The terminal velocity of a skydiver in freefall is approximately 50 to 60 miles per second or roughly 125 to 135 mph. While the term has been popularized by skydiving enthusiasts, however, the concept of terminal velocity is applicable to the study of physics in general.
Terminal velocity refers to the fact that, although an object falling on earth is subject to the pull of gravity, there will come a point where the opposite drag on the object from the wind will balance out the force of gravity and no further acceleration will be achieved. The shape of the object affects the dragging effect of the wind and this is why skydivers can change the speed of their fall by changing the shape of their bodies as they fall. When the parachute opens, the terminal velocity is reduced to about 12 mph - or a safe speed to land.Learn More
Air resistance, also called drag, acts upon a falling body by slowing the body down to the point where it stops accelerating, and it falls at a constant speed, known as the terminal velocity of a falling object. Air resistance depends on the cross-sectional area of the object, which is why the effect of air resistance on a large flat-surfaced object is much greater than on a small, stream-lined object.Full Answer >
Average velocity is the displacement of an object, divided by the time it took to cover that distance. Displacement is the straight line distance between the starting point and ending point of an object's motion. Velocity is referred to as a vector quantity because it has both magnitude and direction.Full Answer >
The basic formula for average velocity is v = d/t, where v is velocity, d is displacement and t is time. The displacement is the distance traveled during the time, t.Full Answer >
Velocity is found by dividing the total amount of space an object moved by a measurement of time and combining that with the direction it moved. Velocity is a vector, and speed is only part of this vector.Full Answer >