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Published on Nov 14, 2008
A stuffed monkey is suspended from a rod at one end of a lecture hall by an electromagnet. A golf ball gun aimed directly at the monkey cuts power to the electromagnet when fired. Thus, the monkey begins falling at the same instant the gun fires the golf ball. The projectile and target meet in mid air.
Intuitively one might think that the ball will go over the monkey's head due to its fast speed. However, gravity accelerates all objects downward at the same rate, meaning the monkey and the ball will meet at exactly the same point. If the ball was shot even faster, it would still hit the monkey, but higher above the ground.