• Question: Can you survive if a 1p drops from a 30 floor block and hit's top of someones head is there a chance you can live...........?

    Asked by daidai to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 21 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hi Daidai – you can work this one out for yourself. The mass of a penny is about 3 grams. The terminal velocity (maximum speed in air resistance) is about 100 mph. The kinetic energy is half the mass times the velocity squared.

      If you work this out, you can then convert it to how fast a cricket ball would have to be going to have the same energy. It’s not exact, because the penny will keep a fair bit of its energy after it hits you and bounces off, but even if you assume all the energy from the penny goes into your head, it will only sting a bit.

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I have heard that you can kill someone that way too. Drew’s maths seems right though.I don’t suggest trying dropping a penny off any high buildings 😛

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I reckon it’d kill you.. go right through your brain… follow drews maths to work it out 😛

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I think we should all walk around with hard hats on to safeguard against this…or maybe outlaw 1ps? all coppers do is clog up your purse anyway!! 🙂

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi daidai! I personally don’t really feel like I want to test this one out in person! Drew’s calculation should give you an idea though. That’s my favorite way. But, if your more of an experimentalist, you could always do a “model” experiment and start dropping 1p pieces into a sand box (or maybe cornstarch and water – that’s a little harder) from higher and higher up and see what you observe. Could be interesting!!