Does a heavier object fall faster than a lighter object?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Actually, all the objects fall with the same velocity when dropped from a certain height, in vacuum. When we drop a heavy and a lighter object from a height, both will be attracted by Earth and will have the same acceleration: g or acceleration due to gravity. The value of...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Actually, all the objects fall with the same velocity when dropped from a certain height, in vacuum. When we drop a heavy and a lighter object from a height, both will be attracted by Earth and will have the same acceleration: g or acceleration due to gravity. The value of this acceleration is about 9.81 m/s^2.  Using the equations of motion:

s = ut + 1/2 at^2

where, s is the height through which the object falls, u is the initial velocity (0 m/s for an object dropped from a height), a is acceleration (g in this case) and t is time taken. The equation is not dependent on the mass of the object. 

In real world, air resistance would mean that all the objects will reach a terminal velocity, but would fall at the same time on ground.

Hope this helps. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team