Waste less time on Facebook — follow Brilliant.

I was on the bus earlier and I was throwing an apple, the bus was moving but the apple always fell back into my hand. Why didn't the bus move around the apple so that the apple landed further back?

Note by Rashid Shaikh
3 years, 5 months ago

No vote yet
3 votes


Sort by:

Top Newest

The apple was already moving the speed of the bus, just as you and the bus were. A body in motion tends to stay in that motion. Bob Krueger · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply

The assumption is that the bus is an accelerating frame. Obviously, if you are on a bus travelling roughly, it would constitute an accelerating frame, there's some "force" pulling you. Assuming constant velocity, we have the no random "force" throwing the apple back.

Basically, in a calculus viewpoint, we have \(f'(x)=0 \iff f(x)=0\) wrong, or if no acceleration is taking place, it does not mean there is no velocity. Clarence Chew · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply

coz a bus isn't going to move round an apple, it's too big! And you and the apple are traveling at the same pace as a bus so when you throw the apple it carries on moving at the same pace forwards so it lands back into your hands. Just a guess, but hope it helps! x Jess J · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply

this i a simple case of motion w.r.t. the frame of the oserver....

since u are in a moving bus with a apple in ur hand.....when the bus is moving...u are moving with the same velocity as of the bus....and the relative velocity becomes zero.....i.e

velocity of a person w.r.t. bus = 0

and so the velocity of the apple becomes 0 also....w.r.t. to the bus...i.e. why the apple always fells back in our hands.....similar to the case when we are at rest(on the ground) and throwing apple in the air....

for an observer standing outside the bus the motion of the apple will appear as if it retraces its path back in parabola. Riya Gupta · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply

The apple will move back when the bus is actually accelerating.. means if it's velocity changes from the time you threw the apple up in the air and the time it got to some height.. by the time the inertia of apple will tend to push apple back. But as bus is not accelerating.. velocity of bus is the same as that of the apple thrown upward.. so apple will not land further back.. It's simple! :) Noor Muhammad Malik · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply

@Noor Muhammad Malik Same is the reason when a package is dropped from an upward accelerating helicopter.. the package "actually" moves some distance in upward direction due to its inertia and then starts accelerating towards the ground.. Noor Muhammad Malik · 3 years, 5 months ago

Log in to reply


Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...