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Does the Diameter of a round (Spherical) balloon affect the rate of its descent?
- Erin England (age 12)
Yorba Linda Middle School, Yorba Linda, CA
The diameter of a balloon most certainly does affect the rate of
its descent. When a balloon falls, it is pulled downwards by gravity at
the same rate as anything else (like a book or a rock) would be. But it
is slowed down by air resistance. The less something weighs, the more
air resistance will do to slow it down - this is why it affects a
balloon much more than a rock. But the larger something is (size, not
weight), the more air resistance it will feel. For this reason, a
bigger balloon that has the same weight as a smaller balloon will fall
slower than the smaller one since it (the bigger one) experiences more
(republished on 07/30/06)
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