Posted in Life's Thoughts & Reflections, Words

Random thought of the day 06/24/2020

So let’s say you’re falling while standing on a 4×4 foot platform, or a plane, or something. I always imagine it as a biplane, for some reason. First of all, is that even possible? To be falling through the sky, and a plane is also falling, and you stand on it?

Anyway, if it is, so you’re standing on it — kind of like you’re “surfing,” I guess. (Obviously not nearly as in control, though.) And since you’ve been falling in the sky all this time, you’re going to die when you hit the ground. But when you’re like 30 feet from the ground, you jump off the falling plane, and jump away from the plane so you’re not in the explosion, and would you survive?? Because would that count as only a 30-foot jump?? Can you do that, jump off something falling?

I like physics, but I don’t know that much about it. I figure the answer is no. Or maybe not unless the circumstances were very specific and miraculous. It would be kind of cool though.

Author:

A teenager obsessed with words of all kinds. When I’m not reading or writing, I like musical theater, drawing, and painting. (she/her)

4 thoughts on “Random thought of the day 06/24/2020

    1. Actually, I just looked up β€œcan you fall standing on something?” and all the results were about a quote from Malcolm X.

      But oh! It looks like someone else had the same thought: https://www.quora.com/Why-isnt-it-possible-to-jump-off-an-object-before-hitting-the-ground-when-falling-to-avoid-injury-For-example-Building-is-on-fire-You-jump-from-window-with-a-chair-Waiting-until-the-chair-is-about-to-hit-you-jump-from-the-chair-safely#:~:text=You%20are%20capable%20of%20jumping%20from%20the%20ground%20up%20to,and%20opposite%20change%20in%20momentum.

      Someone who is supposedly a “professor of physics” says:

      This will work if two conditions are satisfied: 1. The chair you are riding is much more massive than you, and 2. You are capable of jumping from the ground up to the window from which you are leaping.

      First, as others have pointed out, if you push off from an object in free fall both objects move away from each other. The objects will have equal and opposite change in momentum. If the objects have equal mass, they will move away from each other with equal velocity. If one object is much less massive than the other, that object will have a much greater change in velocity than the massive object. Since your goal here is to get as much of a change in velocity as possible, you want to be the less massive object. So find a really heavy chair. Or maybe a grand piano or something. Let’s assume that the chair (or piano) is way way more massive than you, so that all of the energy of the jump goes into pushing you up, and not the object down.

      Second, you will need to reduce your velocity relative to the ground to just about zero to land comfortably. That is, you need to impart to yourself an upwards velocity equal and opposite to the downwards velocity built up over the course of your fall. If you think about this in reverse, that is the same upwards velocity you would have needed to jump from the ground up to the window (let’s neglect air resistance here, though it would come into play for tall buildings).

      Most people do not have the necessary leg strength to jump from the ground to any window higher than the ground floor. If you did, you could also just use your prodigious leg strength to absorb the energy of your fall, and do away with the whole chair/grand piano jumping scheme.

      Liked by 1 person

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