If a body travelling at speed falls to the ground through an arc from a certain height (someone walking who trips, for example), how does friction of the ground surface affect the forces impacting upon the body (treating it as a point mass) when it reaches the ground? How can the net forces on the body and the net vertical impact velocity be calculated?

  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking if someone falling on ice would experience more or less pain than someone falling on concrete? $\endgroup$ – ja72 Sep 9 '13 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ In effect, yes. But I want to be able to quantify it. $\endgroup$ – user1342299 Sep 9 '13 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ Have you seen how when someone falls flat on ice, they keep sliding, but on concrete they don't Those extra forces are due to friction and you do feel them. So the answer is, yes friction does affect the contact forces (or impulses). $\endgroup$ – ja72 Sep 9 '13 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I know that is the case but I want to know how to calculate the net force on the fallen body from the H and V components of the speed of fall, the coefficient of friction and anything else relevant. $\endgroup$ – user1342299 Sep 10 '13 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ There is no closed form solution. Only simulation/numerical solution is possible. $\endgroup$ – ja72 Sep 10 '13 at 19:49

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