Enter the mass, cross-sectional area, drag coefficient, density of air, and force due to gravity into the calculator. The calculator will evaluate the terminal velocity of that object.

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## Terminal Velocity Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the terminal velocity of an object.

- Where m is the mass of the object
- g is the acceleration due to gravity
- p is the density of the medium (air)
- A is the cross-sectional area
- Cd is the coefficient of drag

## Terminal Velocity Definition

A terminal velocity is defined as the maximum speed of a falling object where the force of gravity and force of air resistance is equal.

## Terminal Velocity Example

How to calculate terminal velocity

**First, measure the mass of the object**Measure the mass of the object in kilograms.

**Next, determine the acceleration due to gravity**On earth, this is approximately 9.8 m/s^2.

**Next, determine the density of air**Air has a density of 1.225 kg/m^3 at 1 atmosphere.

**Next, measure the cross sectional area**The cross-sectional area is the area that is exposed to the force of air resistance.

**Determine the coefficient of drag.**Using an experiment or theoretical data, determine an estimate for the coefficient of drag on the object.

## FAQ

**How does the cross-sectional area of an object affect its terminal velocity?**

The cross-sectional area of an object directly influences its terminal velocity. A larger cross-sectional area increases the air resistance or drag force on the object, potentially reducing its terminal velocity. Conversely, a smaller area decreases air resistance, allowing for a higher terminal velocity under the same conditions.

**Why is the coefficient of drag important in determining terminal velocity?**

The coefficient of drag is a crucial factor because it quantifies how easily an object can move through a fluid, such as air. A higher coefficient indicates more drag, slowing the object down and lowering its terminal velocity. Understanding the coefficient of drag allows for more accurate predictions of an object’s terminal velocity.

**Can terminal velocity change if the density of the medium changes?**

Yes, the terminal velocity of an object can change with the density of the medium it is falling through. For example, an object will reach a lower terminal velocity in a denser medium like water compared to air because the increased density results in higher buoyant and drag forces acting against gravity.