Terminal Speed

The speed obtained in free fall when the upward force of air resistance is equal to the downward force of gravity.

Balancing the force due to air resistance, FA and the downward force of gravity, Fg


this gives

this can then be rearranged to give the terminal speed, v

where
F = aerodynamic drag force [N]
Cd = drag coefficient
A = frontal area [m2]
ρ = density of fluid [kgm-3]
v = velocity of object relative to fluid [ms-1]
m = mass of object [kg]
g = standard acceleration due to gravity [ms-2]

See also: Acceleration, Buoyant Force, Drag Coefficient, Standard Acceleration due to Gravity, Velocity.

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