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Rated: E · Bulletin · Educational · #2249540
The science of falling
I know you ask yourselves this question every day. What happens when you drop your rhinoceros out of your airplane from way up high in the atmosphere? (No parachute.)

You drop a 1 lb. Iron ball at the same time. Which of them lands first?

It all has to do with air drop rate, terminal velocity, drag coefficient and the square-cube law.

The square-cube law simply states that, as an object's size increases, its volume grows faster than its surface area. Consider that the formula for the surface area of a sphere is 4*pi*r2, where r is the sphere's radius, while the formula for volume is 4/3*pi*r3—hence the name "square-cube law".

There is a chance the rhino will hit first but the iron ball will be a close second as both will most likely reach their terminal velocities around the same time.

Throwing iron balls out of airplanes might be good science within the parameters or laws of nature and makes for good experimentation but littering is against the law.

The rhino will be falling at about 200 mph. It will land with the force of several sticks of dynamite going off. I would not want to be standing there below it at the time of impact. Just an idea.

The real question should be; why are you throwing your rhino out of the plane in the first place? Why would you do that?

Have a great day and keep your rhinos at home where they belong.
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