Resource Lesson
Air Resistance: Terminal Velocity
Printer Friendly Version
Background Information:
The amount of air resistance an object encounters is directly proportional to its surface area and velocity.
Terminal velocity
,
v
_{t}
, is achieved when the air resistance equals the object's weight and the object can no longer accelerate. It reaches a state of
dynamic equilibrium
.
Theory.
The air resistance any group of filters encounters is directly proportional to their cross-sectional area and to their instantaneous velocity. The formula that represents this relationship is:
Equation #1
where
k
is a constant that is proportional to the filters' cross-sectional area. At terminal velocity,
v
_{t}
, the filters are in dynamic equilibrium,
Equation #2
Solving equation #2 for v
_{t}
produces the result,
Equation #3
Since each group of filters has relatively small mass, this terminal velocity is reached almost immediately after the filters are released. Thus, for the most part, they are traveling the entire time at
v
_{t}
. This allows us to use the equation
Equation #4
to determine the time required for each group of filters to reach the ground.
After solving equation #4 for time,
both times can be set equal to each other, since both groups in each trial hit the ground simultaneously.
Equation #5
Rearranging equation #5,
Equation #6
Substituting the expression for
v
_{t}
in equation #3 into equation #6 produces,
Equation #7
In equation #7,
g
and
k
cancel,
Equation #8
Squaring both sides of equation #8 results in the relationship,
Equation #9
This result means that the distance required to achieve terminal velocity for two objects, both released from rest, having the same surface area is directly proportional to the square root of their masses.
If one object has 9 times the mass of a second object how will their distances required to reach terminal velocity compare?
Related Documents
Lab:
Labs -
Coefficient of Friction
Labs -
Coefficient of Friction
Labs -
Conservation of Momentum in Two-Dimensions
Labs -
Falling Coffee Filters
Labs -
Force Table - Force Vectors in Equilibrium
Labs -
Inelastic Collision - Velocity of a Softball
Labs -
Inertial Mass
Labs -
LabPro: Newton's 2nd Law
Labs -
Loop-the-Loop
Labs -
Mass of a Rolling Cart
Labs -
Moment of Inertia of a Bicycle Wheel
Labs -
Relationship Between Tension in a String and Wave Speed
Labs -
Relationship Between Tension in a String and Wave Speed Along the String
Labs -
Static Equilibrium Lab
Labs -
Static Springs: Hooke's Law
Labs -
Static Springs: Hooke's Law
Labs -
Static Springs: LabPro Data for Hooke's Law
Labs -
Terminal Velocity
Labs -
Video LAB: A Gravitron
Labs -
Video LAB: Ball Re-Bounding From a Wall
Labs -
Video Lab: Falling Coffee Filters
Resource Lesson:
RL -
Advanced Gravitational Forces
RL -
Air Resistance
RL -
Forces Acting at an Angle
RL -
Freebody Diagrams
RL -
Gravitational Energy Wells
RL -
Inclined Planes
RL -
Inertial vs Gravitational Mass
RL -
Newton's Laws of Motion
RL -
Non-constant Resistance Forces
RL -
Properties of Friction
RL -
Springs and Blocks
RL -
Springs: Hooke's Law
RL -
Static Equilibrium
RL -
Systems of Bodies
RL -
Tension Cases: Four Special Situations
RL -
The Law of Universal Gravitation
RL -
Universal Gravitation and Satellites
RL -
Universal Gravitation and Weight
RL -
What is Mass?
RL -
Work and Energy
Worksheet:
APP -
Big Fist
APP -
Family Reunion
APP -
The Antelope
APP -
The Box Seat
APP -
The Jogger
CP -
Action-Reaction #1
CP -
Action-Reaction #2
CP -
Equilibrium on an Inclined Plane
CP -
Falling and Air Resistance
CP -
Force and Acceleration
CP -
Force and Weight
CP -
Force Vectors and the Parallelogram Rule
CP -
Freebody Diagrams
CP -
Gravitational Interactions
CP -
Incline Places: Force Vector Resultants
CP -
Incline Planes - Force Vector Components
CP -
Inertia
CP -
Mobiles: Rotational Equilibrium
CP -
Net Force
CP -
Newton's Law of Motion: Friction
CP -
Static Equilibrium
CP -
Tensions and Equilibrium
NT -
Acceleration
NT -
Air Resistance #1
NT -
An Apple on a Table
NT -
Apex #1
NT -
Apex #2
NT -
Falling Rock
NT -
Falling Spheres
NT -
Friction
NT -
Frictionless Pulley
NT -
Gravitation #1
NT -
Head-on Collisions #1
NT -
Head-on Collisions #2
NT -
Ice Boat
NT -
Rotating Disk
NT -
Sailboats #1
NT -
Sailboats #2
NT -
Scale Reading
NT -
Settling
NT -
Skidding Distances
NT -
Spiral Tube
NT -
Tensile Strength
NT -
Terminal Velocity
NT -
Tug of War #1
NT -
Tug of War #2
NT -
Two-block Systems
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #1
WS -
Advanced Properties of Freely Falling Bodies #2
WS -
Calculating Force Components
WS -
Charged Projectiles in Uniform Electric Fields
WS -
Combining Kinematics and Dynamics
WS -
Distinguishing 2nd and 3rd Law Forces
WS -
Force vs Displacement Graphs
WS -
Freebody Diagrams #1
WS -
Freebody Diagrams #2
WS -
Freebody Diagrams #3
WS -
Freebody Diagrams #4
WS -
Introduction to Springs
WS -
Kinematics Along With Work/Energy
WS -
Lab Discussion: Gravitational Field Strength and the Acceleration Due to Gravity
WS -
Lab Discussion: Inertial and Gravitational Mass
WS -
net F = ma
WS -
Practice: Vertical Circular Motion
WS -
Ropes and Pulleys in Static Equilibrium
WS -
Standard Model: Particles and Forces
WS -
Static Springs: The Basics
WS -
Vocabulary for Newton's Laws
WS -
Work and Energy Practice: Forces at Angles
TB -
Systems of Bodies (including pulleys)
TB -
Work, Power, Kinetic Energy
PhysicsLAB
Copyright © 1997-2017
Catharine H. Colwell
All rights reserved.
Application Programmer
Mark Acton