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Some of these Ruskeor pieces are colored blue. These are the pieces that interact with the air. So, the air pushes on these front pieces to slow them down, but how does the rest of the rock slow down? Simple, the blue pieces push on the other pieces. So, in a way, this rock is being crushed. Crushed because the air resistance force pushes on the front, but not the rest of the rock. How hard would you have to push on a material to get it to break? This is what’s called the compressive strength. Clearly, a wider material will take more force, so the compressive strength is measured in Newtons per square meter. Really, it’s the maximum pressure the material can take before breaking. Back to Ruskeor. Let’s say I take the drag force from above and this is evenly distributed over the cross sectional area of the rock (which it wouldn’t be). In that case, I can calculate the pressure on the rock due to the air.
originally posted by: wildespace
a reply to: Miracula2
The resulting pressure gets so high that those molecules get extremely hot and turn into hot plasma that's hotter than the surface of the Sun.