This free fall calculator is a tool for finding the velocity of a falling object along with the distance it travels. Read on to learn how to apply the free fall equation. Also, make sure to have a look at the projectile motion calculator, which describes a special case of free fall combined with horizontal motion.
Free fall speed
In free fall, an object is released to fall down under the influence of gravitational force. There is no initial velocity, and the only acceleration (directed downwards) is the acceleration of gravity
g. From the definition of velocity, we can find the velocity of a falling object is
v = g*t, where
t stands for time.
Free fall equation
If you want to calculate the distance traveled by a falling object, you need to write down the equation of motion. Since the initial displacement and velocity are both equal to zero, it boils down to
s = 0.5 * g * t^2
This equation is valid only if we neglect the air resistance. If you want to take it into consideration, head to our free fall with air resistance calculator.
How to use the free fall calculator: an example
- Determine the gravitational acceleration. On Earth, this value is equal to 9.80665 m/s^2 (which is also the default value set in the free fall calculator).
- Choose how long the object is falling. In this example, we will use time of 8 seconds.
- Calculate the final free fall speed (just before hitting the ground) with the formula
v = g*t = 9.80665 * 8 = 78.45 m/s.
- Find the distance traveled by the falling object, using the equation
s = 0.5 * g * t^2 = 0.5 * 9.80665 * 8^2 = 313.8 m.
- If you know the height from which the object is falling, but don't know the time of fall, you can use this calculator to find it, too!