Will Heavier Objects Fall Faster?

Essay by texy October 2004

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Experimenting with this puzzler provided me with a learning experience I did not expect. I experimented with several solutions. One solution I found was that two identical backpacks would fall at the same rate. Then, I filled one backpack up with books and left the other one empty; to my surprise, they still fell at the same rate. The next solution I tested was with two balloons. First, I dropped two balloons not blown up at the same time; they fell at the same rate. Next, I blew one balloon up a little and left the other one not blown up. I dropped them and this time they did not fall at the same rate; the blown up balloon fell last. Then, to go a step farther I added five dried pasta noodles to the one I blew up and left the other the same. Again, the blown up balloon fell last.

After closely analyzing my results, I concluded that heavier objects so not fall faster than lighter ones.

This puzzler surprised me with the results from my solutions. When thinking about the question, will heavier objects fall faster, I think it makes sense that would be a true statement but after testing the theory, I know it is not true. I found that no matter what the weight, it would have the same fall rate. The only factor that could alter the result of the fall rate is the shape of the objects. For example: No matter what I did to the blown up balloon it still fell slower than the other one. I believe it was because I added air and change the form of the balloon. Even though I made it heavier, it still fell slower. In conclusion, I disagree with Aristotle's theory that the heavier...