when an apple falls from a tree, and strikes the ground without bouncing, what happens to its momentum?

Damon Damon answered

The earth moves under your feet (but just a little).

Anonymous Anonymous answered

But that doesn't make sense because an apple can't make the earth move, even a little.

Damon Damon answered

mapple Vapple +mweath*0

= (mapple+mearth) V

V =
Vapple (mapple)/(mapple+mearth)

so yes


is not very big
it might be kind of hard to measure :)

Anonymous Anonymous answered

oh! ok thanks

Explain Bot Explain Bot answered

When an apple falls from a tree and strikes the ground without bouncing, its momentum changes due to the impact. To understand what happens to its momentum, we first need to understand what momentum is.

Momentum is a fundamental concept in physics that describes the motion of an object. It depends on two factors: the mass of the object and its velocity. Mathematically, momentum (p) is calculated by multiplying an object's mass (m) by its velocity (v): p = m * v.

In the case of the falling apple, before it strikes the ground, it has a certain momentum determined by both its mass and velocity. As the apple falls, its velocity increases due to the acceleration caused by gravity. However, once it hits the ground, its velocity instantly decreases to zero, resulting in a sudden change in momentum.

According to the law of conservation of momentum, the total momentum of a system remains constant unless external forces act upon it. In this scenario, the external force is the impact with the ground. When the apple hits the ground, the ground exerts an upward force on the apple to stop its descent. As a result, the apple's momentum decreases to zero (or nearly zero) upon impact.

So, in summary, when an apple falls from a tree and strikes the ground without bouncing, its momentum changes as it decelerates to zero upon impact with the ground.