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Wonders of Physics


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During impact of a free falling ball, the force on ground is greater than the weight of ball

In this post, it shows a free-falling ball from a height of 1.0 m. During the impact, the direction of the force on the ground is downwards and the force on the ground by the ball is greater then the weight.

As the ball is free-falling, the only force acting is its weight downwards. Hence a common misconception is to think that the force on the ground during impact is equal to the weight. This is wrong.

The normal force (force on the ball by the ground = stopping force on the ball by the ground) is greater than the weight.

The force on the ball by the ground is equal and opposite to the force on the ground by the ball. Hence the magnitude of the force on the ground is greater than the weight.

Similar concept can be applied if a man jumps off from a height. But in this case, the man’s leg will exert a stopping force over a short distance. That stopping force, once again, is greater than the weight of the man.


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Man Jumps Vertically Upwards, Pressure On Ground Is Greater During The Jump

This concept is similar to a 2016 O-Level Pure Physics Question P2 Q2, on why the pressure acting on the ground is greater during the jump, compared to when he is standing stationary on the ground.

During the jump, his leg will exert an upward force. This upward force (equivalent to normal force or force on the man by the ground) is greater than the weight of the man. Hence there is a net (resultant force) upwards, causing him to accelerate upwards.

That force on the man by the ground is equal and opposite to the force on the ground by the man. This is an action-reaction pair. Since the force exerted on the ground by the man is greater (greater than weight), the pressure exerted on the floor is greater.

(NOTE: Normal force and Weight is not an action-reaction pair)


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PP N2010 P1 Q4

P417

Solutions: Option C

When a body is released from rest, the only force acting on the body is its weight due to gravity. Both bodies experience acceleration due to gravity. Hence for both bodies (regardless of mass), will have the same initial acceleration of 10 m/s2.

As the two bodies are of the same size and shape, they will experience the same air resistance for any particular speed. As speed increases, air resistance increases.

For terminal velocity to be reached, air resistance has to be equal to the weight. Since weight is greater for the ball with larger mass, the air resistance has to be bigger. Thus, the ball has to accelerate more (air resistance increases with speed) for the larger air resistance to be equal to the weight. Hence the ball with larger mass will have larger terminal velocity.

[NOTE]
Do not confuse ‘speed of the body is independent of the mass’ as learned in Work Done, Energy and Power. This concept is based on the assumption that there is no air resistance. So not applicable in this question as for terminal velocity to occur, air resistance must be present.

P416