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View Poll Results: Which Bullet will hit the ground first?
The bullet in his hand 31 28.70%
The bullet fired from the gun 4 3.70%
Both at the same time 70 64.81%
No idea. Stupid bloody question 3 2.78%
Voters: 108. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-04-2012, 06:55 AM   #1
gueste46
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A Physics Puzzle

This is not a trick question.

A man stands and in one hand is holding a hand gun aimed directly ahead and in the other hand is holding a single bullet.

If he fires the gun at the same precise moment as he releases the bullet in his other hand, which bullet will hit the ground first? The bullet fired from the gun or the bullet he was holding in his hand?
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #2
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Both will hit the ground at the same time, a bullet has no wings.
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:04 AM   #3
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i would think at the same time, as the same gravity is acting on both
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by stevenluczynski View Post
both will hit the ground at the same time, a bullet has no wings.



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i would think at the same time, as the same gravity is acting on both
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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depends. is he on a treadmill?
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:47 AM   #6
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Well there are far too many variables in play if you were to perform it real world, but theoretically in a perfect environment, they would hit the ground at the same time.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:12 AM   #7
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Are we accounting for the coriolis effect, humidity, wind speed, direction bullet was fired, what about the moon (it does affect gravity...haha).

All these questions and no answers.





















































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Old 07-04-2012, 08:17 AM   #8
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I would say the bullet being dropped. The bullet being fired has a force pushing it horizontally; gravity must overcome this force to push the bullet down.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
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I would say the bullet being dropped. The bullet being fired has a force pushing it horizontally; gravity must overcome this force to push the bullet down.
Must it?

A similiar experiment can be done with a pendulum.

two objects of identical mass/weight, one tied to a string so that it can swing freely. Drop it from a point perpendicular to its post(string taut) and drop a free flying object next to it. I would strongly suspect that the stringed object reaches the bottom of its swinging arc at the same time the free flying object reaches that height, despite being moved laterally.

Last edited by Rubenk; 07-04-2012 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:02 AM   #10
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They did this sh1t on mythbusters; you can go back to gun research now OP.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
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The bullet he drops will hit first. The rate of fall will be the same for both bullets but the earth is curving downward as the fired bullet moves away from him. This means that the total distance to fall will be the height of the bullet when fired plus the additional distance it must fall because of the planets curvature. If, however, the particular location he is firing at is going to an upward elevation (i.e. towards a mountain etc) then the bullet fired would hit first because there would be less distance for it to fall. They fall at the same rate, but one is falling straight down from the original height and the distance the fired bullet must fall will be dependent on the curvature of the earth in the direction of its travel.

Last edited by Wraisil; 07-04-2012 at 09:05 AM.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #12
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http://scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/2...s-bullet-drop/

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They don't hit at the same time. Actually, all three objects will hit differently. The no air drag object will hit first, then the dropped bullet and then the fired bullet. The above graph looks like just two lines because the dropped bullet and the no drag bullet are so similar. Let me zoom in a bit on that graph.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:40 AM   #13
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Must it?

A similiar experiment can be done with a pendulum.

two objects of identical mass/weight, one tied to a string so that it can swing freely. Drop it from a point perpendicular to its post(string taught) and drop a free flying object next to it. I would strongly suspect that the stringed object reaches the bottom of its swinging arc at the same time the free flying object reaches that height, despite being moved laterally.
My post was taught by yarn. Does that make a difference?
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:44 AM   #14
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Both.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:36 AM   #15
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My post was taught by yarn. Does that make a difference?
*sigh*

taut...
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:47 AM   #16
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Force applied to a fired bullet I feel would make that bullet slower to hit the ground than just a dropped bullet. My reasoning is the net force pushing the bullet to the ground is less than gravity itself.

Dropping a bullet has only gravity acting on it so net force will roughly be gravity.
Firing a bullet still has the same gravity acting on it but also a horizontal force component. Once the net force is calculated, it will be less than that of gravity (thinking of a triangular force diagram here)
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:51 PM   #17
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The answer would be more meaningful if proven with equations.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #18
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the bullet will take off
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #19
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My post was taught by yarn. Does that make a difference?
Extra marks for the humour.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #20
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The same can be done with a book and a feather
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