Saturday, February 28, 2009

Object Falling from Rest

As an object falls from rest, its gravitational potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. So if an object is dropped from a height of 1 meter (about the height of the bed), then the velocity just before impact is 4.427 meters per second. If the mass is .2 kg (about the weight of Dad’s phone), then the kinetic energy just before impact is equal to 1.96 joules, which is of course equal to its initial potential energy. Of course the accuracy of this calculation depends upon the assumption that air friction is negligible and because the height of drop from the bed is small compared to the radius of the earth.

Thus you can see my never ending fascination with objects, such as Dad’s phone, being dropped off of the bed, table, chair, couch, crib… whatever. So if you see be dropping something from a height, please understand that it is not because I’m an incredible annoying brat who won’t allow his parents to enjoy a single meal without making them fetch and yell at the same time. Instead, try to remember that it’s because I’m fascinated by the complexities of Newton’s First Law.

1 comment:

Grandma said...

so it is not a comment on the taste of food or the company you are keeping, you just like to see the reaction (of parents or object)