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In a vacuum, why doesn’t an elephant accelerate faster than a penny as it falls to the ground?

A They both have an acceleration of \(9.8m/s^2\).

More massive objects will only free-fall faster than smaller objects if there is a significant amount of air resistance present. For a penny and an elephant that are free-falling in a vacuum, the rate of acceleration would be the same, so both would fall at the acceleration due to gravity which is \(9.8m/s^2\).