There are a lot of things we hear as little kids that we believe well into adulthood. I’m not talking Santa or the Stork or any of that…I’m talking about how you have to hold your breath walking past a cemetery. Or how counting to 10 cures hiccups. Or if you count the second between thunder and lightening you know how many miles away a storm is. Or, a really big one, that a penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building could kill someone. Could it, though?
Turns out, the answer is no. And the solution to this comes straight from the world of physics. See, when something is falling it is acted on by gravity, but also by air resistance. So there’s a point after you drop that penny where it reaches it’s maximum speed (surprisingly low) and there’s nothing that can happen that’ll make it fall faster.
Something else that makes this an unlikely happening is the fact that pennies are not very aerodynamic. They’re flat, and flip, and flop around. And chances are one gust of wind is going to blow it completely off course and it might not even end up hitting the ground! Take a look!