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# An Interesting Little Thing About Gravity

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posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:31 AM
Mods: I didn't know exactly where to put this so please move as appropriate.

Hello all,

A work colleague explained a little riddle to me yesterday about gravity which I had never heard before, I'm sure some of you on here will be familiar with it but I thought I would post for those that aren't.

If you have a bullet in your left hand and a gun loaded with the exact same calibre bullet in the other hand and then proceed to fire the gun whilst at the same moment dropping the bullet in your other hand which bullet will hit the ground first?

The answer is they will both the ground first! The fact of the matter is that gravity operates on all things equally; now for the more scientific minded on here I know there are certain variables that would affect which bullet hit the ground first such as the height of the hands, air resistance etc

But taking those variables aside, theoretically both bullets will hit the ground at the same time.

Interesting eh?

Cheers,

[edit on 14/5/10 by Death_Kron]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:36 AM
That very riddle was on Myth busters, I bet that's where your friend saw it, it's true they both land at the same time.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 05:40 AM

Originally posted by Thepreye
That very riddle was on Myth busters, I bet that's where your friend saw it, it's true they both land at the same time.

Yeah maybe, I did some research about it on the internet last night just to check the validity and saw the Myth busters reference to it so its possible thats where he saw it.

I thought it was very interesting

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:08 AM
Sorry to be a bit of a smart-ass, but I remember that from physics on High School.

When there are no external forces acting upon two objects falling from the same height regardless of individual weight, both will hit the ground at the same time.

That is to say, if you drop a feather and a stone from the same height with no external forces acting upon it, both the feather and the stone will land on the ground simultaneously because the force of gravity does not change.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:09 AM

This is nothing new. Isaac Newton discovered this relationship a long time ago. Gravity is universal to all matter and is proportional to distance from Earth.

The shot being fired is a perfect example of how to stay in orbit around our planet. Just get your self up beyond the atmosphere (so it won't slow you down due to drag) and travel at, I think it was 18,000 MPH and you'll be able to fall over the side of the earth, thus staying in orbit. Even though gravity is continually trying to pull you down, your "horizontal" speed will make it so that you constantly fall over the edge of Earth.

Slow down a bit and you'll start to fall toward earth - quite quickly.

Someone may have skipped thier science classes in middle school.

-E2

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:13 AM

Originally posted by Jane_Doe1
Sorry to be a bit of a smart-ass, but I remember that from physics on High School.

When there are no external forces acting upon two objects falling from the same height regardless of individual weight, both will hit the ground at the same time.

That is to say, if you drop a feather and a stone from the same height with no external forces acting upon it, both the feather and the stone will land on the ground simultaneously because the force of gravity does not change.

Well the analogy of a dropped & fired bullet was never taught to us in high school...

Either way its still interesting

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:15 AM

Originally posted by EyesII

This is nothing new. Isaac Newton discovered this relationship a long time ago. Gravity is universal to all matter and is proportional to distance from Earth.

The shot being fired is a perfect example of how to stay in orbit around our planet. Just get your self up beyond the atmosphere (so it won't slow you down due to drag) and travel at, I think it was 18,000 MPH and you'll be able to fall over the side of the earth, thus staying in orbit. Even though gravity is continually trying to pull you down, your "horizontal" speed will make it so that you constantly fall over the edge of Earth.

Slow down a bit and you'll start to fall toward earth - quite quickly.

Someone may have skipped thier science classes in middle school.

-E2

Seems like my high school wasn't as good as other peoples on here...

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:27 AM
Hmm.

Not if you fired the gun straight up.

Sorry, OP never mentioned the direction of discharge.

edit for aixelsyd

[edit on 14/5/2010 by scubagravy]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:28 AM

Originally posted by scubagravy
Hmm.

Not if you fired the gun straight up.

Sorry, OP neber mentioned the direction of discharge.

Horizontially...

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:35 AM

Yes correct

I must have pictured myself laying down during the experiment.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:39 AM
so let me get this straight, theoretically, if I drop said bullet from my left hand onto my left foot, and fire said bullet from the gun in my right hand aimed at my right foot, either both will pierce my feet or will not? If they fall at the same rate, which is it, because i will not be trying this experiment out at all. I agree, as long as no external forces are on one of the objects, yes, they would fall at the same rate hitting the ground at the same time.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:47 AM

Originally posted by jymmyjaymes
so let me get this straight, theoretically, if I drop said bullet from my left hand onto my left foot, and fire said bullet from the gun in my right hand aimed at my right foot, either both will pierce my feet or will not? If they fall at the same rate, which is it, because i will not be trying this experiment out at all. I agree, as long as no external forces are on one of the objects, yes, they would fall at the same rate hitting the ground at the same time.

It was mentioned before in the topic but it is when you shoot horizontally.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Dumbass]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 06:48 AM
Strictly theoretically, putting aside air resistance, the bullet shot from he gun would hit the ground later if you assume a perfectly spherical world. See:

spaceplace.nasa.gov...

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:19 AM
would not the bullet fired from the gun already have external forces applied to it?

ie the explosive force of the gunpowder

thus making the experement invalid

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:20 AM

which bullet will hit the ground first?

Personally, I was shown this in 7th grade phsyics. Though the teacher used metal ballbearings instead of bullets.

Out of curiosity OP, since the answer seems "interesting" and presumably "unexpected" to you...

...what answer would you have predicted, and why?

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 07:51 AM

Theoretically true, but doesn't the spin of the bullet give it a little lift to send it further and straighter? I'm no munitions expert, so I'm not sure on this one.

It's the same as the hammer and feather experiment on the moon.

It would also require the gun to be aimed at a perfectly horizontal position for this to work.

Also, this is standard high school physics and should have been handled when you learned about the Newtonian Laws. i recall being taught this, although there was no practical demonstration... for some reason they used theoretical elephants
They shoved one off a cliff and made one run off at full pelt. I remember thinking, not only is this confusing as to why they are using elephants, but it's also cruelty to animals!

[edit on 14-5-2010 by nik1halo]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:43 AM

As mentioned above it seems like my high school was seriously lacking in the Physics department!

The obvious common assumption would be that the bullet hits the ground first as its travelling at a faster speed...

Either I wasn't taught Physics very well or I've forgotten (studied ALOT of different subjects since high school)

Although it maybe a commonly understood principle about the laws of gravity you still have to admit its interesting?

[edit on 14/5/10 by Death_Kron]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 08:46 AM

That made me smile, I can imagine you sitting there trying to comprehend animal cruelty physics!

I've read that if the bullet was travelling at a certain speed it would actually never hit the ground and orbit the earth as others have alluded to above.

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:15 AM
"If you have a bullet in your left hand and a gun loaded with the exact same calibre bullet in the other hand and then proceed to fire the gun whilst at the same moment dropping the bullet in your other hand which bullet will hit the ground first?"

The one being dropped...

Why?

All guns have barrels... no exceptions (otherwise it wouldn't be a gun).

When dropping the one bullet there is nothing to intially stop its decent.

On the other hand, the bullet in the gun first has to travel through the barrel before gravity can act on it.

This obviously results in the dropped bullet hitting the ground first.

[edit on 14-5-2010 by Elzon]

posted on May, 14 2010 @ 09:26 AM

The obvious way to adjust for that 1mS or so of barrel time would be to drop the unpropelled bullet at the instant the fired bullet leaves the barrel, although the difference is barely measurable if at all. How perfectly level is the firing range and how much difference would that make to the experiment?

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