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Acceleration Due to Gravity

Understand and state acceleration due to gravity and the value of g

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A Skydiving Adventure

Competition from the Mountain Top to the Ground

License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Mount Everest, where you and your friend are going skydiving. [Figure1]


So far, we know that there is a force of gravity acting on us no matter where we are on Earth. This explains why we fall from the sky to the ground and get pulled towards the center of the Earth. But the question is, what is the rate at which we fall? Is it always the same regardless of mass?

The acceleration due to gravity (g) equals 9.8 m/s^2. Notice that mass is not part of the expression, so both heavy and light objects fall at the same rate.

You and your friend go skydiving and wants to see who can hit the ground first. At the top of Mount Everest, both of you decided to jump off simultaneously.

Creative Applications

1. Who is going to win the contest? Why?

2. How fast do you and your friend fall by the first second?

3. In the real world, when things fall, they experience a drag force called air resistance. Who would win if we were to take into account air resistance? (It is highly recommended to do research on drag force and air resistance first before answering this)

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  1. [1]^ License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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