Terminal Velocity

Topics: Mass, General relativity, Classical mechanics Pages: 2 (385 words) Published: May 15, 2014
Year 11 Physic Controlled Assessment

The factors that affect the motion of a falling object

1. Gravity
2. Mass
3. Weight
4. Aerodynamic/Streamline
5. Surface Area
6. Shape
7. Elevation

Not Having Air Resistance

Not having air resistance as a factor in the practical has a big impact on the outcomes that you get, as there is nothing acting against gravity hence a greater acceleration the object has.

Having Air Resistance

However having air resistance also changes the outcome of the practical because the air resistance is acting against the force of gravity hence the object has less acceleration and once the air resistance is stronger then the terminal velocity that is when the object is going at a small velocity.

Terminal Velocity

When there is equal force acting on an object when falling such as gravity and air resistance at that stage it is called constant speed or terminal velocity. When the object is dropped the force of gravity initially is 100% but as it falls the air resistance becomes stronger making the gravity weaker and at one stage there will be terminal velocity. In some cases due to the mass and weight of an object and the height they fall the terminal velocity may be quicker or slower.

The Ant and The Man

When the man falls from the 10 story high building and splats to the ground this is because of his fall. When he falls due to the weight of him he falls quicker and gravity has a stronger force on him and air resistance doesn’t and in reality he may not even reach the terminal velocity or he may reach it near to the ground and hence he is accelerating at a high rate off the building making him splat on the floor.

However when the ant falls from the table which in comparison to the ants height an 100 story building when the ant falls he survives on the floor. This is also linked with the timing of the terminal velocity. As the ant falls gravity is 100% at the start but as it is small in size air...
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