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Consider a jump off a high dive. While waiting to get the courage to jump, your acceleration is zero, and you “feel” the force of gravity. When you jump you accelerate toward the water, but during this “free fail” you feel weightless, as if there was no force of gravity. Does this contradict Newton’s laws of notion? How could you explain this to a non-physics student?

5 years ago

Answers : (1)

Deepak Patra
askIITians Faculty
471 Points
							No, this is not contradicts Newton’s laws of motion.
The weight (W) of the body is defined as mass of the body (m) time’s acceleration due to gravity (g) of the earth.
W = mg …… (1)
At rest, the spring scale measures the weight of the body which is equal to mg.
Force (F) acting on the body is equal to the mass (m) of the body time’s acceleration (a) of the body.
F = ma …… (2)
But when the body jumps into the air, the body has an acceleration (a) which is equal to the free fall acceleration of the earth (g). So the force acting on the body will be mg which is equal to the weight of the body and acting just opposite to the direction of weight of the body. So the resultant force acting on the body will be zero. Therefore the body jumps into the air feel weightless.
5 years ago
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