# why does a bowling ball move without acceleration when it rolls along a bowling alley?

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In the absence of air resistance why does the horizontal component of a velocity for a projectile remain constant and why does only the vertical component change?

at the instant a ball is thrown horizontally over a level range a ball held at the side of the first released and drops to the ground. if air resistance was neglected which ball-the one thrown or the one dropped from rest-strikes the ground first?

• there is very minimal friction between the ball and the lane

when there are no net forces on an object, its motion does not change and it moves in a straight line at constant speed

in this case, the resisting force is very small, so the ball’s speed remains nearly constant as it moves down the lane

• 1) acceleration is a force that reacts with a mass, bowling balls are first subjected to gravity, which pulls them to the ground, and then by friction (which can be discribed as the same gravity trying to pull the object into the surface), thus slowing their momentum, however, the friction between the alley and the ball is so low, that it’s negative acceleration is so little that most bowlers don’t see any speed reduction, it you want to see friction take effect, try rolling the ball extremely slowly

2) the vertical component has the force of gravity pulling at it, so as long as the force to move down is greater than the “resistance” of the material encountered, it will go down, but the horizontal component is subjected to a one time force only, the launch, after it reached it’s maximum speed obtainable by that force, it’s speed will stay constant due to Newton’s law of motion (objects with no forces on them will either stay in zero motion or at constant speed)

3) naturally the ball that is thrown, because the vector of the released ball has only 1 direction, going down, the vectors of the thrown ball have a forward direction and a down, which combined resuly in an arcing direction, which has a greater distance than the sole direction of the dropped ball, and with no air resistance, both balls will have the same drop speed, so with similar speeds, the ball which travels the shortest path will hit the ground first (the speed of the throw can be neglected here because a slow speed will have no influence on the drop speed, and a extreme high speed will put it into an orbit)

• It has acceleration. It is small, but exists. It is negative (the ball slows down).

Just accept the horizontal velocity remains constant, because there are no forces horizontally to change it.

But vertically, first gravity applies negative acceleration until motion stops, then applies positive acceleration again until it hits the ground (or whatever it hits).

Both will hit the ground together. Horizontal velocity is independent of vertical acceleration.