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Q & A: avoiding impact from fall

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Most recent answer: 12/29/2014
Q:
If an object was falling from the sky carrying another object and just before the moment of impact it threw the other object upwards (skywards) is it possible for the second object to land safely?
- Darren (age 27)
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
A:

In principle, yes. Say that the big object was falling at around 100 km/hr. If it tossed the little object up at a relative velocity of say 101 km/hr, the little object would be traveling upwards at just 1 km/hr. It would then reach only that same low speed falling back. Conservation of momentum tells you that the impact of the big object with the earth will be a little harder than it would have been otherwise.

Mike W.


(published on 12/29/2014)

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