Did you know that an apple at rest weighs 1 n? That’s right, because of gravity. When we drop the apple and it is in free fall, the net force on the apple is zero. There are two forces acting on it: gravity pulling down and air resistance pushing up.
The downward pull from gravity cancels out the upward push from air resistance to create a net force of zero. This means that when an object falls freely near Earth, its weight doesn’t change!
In this post, we will explore how a falling apple has weight in free fall. We start by defining what the word “weight” means, and then discuss how it can be measured on Earth as well as in outer space.
Next, we’ll take an example: if you have a one-kilogram mass on Earth’s surface, its weight is 100 Newton (N). When that same object is floating freely near-Earth orbit which has no gravity to exert any pull upon it, its weight would also be 100 N because there are still forces at work – namely air resistance!
Finally, we will talk about gravitational potential energy with regard to accelerating objects off of ramps or dropping them from heights for maximum speed and height respectively.