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Relative speed

If I am standing in the aisle of a moving 747 and I jump on the spot, I will land at the same point in the aeroplane, despite having detached myself (as it were) from many of the forces which govern the relationship between the plane and the ground below. How is that possible? I am pretty sure I would not get the same result if I tried the experiment with a skateboard instead of a 747.
Question asked by: vcurious

Asked on: 08 Jan 2011

The aeroplane and its contents are all moving a certain speed.

When you jump on the aeroplane, you continue to both move at the same speed and therefore land in the same place. Any impact you have on the motion of the plane is so minimal with its weight and speed to have essentially no effect on its motion as it is so massive compared to you.

When you jump on something as light as a skateboard the act of pushing your weight down in order to jump affects the motion and speed of the skateboard itself which does not happen with the aeroplane.

By: knowitall
Replied at: 08 Jan 2011
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