For this week’s weather question I wanted to find out what you thought the answer is.
Turns out, I received several different answers. Some chose the egg, some the watermelon and some said the two will hit the ground at the same time.
The correct answer is the last one: the two will hit the ground at the exact same time.
This is because gravity accelerates all objects equally, even if one object is heavier than the other.
And this doesn’t just apply for watermelons and eggs. I dropped a big cucumber and
mini cucumber, a rock and pebble and they all have the same result.
Because the watermelon is heavier it has a greater gravitational force on it.
Since the egg is lighter, the gravitational force is less.
The watermelon also has a lower acceleration because it is heavier and the egg the opposite.
So since the watermelon has a greater gravitational force AND lower acceleration – the two effects cancel each other out perfectly, allowing it to hit the ground the same time as the egg.
If you want to see how this works out mathematically here’s a good link.
The only time this is different is if one object is affected by air resistance more than the other.
For example, a feather and watermelon would NOT hit at the same time because the feather is far more air-resistant than the watermelon.
But in the examples I just showed, both objects – as long as they are dropped from rest at the same time and distance – will always hit the ground at the same time regardless of mass.