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Problem 1

1 Problem Description:
Here, we will analyse the motion of a freely falling body neglecting air resistance, buoyant
force due to air and variation of g with height. We obtain solutions computationally using
Euler’s method. We analyse the motion for Earth as well as for Moon.

2 Assumptions:
1. Body is a point object

2. Motion is one-dimensional

3. No air resistance

4. No buoyant force due to air

5. No variation in g with height

3 Mathematical Model:
3.1 Differential Equations:
Let origin O be a point on the ground and the positive direction of Y − axis be perpendic-
ular to the ground surface. The acceleration of the body is −g. So,

dv
= −g (1)
dt
and
dy
=v (2)
dt

3.2 Difference Equations:


The corresponding difference equations are:

vi+1 = vi − gdt (3)

yi+1 = yi + vi dt (4)

1
3.3 Initial Conditions:
In free fall, since the object is initially at rest,

v0 = v(0) = 0

and the initial height is some positive value h0 . So,

h(0) = h0

3.4 Other Parameters:


1. g = 9.8m/s2

2. h0 = 15m

4 Analytical Solution:
Solving Eqn.(1) with initial condition v(0) = 0, we get

v = −gt (5)

Solving Eqn.(2) with initial condition y(0) = h0 , we get

gt 2
y = h0 − (6)
2
These equations are for Earth. For Moon, we simply replace g by g/6.

5 Results:
Here are the plots we obtained:

Figure 1: On Earth

2
Figure 2: On Moon

6 Observations:
1. Since acceleration is constant, speed increase linearly with time. Also, displacement
v/s time graph is a parabola as y varies as t 2 .

2. For the same initial conditions, the final speed of the object at Moon is less than its
final speed at Earth as gmoon is less than gearth by a factor of 6.