Q:

# Does weight affect how fast an object falls?

A:

Objects fall at the same velocity regardless of their weight, if gravity is the only force acting upon them. In a vacuum, where air resistance has been eliminated, a bowling ball and a feather fall at the same speed.

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A falling object accelerates at a constant rate due to the gravitational force of the earth. If there were no air resistance, an object would continue accelerating at the same rate until it hits the ground. However, the presence of air means the object is constantly colliding with countless air molecules. These accumulated collisions create resistance, and gradually slow the falling object until it reaches the point where the force of gravity and the force of air resistance are equal. At this point the object falls at a constant speed which is known as the "terminal velocity."

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## Related Questions

• A:

According to Education.com, the pull of gravity acts more on an object rolling down a ramp inclined at a steeper angle, hence causing it to accelerate and move faster. For Dummies explains that when objects are rolling down an inclined plane such as a ramp, a component of the force of gravity causes it to accelerate downward.

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• A:

Air resistance, also called drag, acts upon a falling body by slowing the body down to the point where it stops accelerating, and it falls at a constant speed, known as the terminal velocity of a falling object. Air resistance depends on the cross-sectional area of the object, which is why the effect of air resistance on a large flat-surfaced object is much greater than on a small, stream-lined object.

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Increasing the height of a ramp increases the inclination of the ramp, which in turn increases the speed at which an object goes down the ramp. This is assuming that all other factors pertaining to the ramp and the object remain the same, such as the inclination (or lack thereof) of the surface that the ramp is on, the material of the ramp and the material of the object.