First, a little research:
- The terminal velocity of a sky diver is approximately
- The acceleration of gravity on Earth is
- The song is 4 minutes and 15 seconds long. However, Tom Petty only starts free falling at 1 minute and 9 seconds into the song.
And now comes the math:
- Tom Petty is in free fall for
4 minutes + 15 seconds - (1 minutes + 9 seconds) = 3 minutes + 6 seconds.
- He takes
55 m/s / 9.8 m/s^2 = 5.6 secondsto reach terminal velocity.
- He travels
(9.8 m/s^2 * (5.6 s)^2) / 2 = 154 metersbefore reaching terminal velocity.
- Assuming that he stops free falling at the end of the song, he free falls for a total of
3 minutes + 0.4 seconds * 55 m/s + 154 m = 10 kilometers.