Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Could a Penny Dropped off a Sckyscraper Actually Kill You?

Click HERE to read the article.

Please answer these questions after reading.

1.  Why won't a penny kill you if dropped from the Empire State Building?

2.  Explain why the penny doesn't accelerate the entire way to the ground.

3.  Please write something that you learned or something that you still do not understand.


  1. 1. It's not sharp and when falling the air causes a "drag force" and makes it fall lightly.
    2. There's air molocules that causes it to exprience a "drag force" which causes it to slow down.
    3. I learned you can't harm anyone from dropping a penny for a high distance even though people to this day make fun of it.

  2. Leonard SmithersMarch 6, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    A penny wouln't kill you becuase it doesn't drop fast enough to hurt you if it hit you it would feel like somebody flicked you.

    The penny doesn't accelerate all the way down because there is gravaity pushing down on the penny and the wind is going so fast that the penny would be a direct hit.

    I learned that the faster the penny falls, the greater the air resistance it experiences, and so at a certain maximum velocity of the penny, the drag force becomes equal and opposite to the downward gravitational force.

  3. 1. Because it is flat and during the fall air causes drag force.
    2. Drag force causes the penny to fall at a steady speed the entire fall.
    3. I learned people are dumb for worrying about getting popped in the head with a penny.

  4. 1. a penny is too small and flat, and cushioned by too much air, to become a missile.

    2.With the two forces balanced, the penny no longer accelerates. Instead it falls at a constant speed, called the terminal velocity, all the way to the ground.

    3.Why Anyone Would Think A Falling Penny Would Kill Them?

  5. 1. Because it is too small and flat and when falling it causes a drag force.

    2. People often assume that a falling penny, subject to the force of gravity, will accelerate for the entirety of its fall, achieving breakneck speeds by the time it reaches the ground. This would indeed happen if New York City was evacuated — that is, if all the air were removed and the penny was tossed off the Empire State Building into a vacuum — but as things are, collisions with air molecules slow falling pennies down. Called a "drag force," air resistance opposes the penny's downward motion, counteracting the force of gravity.

    3. i learned you cant kill someone with a penny dropping from the empire state building but you can kill someone from a ballpoint pen dropping from the empire state building