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Q & A: Feather and cannonball race in various gasses

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Most recent answer: 09/25/2015
Q:
What happens if we release a feather and a cannonball in a chamber containing a gas lighter than the regular air ?
- MAG (age 17)
Africa
A:

Hi MAG

The air resistance of an object moving through a gas is proportional to the viscosity of the gas.   The viscosity of air is about 0 .00018 Poise.    It's about the same for Helium but only half as much for Hydrogen.  So if you performed the experiment in a hydrogen atmospere the feather would fall a bit faster but the cannonball would still win the race to the ground.

LeeH


(published on 09/25/2015)

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