# How Does An Object Have A Low Terminal Velocity

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Terminal velocity is the constant speed achieved by a freely falling object through a gas or liquid. An object dropped from rest will increase its speed until it reaches terminal velocity; an object forced to move faster than its terminal velocity will, upon release, slow down to this constant velocity. When an object attains terminal velocity its acceleration becomes zero. The force of air resistance is directly proportional to the speed of falling object. Terminal velocity is reached when the force of air resistance pushing up against the falling object, is equal to the force of gravity pushing the object downward.

The air drag force heavily depends on the shape and size of the freely falling object. A large surface area like a parachute will have much lower terminal velocity than an object with a smaller surface area. The weight of the object also has an impact on the air drag force and therefore its terminal velocity. For instance, a flat piece of paper will fall more slowly than the same paper after it has been crumpled into a ball. The paper weighs the same, but the air drag forces have decreased because its surface area and drag coefficient have changed. This causes the crumpled paper to have a higher terminal velocity than the flat paper. …show more content…

Air resistance is the result of collisions of the object's leading surface with air molecules. It depends on the density of the air, the cross sectional area of the object, the velocity it is moving with and a "drag coefficient" that accounts for properties of the object like the surface roughness, and turbulence. Air resistance is also called "drag", and the unit for this force is Newtons