• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What happens to terminal velocity when weight is increased.

Extracts from this document...




Find out what happens to terminal velocity when weight is increased.


Terminal velocity is when the air resistance and weight (gravitational) forces are equal. It doesn’t get any faster because there is no resultant force. The terminal velocity of a falling object occurs when the object experiences zero acceleration. This is because of the retarding force known as air resistance. Air resistance exists because air molecules collide into the object creating an upward force opposite to gravity. This upward force will eventually balance the falling object’s weight. It will continue to fall at constant velocity known as the terminal velocity.


I first started using a 14.5cm cone with a joining point (the place where the cone is stuck together) of 10cm I found this fluttered a lot and didn’t travel in a straight line, so I couldn’t get accurate results. I

...read more.



Fair Test

I will not change the timing person, stopwatch, cone, person dropping cone. The only thing I will change will be the chosen variable, which is weight. I will also repeat each experiment 3 times and take an average of my results; this is to ensure that my results are accurate, and count out any anomalies.


I predict that if I increase the weight of a falling object then the terminal velocity will increase. I believe this because if the weight increases then eventually the air resistance will equal it. This results in the object accelerating and when the two forces are equal it is at its terminal velocity.

If I double the weight then the air resistance will double. The object will move twice as

...read more.



I think the procedure used was an accurate way of getting the results I needed, but for further experimentation I wouldn’t use a cone because it isn’t the most accurate of things, as if flutters slightly, and where is it heavier on one side due to the glue holding it together, I tended to drift slightly. The quality of my results should be good as:

  • The same person started and stopped the stopwatch each time.
  • The experiment was repeated twice for each mass.
  • The same cone was used for each experiment.
  • Nothing was changed except for the chosen variable.
  • The cone was dropped and given a time to reach terminal velocity before the stopwatch was started.

In my results I didn’t get any anomalies.

The way the procedure was carried out was the best that could be done with the resources available.  The recordings I took were not exact  but they were reliable enough to determine if the prediction was correct or not and make a good conclusion.  

By Shaun Gilchrist

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Forces and Motion essays

  1. How Fast Does a Paper Cone Fall?

    If the cone hits the wall or any other object on its way down, the measurement will be considered void, and that one will be re-measured. Once one drop is complete the stopwatch will be reset ready for the next cone.

  2. Find out how a variable affects the terminal velocity of a parachute.

    2.57 2.43 8 1.97 2.17 2.07 Evaluation for Trial Investigation This trial investigation has shown me that there are problems with my experiment.

  1. The aim of this investigation is to find out how weight affects the terminal ...

    test to be fair and come up with accurate results to base my investigation on. Changing the weight is not a hard task, all I need to do is add a fixed mass every try. I will carry out each mass 4 times to ensure thoroughness throughout the investigation.

  2. Investigate the factors which affect the terminal velocity of a falling object.

    * Measurement of radius: Each measurement is has an absolute error of ?0.005mm as each measurement is given to the nearest 0.01mm. * Measurement of time: Human error as well as reaction times can make a large contribution to any errors in the experiment.

  1. The effect of weight on the terminal velocity of a paper helicopter.

    For both of my graphs I would have expected the rate in which the time decreases to have kept at a constant. Thinks that could affect the results o Air Pressure o Varied paperclip weights o Doors/windows opening or closing o Height at which the helicopter is dropped o Helicopter

  2. Is there a link between terminal velocity and weight?

    Mass/Weight The mass of paper helicopter will change because I will be adding paper clips, increasing the mass and weight. (These are different: mass is a measurement, weight is a force caused by gravity) The equation I will need to work out weight in relation to mass is: F = ma F (weight)

  1. In this experiment I aim to find out how the force and mass affect ...

    be caught by hand, if it was travelling to fast the person stopping it may be injured. The runway had rails along the side so the trolley would not fall over the edge of the runway and break, the trolley was also caught at the end of the runway so it would not hit the floor and break.

  2. Terminal Velocity of a Cone

    Each cone should be made out of the same type of material - paper - and if possible the sticky tape should be used sparingly, so that it does not affect the results. I plan to have a cone with the slant height of 3cm as my smallest cone, and

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work