17 Terminal Velocity Examples: And Problem Examples


Terminal velocity is the highest value of velocity that a body experiences during its fall. It occurs in both air and fluid medium. Can observe two components in this terminal velocity: drag force and buoyancy, which are almost similar to the gravity pull. Falling objects are the main terminal velocity examples.

Let us study in detail the important terminal velocity examples.

  • Marble is a viscous liquid
  • Skydiver
  • Skydiver, with his arms, stretched
  • A leaf falling from trees
  • Parachute
  • Movement of feather
  • Baseball game
  • Golf-ball
  • Rainfall
  • Hailstone rain
  • Movement of the Cotton ball
  • Bullet shot
  • Piece of stick falling from a height
  • Movement of Shot-put ball
  • Game of Disc throw
  • Movement of a shot-put ball
  • Game of Cricket
  • Ball falling from a height

Marble in a viscous liquid

If a marble drops into the viscous liquid, it moves down, and after a certain time, when the drag force and the downward force become equal, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. It is a terminal velocity example.

Skydiver

When a skydiver jumps from a plane, after a while, we can observe that the downward force that is also considered gravity will almost have the same value as that of the drag force. It happens due to the air resistance, and the skydiver comes down with constant velocity since the acceleration will be zero.

The skydiver with his arms stretched

The terminal velocity value will be different when the skydiver stretches his arms and legs out. The velocity will be less case when he opens his arms and kegs, i.e., it may be 135 mph, and when he does not open his arms and legs, the velocity will be more, i.e., 215 mph.

A leaf falling from trees

When a leaf falls from its branch due to the air movement, it moves down, and after a certain time when the drag force and the gravity become equal, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Parachute

Even when the skydiver jumps, he opens his chute. In this similar force acts on the chute. After a while, we can observe that the downward force, also considered gravity, would almost have the same value as the drag force. It happens due to the air resistance, and the skydiver comes down with constant velocity since the acceleration will be zero.

Movement of feather

When a feather is plucked out from its stock and let float freely in the air, we can see that after a while, it moves down. Due to the air resistance applied to the feather, the downward force, i.e., gravity acting on the feather, will become equal to the drag force. It is a terminal velocity example.

Baseball game

When you hit a ball in baseball, it travels a certain distance and drops down from that height due to gravity. During its drop at any period when the drag force and the gravity will be similar, it gains a constant value of velocity that is maximum, called terminal velocity.

Golf-ball

When a golf ball is hot to a certain distance, it drops down into the hole from a certain height due to the gravity pull. During its drop at any point when the upward and downward will have equal value, terminal velocity comes into the act that has more value. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Rainfall

When the rain falls, each droplet will have a competition to reach on earth. After a while, we can observe that the downward force, also considered gravity, will almost have the same value as the drag force. It happens due to the air resistance, and the skydiver comes down with constant velocity since the acceleration will be zero.

Hailstone rain

When the hailstones fall heavily in a region, we can observe the rate at which it falls on the ground, where terminal velocity can be seen when both the upward and downward force will be the same at some point hailstone drops at constant velocity. It is a terminal velocity example.

Movement of the Cotton ball

When a cotton ball is removed from its bundle and let float freely in the air, we can see that after a while, it moves down. The cotton is less dense and will have more surface area. Due to the air resistance applied to the feather, the downward force, i.e., gravity acting on the feather, will become equal to the drag force. It is a terminal velocity example.

Bullet shot

In fairs and exhibitions, we observe that a playing bullet is shot upwards; if we carefully observe its movement, it reaches its maximum height and then travels down to the ground. Here we can observe the terminal velocity. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Piece of stick falling from a height

When a piece of the stick is dropped from a certain height, it moves down due to the gravity, and after a certain time when the drag force and the gravity become equal, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Game of Disc throw

When a disc is thrown at a far distance during the tournament, it drops down from a certain height due to the gravity pull. During its drop at any point of time, when the drag force that is upward force and the gravity will be similar, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

terminal velocity examples
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Movement of a shot-put ball

When a Shot-put ball is thrown at a far distance, it drops down from a certain height due to the gravity pull. During its drop at any point of time, when the drag force that is upward force and the gravity will be similar, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Game of Cricket

When the batsmen hit a ball, it falls to a certain length. It falls from that height due to the air movement it moves down, and after a certain time, when the drag force that is upward force and the gravity will be similar, it gains a constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Ball falling from a height

When a ball is dropped from the top floor of any building; it falls from that height due to the air movement, it moves down, and after a certain time, when the drag force is upward force and the gravity are similar, it gains the constant value of velocity that will be maximum during its movement. Hence it is a terminal velocity example.

Person jumping out of a plane

Assume that a person jumps from a plane. During his fall, we can notice that at some period, the upward force, called drag force, will gain a value that is almost similar to the downward force. The forces gain the same value due to air resistance that acts on the person. Here we must notice that acceleration will be zero.

The above listed are some of the major terminal velocity examples.

How can we define a terminal velocity in terms of physics?

A terminal velocity is a form of velocity that is generally observed when any material drops from a certain height.

It is also the highest value of velocity that an object gains when it passes through air or fluid. It is generally considered the total sum of upward force and downward force. Both forces tend to cancel one another, no force acts, and the value of acceleration will become zero.

Why does the name terminal velocity define it?

In physics, the velocity that acts on any material at the constant value in its vertical direction is terminal velocity.

During the fall, the upward force will be the same as the object’s weight, leading to the result of zero vertical acceleration. Here it is observed that the material reaches the ground with constant velocity. This constant vertical velocity is known to be terminal velocity.

How does the terminal velocity work?

The important terms to be considered in the working of terminal velocity are upward force, downward force, air resistance, etc.

The working of terminal velocity is nothing but considering the values of drag and downward force and how air resistance acts on the falling body.

Give one good comparison example of the values of terminal velocity?

 Numerous terminal velocity examples can give a good comparison between a feather and a ball.

The terminal velocity value is different for both feather and ball since they have different weights. The feather is so light that it takes more time to travel back to the ground than the ball. The air resistance is the reason behind this situation.

Summary

A terminal velocity is a form of velocity that is generally observed when any material drops from a certain height. It is also referred to as the highest value of velocity that an object possesses when it makes its movements through air or fluid.

Raghavi Acharya

I am Raghavi Acharya, I have completed my post-graduation in physics with a specialization in the field of condensed matter physics. Having a very good understanding in Latex, gnu-plot and octave. I have always considered Physics to be a captivating area of study and I enjoy exploring the various fields of this subject. In my free time, I engage myself in digital art. My articles are aimed towards delivering the concepts of physics in a very simplified manner to the readers. Let’s connect through - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raghavi-c-s-260a801b1 EMAIL ID: raghavics6@gmail.com

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