Explanation of Overview of Gravity Equations for Falling Objects by Ron Kurtus - Succeed in Understanding Physics. Key words: physical science, force, mass, gravitational constant, acceleration, velocity, displacement, time, calculation, square-root, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

Overview of Gravity Equations for Falling Objects

by Ron Kurtus (revised 27 December 2010)

A falling object is an object that you drop from some height above the ground. Since it is dropped, its initial velocity is zero (vi = 0).

There are simple derived equations that allow you to calculate the velocity for a given time or displacement from the starting point, the displacement the object falls within a given time or when it has reached a given velocity, and the time it takes to reach a given velocity or displacement.

Note: You normally do not need to memorize these equations, but you should know where to find them in order to solve equations.

Questions you may have include:

• What are the velocity equations?
• What are the displacement equations?
• What are the time equations?

This lesson will answer those questions.

Useful tool: Metric-English Conversion

Velocity equations

The equations for the velocity of a falling object are:

v = gt

v = √(2gy)

(See Gravity Velocity Equations for Falling Objects for details on using these equations, as well as some examples.)

Displacement equations

The equations for the displacement that the object falls are:

y = gt2/2

y = v2/2g

(See Gravity Displacement Equations for Falling Objects for details on using these equations, as well as some examples.)

Time equations

The equations for the elapsed time of a falling object are:

t = v/g

t = √(2y/g)

(See Gravity Time Equations for Falling Objects for details on using these equations, as well as some examples.)

Summary

There are simple equations for falling objects that allow you to calculate the velocity and displacement traveled, as well as the time taken to achieve a given velocity or displacement.

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Gravity Resources

Falling Bodies - Physics Hypertextbook

Equations for a falling body - Wikipedia

Gravity Calculations - Earth - Calculator

Kinematic Equations and Free Fall - Physics Classroom

Books

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