What causes a dropped object to smash?

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Offline Sumbul Arshi

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What causes a dropped object to smash?
« on: 18/02/2009 12:59:19 »
Things  break  down  when  we  drop  them. Is the  Resistance  of  air  play  any  role  in  regard?
« Last Edit: 21/02/2009 13:11:53 by chris »

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Offline Vern

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Re: What causes a dropped object to smash?
« Reply #1 on: 18/02/2009 13:48:00 »
If the thing is a potato chip; maybe air can help it not to break. If the thing is a wine glass; maybe not.

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Offline neilep

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Re: What causes a dropped object to smash?
« Reply #2 on: 18/02/2009 19:11:24 »
Baby ducks can fall a long way out of a tall tree and survive.

Air resistance is very helpful in this regard.
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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Re: What causes a dropped object to smash?
« Reply #3 on: 18/02/2009 20:06:07 »
Strange question but yes in the case of meteors the air resistance definitely helps it break down

But a meteor falls for thousands and thousands of kilometres before entering the atmosphere and hitting the earth, gaining tremendous speed and falling through a lot of atmosphere. Something dropped from body height or even skyscraper height would be barely affected by air resistance in terms of heating or breaking it up.
« Last Edit: 18/02/2009 20:09:31 by Madidus_Scientia »

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Offline LeeE

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Re: What causes a dropped object to smash?
« Reply #4 on: 20/02/2009 17:31:16 »
The most important factor regarding air resistance is the speed of the object through the medium; something traveling very slowly will feel hardly any air resistance because the air can move out of it's way without needing to be accelerated very much, but as the object moves faster energy needs to be passed to the air, to speed it up, so it can move out of the way.
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