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Q & A: The Different Falling Times of Objects

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Most recent answer: 01/13/2013
Q:
Why does a golf ball fall to earth faster than a beach ball?
- Sheri (age 38)
Lexington, KY
A:
A golf ball falls to the earth faster than a beach ball because of the force of air resistance. A beach ball is much larger than a golf ball so more force acts on it by air particles resisting its downward motion, making it fall slower. Also, golf balls with their dimples are more aerodynamic: their shape reduces the amount of resistance it faces moving through air. It is also important to say that in a vacuum the masses of objects do not affect their falling times so a golf ball and beach ball would fall at the same rate in a vacuum.

Shalin

(published on 01/13/2013)

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