Free Fall Experiment Essay

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Thanks to studies begun by Sir Isaac Newton, It is known that the force of gravity on Earth acts equally on all objects. With an acceleration of 9.81 m/s2 objects fall at the same acceleration independently of their mass. However, objects have varying amounts of drag or air resistance dependent upon their mass and surface area. For example, a bowling ball will fall faster than a feather. Knowing these concepts, a free fall experiment was conducted comparing the drop of a ball to the drop of a coffee filter.

By simply recording each freefall with a phone camera, and having a meter stick set up against the wall in the background, we were able to use tracking software to gather the needed information to calculate gravity and air resistance. For each
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This could be applied to skydivers and cliff jumpers that utilize wingsuits and parachutes. By increasing their surface area, jumpers increase their drag, thus terminal velocity would be reached quicker. Therefore, jumpers would travel at slower speeds, with the ability to float in the air for a longer time period. However, there is a delicate balance to find just the right amount of drag for these acts. If there’s too much drag, wingsuits could tear and parachutes may opening violently, causing the skydiver to feel an extreme force due to the force of air resistance acting against gravity. In such instances, injuries to the ribs, spine, face, and others have been reported (Ellitsgaard 16).

In addition, there is a point when increasing the surface area of an object has no, or very negligible, effects upon the terminal velocity. This is in part due to the fact that as an object grows bigger, so does its mass. However, overall, it’s mostly due to the fact that terminal velocity decreases as drag increases. Therefore, once terminal velocity is reached very quickly, so there’s no room to slow it down

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