Q:

# When a falling object has reached its terminal velocity, what is its acceleration?

A:

When an object reaches its terminal velocity, it can no longer accelerate, so its acceleration becomes zero, and it falls at a constant speed. As an object falls freely through the air, it has two forces acting upon it: gravity and drag.

## Keep Learning

Every object has a terminal velocity, which is the speed it can travel while having a constant force. When an object falls it typically accelerates as it falls, however, eventually the air resistance or drag becomes too great to allow the object to continue accelerating. This occurs when the gravitational force and drag become equal. If an object is falling under a source of power other than gravity, such as an engine, then it will take longer for it to reach its terminal velocity.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A:

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.

Filed Under:
• A:

Uniform motion describes an object that is moving in a specific direction at a constant speed. While uniform motion typically describes objects moving in a straight line, uniform circular motion consists of an object moving in a perfect circle at a constant speed.

Filed Under:
• A:

A change in velocity is called acceleration. It can be positive or negative, though negative acceleration, or a decrease in velocity, is often referred to as deceleration.