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Name: Conni
Status: student	
Age:  N/A
Location: N/A
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Date: N/A 

I am a homeschooling mother. My daughter is in ABEKA algebra and we are faced with a question I am not sure how to answer. The problem is as follows: "Find to the nearest foot the distance a body will fall in 5 1/5 seconds." Now, we understand that the formula for such a problem is s = 1/2gt^2. However, the solutions manual has the formula filled in as follows: s= 1/2(32)(5.2). Where did the 32 come from? This was not explained anywhere in the solutions manual or the teachers guide. Is 32 the standard measure of gravity?

Dear Connie,

I like that you question what is going on rather than blindly accepting the book.

The acceleration due to gravity near the surface of the earth is -32 ft/sec/sec. In the metric system, the value is -9.8 meters/sec/sec.

This is due to the gravitational field intensity near the surface of the earth. If we were to go to the moon, the value would be -1.6 m/s/s. It is a local number, not a universal one.

Thanks for using NEWTON BBS!

---Nathan A. Unterman

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