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Sept-Oct 2009

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Weather Front

Raindrops Defy Principles of Physics

Contrary to popular belief, small raindrops can fall faster than large raindrops, according to researchers from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the Michigan Technological University. Moreover, they say, small raindrops can fall even faster than their terminal speed, which is the speed when the downward force of gravity is exactly the same as the upward air resistance.

Traditional wisdom states that large raindrops fall faster than smaller drops because they are bigger and heavier, though they cannot fall faster than their terminal speed.

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