This simulation allows students to compare the motion of free falling objects with and without the influence of air resistance. Air resistance is the result of collisions of the object's leading surface with air molecules. On Earth, objects falling through the air usually encounter some sort of air resistance, though the amount is dependent upon several factors. In this model, a blue ball falls under the influence of gravity alone. A falling red ball is subject to both gravity and air resistance. Students can adjust the amount of air resistance with a slider. When the simulation is played, graphs are simultaneously plotted that show position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time for both falling balls. See Annotations for an editor-recommended, interactive tutorial that further explains free fall and air resistance. This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.


  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
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  • Grade 12


Acceleration,NSDL,Easy Java Simulation,Motion in One Dimension,Grade 9,Undergraduate (Lower Division),Dynamics of Fluids,Mathematics,Classical Mechanics,Fluid Mechanics,Ejs,acceleration,gravity,Grade 10,Grade 11,Grade 12,Applications of Newton's Laws,free fall,Informal Education,Higher Education,Position and Displacement,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20130508143250036T,Grade 13,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-102,Gravitational Acceleration,friction,velocity,Velocity,Physics,Computing and Information,Engineering,High School,air resistance,position,Technology



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Update Standards?

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.B: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Interpret functions that arise in applications in terms of the context

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-IF.B.4: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

For a function that models a relationship between two quantities, interpret key features of graphs and tables in terms of the quantities, and sketch graphs showing key features given a verbal description of the relationship.?

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Construct and compare linear, quadratic, and exponential models and solve problems

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.1: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.1b: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.B: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Interpret expressions for functions in terms of the situation they model

CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.B.5: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function in terms of a context.
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