Greatest: B Least: C Same: D
Work Step by Step
When the person accelerates upward, the net force is upward. This means that the normal force from the floor is greater than his “usual” weight. The person’s apparent weight is equal in magnitude to the normal force acting on him. Therefore, his apparent weight will be the greatest when the elevator is accelerating upward. The apparent weight is least when the elevator is in free fall, for then the person is accelerating downward at the same rate as the elevator and the normal force is zero. The apparent weight is zero, i.e., the person feels weightless. If the elevator is moving upward at constant speed (or, for that matter, moving downward at constant speed), the person’s apparent weight will be the same as when he is on the ground. The velocity is constant, acceleration is zero and the net force is zero. The normal force exactly balances the person’s weight.