Terminal Velocity Lab

Topics: Friction, Mass, Force Pages: 2 (567 words) Published: April 2, 2013
This lab is an experiment in terminal velocity, the speed an object cannot surpass due to frictional forces. To begin, it is important to note that the objects in this lab are not in a free-fall scenario. A free-fall scenario is a situation where an object is dropped in a frictionless environment, and the only force that is acting upon it is the force of gravity. In a free fall environment, terminal velocity would not occur, because no frictional forces would act on the object to stop it from continuing to accelerate. It this lab situation, the force of friction (air resistance) has an effect on the falling object. The air resistance (force of friction) that causes terminal velocity is caused by a few things. The mass, the density of the air, and the surface area all have an impact on how much air resistance there is. In this lab, because the density of the air in the school is relatively constant and should not change during the experiment, we can ignore that value (it is constant). The surface are should not change either (the cupcake liners are stacked), so we can also ignore that value. We choose to measure the mass of the cupcake liners because that is the only factor in air resistance that will change throughout this experiment. In conclusion, terminal velocity is caused by air resistance, which is caused by mass. Purpose:

The purpose of this lab is to investigate the causes of terminal velocity, specifically the relationship between terminal velocity, mass, and air resistance. Materials:
-20 “Giant Cupcake Liners”-3 timers
-String-metre stick
See assignment sheet

See assignment sheet for table of values

1. Using your graphical analysis techniques, straighten out the graph of velocity vs. mass and determine the relationship between terminal velocity and mass. Write this relationship as a variation statement.

∴ v ∝ √m

2. Determine the constant of...
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