Modeling a Falling Rope Ladder That Falls Faster Than Free Fall.

Rhett Allain
7 min readFeb 8, 2023
Photo: Rhett Allain. Free Body Diagrams

I saw this YouTube short on Vertiasium’s channel. It shows two falling rope ladders. The one on the left hits a table while the one on the right never hits anything. Which one ends up falling faster? The one that hits the table (SPOILER ALERT).

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Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.