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Gravity, Free Fall, and Terminal Velocity (Grades 11-12)

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Gravity, Free Fall, and Terminal Velocity

Instructions: Read each question carefully. Choose the answer that best fits the question. Short answer response questions must be responded to in complete sentences. If the question involves calculations, you must show all your math work.

The distance travelled by freely falling body is proportional to:
  1. the mass of the body
  2. the square of the acceleration due to gravity
  3. the square of the time of fall
  4. the time of fall
Free fall is an idealized situation in which air friction is ignored, and objects accelerate at a constant downward [math]9.8m/(s^2)[/math]. If you throw your graduation cap upward, the cap is in free fall the moment it leaves your hand, even though it is moving in an upwards direction.
  1. True
  2. False
From how high up do you have to drop a marble for it to hit the ground in exactly 1 s?
  1. 5.1 m
  2. 9.8 m
  3. 4.9 m
  4. 3.6 m
A quarter is flipped up in the air at the start of a football game and returns to the point from which it was flipped after [math]2.5s[/math]. Find the quarter’s original speed. The acceleration of the quarter is [math]9.8m/(s^2)[/math] downward.
  1. 4.9 m/s
  2. 25 m/s
  3. 12.25 m/s
  4. 49 m/s
A watermelon is dropped from the roof of a three-story building. Assuming the friction of air is negligible, how far does the watermelon have to fall in order to reach a velocity of 10 m/s?
  1. 4.9 m
  2. 5.1 m
  3. 9.8 m
  4. impossible to determine
An outfielder is practicing catching pop-up fly balls. He throws the baseball straight up with a velocity of +15 m/s. At what height will it reach its peak, if it falls back to his mitt, at the same height he released the ball, in 3 s?
  1. 45 m
  2. 22.5 m
  3. 11.5 m
  4. 10 m
The speed at which air resistance and weight come to an equilibrium and downward acceleration ceases is called                                         .
When an object falls in a medium, such as air, it will reach a terminal velocity. How fast it reaches terminal velocity and the value of that terminal velocity depends on properties of the medium and
  1. the mass of the falling object
  2. the weight of the falling object
  3. the size of the falling object
  4. the shape of the falling object
Which of the following objects are in free fall? (Assume that you can ignore air resistance.)
  1. a textbook that has been thrown downward from a tall cabinet
  2. a textbook held by a student jumping down from the bleachers to the gym floor
  3. a textbook that has been tossed upward and has left the student’s hands but not yet touched any other object or surface
  4. a textbook held tightly by a running student
Two rocks are thrown at the same time with the same speed. One is thrown directly downward while the other is thrown straight up. Compare their speeds when they hit the ground.
  1. The rock thrown straight up hits the ground at a faster speed.
  2. The rock thrown directly downward hits the ground at a faster speed.
  3. Both rocks hit the ground at the same speed.
  4. There is not enough information to compare their speeds.
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