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Hi, everybody and welcome to Science Fiction,
the show where we take all your misconceptions about science...
And make them disappear completely.
Today's question, please, BUD E.
Oh, hold on there, love. Coming down with a bit of a virus, I think.
Today's question comes from Benny in Letterkenny.
Ah, Benny. Skyscrapers - that brings me back.
Do you know Big Apple, 1956?
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When an object is dropped from a high place,
as it falls, it gradually picks up speed.
Dropping faster and faster and faster,
until, suddenly - crash, bang, wallop!
Splits the people below down the middle, in two.
But, Professor, hello?
Have you completely forgotten about terminal velocity?
Term, Term... Who's she?
As the coin falls, gravity pulls it downwards,
but the resistance of the air - also called drag - pushes it back up.
This is turning into a bit of a drag.
The cancelling effect of these forces ensures the coin
does not reach a speed beyond its terminal velocity.
So, although a coin dropping from a skyscraper might
give you a bad bump on the head... Ow!
It certainly couldn't build up enough speed to split you in two.
So that's just a load of old science fiction. Ha!
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Could somebody call me a taxi, please?
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