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science question

goofy grandpa

10:29 pm on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My grandson has posed this question to me and I'm too science-dumb to give him an answer. But I did say "I know just where to ask!" So here goes:

Pretend there is a train that has very tall cars, say, 30-40 feet. Also pretend (assume) the train can go very fast. 500 MPH sounds good.

You are in one of the cars. You paint a bulls-eye on the floor of the car. You set-up a ladder that allows you to climb to the top of the car. From there, you position yourself to drop a golf ball exactly over the bulls-eye on the floor below.

Will the ball land exactly below where you drop it, or will it land a little behind the bulls eye, loosing delta while it falls and car is rushing forward at 500 mph?

I think I know that the ball will hit the bulls-eye with no effect from the car moving forward, but common sense tells me it will land behind.

Of course, if it did land behind the mark, then things dropped from any great height would always land a little west of straight down as the earth turned during the fall, wouldn't they?

I owe Nick an answer. Please help me out. Thanks much.

7:59 am on June 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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LOL @ esllou. Very funny.
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