What Affects Air Resistance & How? 7 Facts You Need To Know!

Air resistance is a frictional force responsible for slowing the object’s velocity. Let us discuss the different factors responsible for perturbing air resistance.

Here is a list of factors affecting the air resistance of an object floating in the air medium:-

  • Object’s speed – air resistance increases with speed.
  • Object’s mass – air resistance is greater for heavier masses
  • Area of an object – more air volume can resist the object’s motion
  • Airflow direction – increases or decreases the drag velocity
  • Medium density – air resistance increases with density.

The formula for the air resistance expressing the same is F = 1/2 DρAv2; here, D is the drag coefficient, ρ is the density, A is the area, and v is the velocity. We shall further discuss constant air resistance, whether air resistance depends on the mass and increases with acceleration and pressure, and what factors affect the air resistance the most.

Is Air Resistance Constant?

Air resistance is the resistive force caused by the air. Let us discuss whether the air resistance is constant or variable with objects in detail.

Air resistance is not constant and varies based on different factors. The air resistance force is proportional to the object’s speed in the air column. The speed relies upon the object’s density. The higher mass has higher air resistance, and the lighter mass has low air resistance. Hence, it varies with the objects.

When is Air resistance constant?

The air resistance varies with different conditions and factors, while it can merely be constant. Let us illuminate when air resistance is constant.

The air resistance is constant when the air resistive force on the object remains the same. Air resistance is proportional to the product of the square of a velocity, the area, and the medium density; if the object’s velocity is balanced based on its dimension, then the air resistance for different objects is constant.

What affect air resistance the most?

Several factors affect the air resistance and the object’s velocity in any air column. Let us see what affects air resistance to a greater extent.

Air resistance is mostly affected by air density, temperature, and pressure. The higher the air density, due to the aerosol in the air, lowers the objects’ speed. The air pressure is also responsible for slowing down the speed. At high temperatures, the air velocity increases, reducing or increasing the speed.

Does air resistance depend on mass?

Air resistance is a buoyant force that makes the object float in the air. Let us discuss whether the air resistance depends upon mass or not.

The air resistance does not directly depend on the mass. The object’s velocity while moving toward the ground is governed by the total energy converted from potential to kinetic energy. The potential energy stored by the heavy mass is more. Thus, a denser mass has high speed, and so is the air resistance felt on them.

Image Credit: Feather by Hariadhi (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Does air resistance increase with acceleration?

The air resistance increases with the escalating velocity. Let us briefly discuss whether the air resistance also depends upon the acceleration of an object or not.

The air resistance increases with acceleration as the change in velocity is drastic. Though the gravitational acceleration for every object in the free fall is constant in the absence of any additional external forces, it varies with the air resistance that relies upon the object’s speed and density of the medium.

Does air resistance increase with pressure?

The airflow is caused due to the pressure difference in the area and the temperature difference. Let us discuss whether the air resistance increases with pressure or not.

The air resistance increases with pressure because the air resistance is a force exerted on the object accelerating through the air and is directly proportional to the pressure per unit area. The higher pressure in the air medium lowers the object’s speed. In this outline, the lighter mass floats in the air.


We can conclude from this article that air resistance is affected by the object’s velocity, pressure, temperature, air density, mass, acceleration, and the area and dimensions of the object accelerating through the air. The air resistance varies for different objects but can be constant in a certain scenario.

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