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ERIC Number: EJ963872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
A Piece of Paper Falling Faster than Free Fall
Vera, F.; Rivera, R.
European Journal of Physics, v32 n5 p1245-1249 Sep 2011
We report a simple experiment that clearly demonstrates a common error in the explanation of the classic experiment where a small piece of paper is put over a book and the system is let fall. This classic demonstration is used in introductory physics courses to show that after eliminating the friction force with the air, the piece of paper falls with acceleration g. To test if the paper falls behind the book in a nearly free fall motion or if it is dragged by the book, we designed a version of this experiment that includes a ball and a piece of paper over a book that is forced to fall using elastic cords. We recorded a video of our experiment using a high-speed video camera at 300 frames per second that shows that the book and the paper fall faster than the ball, which falls well behind the book with an acceleration approximately equal to g. Our experiment shows that the piece of paper is dragged behind the book and therefore the paper and book demonstration should not be used to show that all objects fall with acceleration g independently of their mass. (Contains 3 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail: info@ioppubusa.com; Web site: http://www.iop.org/EJ/journal/EJP
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A