Free fall ride

Marvin and Milo Feb 16

What you need

A coin, preferably a £2 piece
Paper
Scissors

Instructions

Cut out a paper disc a bit smaller than the coin. Hold the coin horizontally in one hand and the paper disc in the other, then let them fall.

The coin falls much faster than the paper, as you would expect.

Now place the paper disc on top of the coin, and let them fall together. The paper falls almost as fast as the coin.

Results & explanation

It is air resistance that makes the paper fall slowly, and the coin pushes the air out of the way for both itself and the paper when you drop them together. In a vacuum, all objects fall at the same speed, as astronaut David Scott once showed on the Moon.