What is Free Fall: When is it Possible?

Discover the fascinating world of free fall and when it is possible. From Galileo’s experiments to skydiving adventures, learn about this gravity-defying phenomenon.


Free fall is a term used in physics to describe the motion of an object falling under the sole influence of gravity. In this article, we will explore what free fall is and when it is possible.

Definition of Free Fall

Free fall occurs when an object is only acted upon by gravity. This means that there is no air resistance or any other force acting on the object as it falls. In a vacuum, all objects fall at the same rate regardless of their mass.

Conditions for Free Fall

  • No air resistance
  • No other forces acting on the object

Examples of Free Fall

One of the most famous examples of free fall is the experiment conducted by Galileo from the Leaning Tower of Pisa. He dropped two balls of different masses and observed that they hit the ground at the same time. This demonstrated that objects of different masses fall at the same rate in the absence of air resistance.

Case Studies

Another example of free fall is the experience of skydivers. When a skydiver jumps out of a plane, they are in free fall until they open their parachute. During this time, they are only influenced by gravity and fall at an accelerating pace until they reach terminal velocity.


In free fall, an object accelerates at a rate of 9.8 m/s^2 (meters per second squared) due to gravity. This acceleration is constant and results in the object picking up speed as it falls.


Free fall is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs when an object is only influenced by gravity. Whether it’s an experiment from a towering height or the thrill of a skydive, free fall is a concept that is both educational and exhilarating.

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