Free Fall Motion Definition and Equations

In physics, free falling motion is defined as a motion where an object is allowed to fall freely under the effect of gravity. When there is gravity, an object is influenced by the gravitational acceleration. The gravitational acceleration is constant and generally denoted by g. The value of g varies with different places on earth. Conventional standard value of g is 9.80665 m/s2.

Gravitational acceleration is independent form the mass, speed, size, chemical composition and shape of the object.

Free falling motion is an example of constant accelerated motion.. The general equation of motion for free fall is


The velocity at any moment in time equals v=v0+gt and the acceleration is g. As seen from the formula, the velocity of the object is not proportional to its mass or shape. All objects fall with the same acceleration in the absence of air resistance.

Suppose you release an object at t=0 from position x0 =0 with 0 speed and it hits the floor (x0=0 and v0=0 at t=0). When we solve above equations with these initial conditions, we find the following equations.



If pictures of a falling apple are taken at equal time intervals, the increment of separation will be seen in these pictures because velocity increases with time as seen from the above formulas.

Free Fall Definition


Additional Resources