of gravity. In the case of a feather and a coin, one would believe that a feather will always fall more slowly to the ground, and the coin faster. However, as we will explore below, heavier objects do not always fall to the ground more quickly than lighter objects do! When dropped from the same height, objects fall to the earth at the same time when there is no major amount of air mass acting on them. Let’s discover why this is!
First, some background info: Mass, the quantity of matter an object contains, is (typically) constant in an object and does not change. In comparison, weight is the measurement of gravitational force being acted upon a particular object. Think about it this way: The mass of your body is the same on earth as it would be on the Moon, while your weight on earth would be much heavier here because the earth’s gravity is much stronger than the moon’s. This experiment aims to remove the variable of air mass acting on objects so we can measure the effect of gravitational acceleration produced by the earth’s gravity.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.