An object is said to be exhibiting a free-fall motion if the only force acting on it is the gravitational force. The gravity acting on the object tends to pull it towards the earth’s surface, thereby displaying a drop or a free fall. Some examples of a free-fall motion include fruits falling from a tree, a stone thrown off a cliff, sky diving, etc.
Examples of Free Fall Motion
1. An Object Exhibiting Projectile Motion
An object that undergoes a projectile motion exhibits a free-fall motion on its descend. When both the vertical and horizontal velocities of the object approach zero, the object moves due to the action of gravitational force. Hence, the object drops to the ground, displaying a free-fall motion.
2. Fruit Falling from the Tree
A fruit falling from the tree is a prominent example of free-fall motion. When the fruit gets ripened, it gets separated from the tree due to the action of the gravitational pull of the earth. The fruit separated from the tree then drops to the ground, displaying a free fall.
3. Stone Dropped from a Hill
A stone placed on the top of a hill or at a high altitude place possesses a significant amount of potential energy. When a force is applied to push the stone down the hill, the potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy. Gravity acting on the stone pulls it towards the ground. Hence, a stone dropped from a hill is yet another example of free-fall motion.
4. A Spacecraft in Continuous Orbit
A spacecraft moving in a continuous orbit displays the free-fall motion in one of the best possible ways. The free-fall motion of the spacecraft allows it to move in a fixed path without any interruption; however, once the propulsion device is turned on, the free-fall motion gets disrupted, and a thrust is induced that accelerates the spacecraft.
5. Meteors Falling towards Earth
A meteor falling towards the earth’s surface moves due to the action of the gravitational force of the earth. Gravity offered by the earth tends to attract or pull the celestial bodies towards the earth’s surface. The object then comes to rest after hitting the ground. Hence, the meteors or the shooting stars display free-fall motion in real life.
6. Sky Diving
Sky diving is one of the prime applications that makes use of free-fall motion for the purpose of amusement and enjoyment. The skydiver jumps off an aeroplane from a high point in the atmosphere. The gravitational pull of the earth then drags the skydiver to the ground, thereby allowing the skydiver to display free-fall motion.
7. Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping is a sporting activity that involves a jumper leaping from a height with his feet tied to an elastic rope or string. When the jumper jumps from a high raised platform, he/she tend to display a free-fall motion because the only force helping the jumper move in such a situation is the gravitational force.
8. Shells Falling after Firing
When a bullet is fired from a gun, it moves forward in a horizontal direction, exhibiting a horizontal straight-line motion. The plunger of the gun pulls the bullet shell back and allows it to fall to the ground. This falling of the shell on the ground is highly influenced by the gravitational pull of the earth. Hence, the bullet shells display a free-fall motion in real life.
9. Ash of an Incense Stick
An incense stick gets converted into ash after burning. The ash deposited on the tip of the incense stick experiences a gravitational pull from the earth that causes it to eventually fall to the ground. Hence, it clearly demonstrates the existence of free-fall motion in everyday life.