What is free fall? 

What is free fall?

What is free fall? A person and an apple falling freely in front of space.
( Image adapted from 愚木混株 Cdd20 via Pixabay & Canva)

In Newtonian physics, a freely falling object moves only under the influence of the force of gravity.

In Einsteinian physics, there is no force of gravity, and a freely falling body has no force acting on it.

According to this view, freely falling objects follow geodesic curves through spacetime.

In both Newtonian and Einsteinian physics, freely falling bodies experience weightlessness. 

Want to learn more?

The instructional model

Together with my colleagues in project ReleQuant, I built on Einstein's free fall thought experiment to illustrate how warped time gives rise to gravity. Find instructions on how to use our interactive simulation in my paper published in Physics Education. 

The video

How come we feel weightless in free fall? How can "gravity go away" in free fall? Watch Brian Greene discuss the physics of free fall and gravity at the World Science Festival. 

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