Friday, September 18, 2009

Bullet the Blue Sky

Suppose you have two identical bullets. One will be fired from a gun that is parallel to the ground. At the same instant as the first bullet leaves the end of the gun the second bullet will be dropped from the exact height as the muzzle. Which one will hit the ground first? Assume that you have a wide open space and minimal wind.



Both bullets will hit the ground at the same time. Gravity pulls all objects down at the same rate. Other forces, like air resistance, change the downward speed of some object, but not in this case. The fired bullet will hit the ground much farther away, but still at the same time.

Don't believe me? Here's more info.

Next week: Are descendants of the families that came over on the Mayflower really blue-blooded?


Richard said...

We've already discussed this of course but I guess it depends on if I am pointing the gun at a fucktard or not.

Harper said...

I know what my HS physics teacher taught us, but we were never told the type/caliber of the gun - and that could affect the "standard" answer to this query. If it is a high powered rifle, you would have to account for the curvature of the earth. Depending on the distance the fired bullet travels, it's "parallel" path is actually altered by the 8" per mile curve of the earth, while the dropped bullet's distance to the ground remains constant.