“the Effect of Air Resistance with Relationship to the Area of the Paper in Free Fall Motion”

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  • Topic: Terminal velocity, Aerodynamics, Area
  • Pages : 9 (2850 words )
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  • Published : March 6, 2013
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An Investigatory Project


A. Background of the Study

When an object is dropped, the force of gravity will cause it to speed up as it falls. But friction with the air, called drag, will tend to cause it to slow down. How much drag there is depends mostly on two factors: speed and shape. The faster an object moves through air the more drag there is. A compact object experiences less drag than an object of the same mass that is spread out. As a falling object speeds up, drag increases until it is equal to gravity. At that point, the object continues to fall at a constant speed, called terminal velocity. The tightly folded piece of paper experiences less drag than the loosely crumpled piece. The balance between gravity and drag occurs at a lower speed, a lower terminal velocity, for the crumpled paper. The study was conducted to know the effect of air resistance with relationship to the area of the paper in free fall motion. The specific objective of the study was to determine the factors that affect the air resistance and to determine the effect of size and shape of the area in relation to the speed of fall of the paper on the ground. The crumpled paper would fall faster because it meets less air resistance over its smaller exposed surface. In addition to that the researcher wanted to determine how this research would be applied and useful to daily activities like skydiving, motorbike racing and other sports.

B. Statement of the Problem

This study aims to prove that size and shape of the paper will affect the air resistance it experienced. Specifically, this experimentation aims to answer the following questions: 1. What are the factors that affect air resistance?

2. What type of paper to be used?

Significance of the Study

This study will be conducted in order to prove that the shape of the paper will change the speed of their fall on the design. This would be use in the concept of designing parachute, glides or even the paper plane or kite racing. The study was also important to know the factors that affect air resistance in everyday life, students would be aware why do bicycle and motorcycle racers were wearing streamlined helmet to reduce drag for safety purposes.

C. Scope and Limitations.

This study was concerned primarily on the effect of air resistance in relation to the area of the paper in free fall motion. The speed of the fall of the paper on the ground was measured using the same weight and kind of paper. The scope of the study will be limited to the use of four (4) papers of the same size and kind, one was crumpled, the second one was folded once horizontally and once vertically to make it one fourth of its original size. Paper three and four were left unaltered, but they were held differently when we dropped them. The third was held parallel to the ground, while the fourth one was held vertical and perpendicular to the ground with the bottom of the paper and the same level as the third. Papers were lined up to make sure their bottom was in the same level. The research was done for almost two months and the study made use of the descriptive qualitative and quantitative method of research.


This chapter deals and reviews studies and reliable resources and references on problems, topics and subjects closely related to the present study, as follows:

Related Literature:
Air resistance
As mentioned in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/drag(Physics), air resistance is the amount of drag or resistance an object comes across when falling. The resistance is the equal and opposite force that acts on the object due to...
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