Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 4 - Think and Do: 32

Answer

This is a hands-on demonstration. Try it and see! The coin hits the ground before the flat sheet of paper. When the paper is crumpled, it falls at about the same speed as the coin because the air resistance on the paper is much reduced due to its smaller frontal area. From a very high starting point, the coin hits first. It still has less frontal area than the crumpled paper so it encounters slightly less air resistance. The longer "race" magnifies the small difference between the coin and the crumpled paper. This is discussed on page 67.
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