Does Mass Affect Terminal Velocity?


Quick Answer

Terminal velocity is the velocity at which an object in freefall no longer accelerates due to gravity because the drag force of the surrounding air equals the gravitational force of Earth. Objects with more mass have more weight, and it takes more drag force to reach terminal velocity.

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Full Answer

Terminal velocity is also influenced by frontal area, or the area closest to the ground. A smaller frontal area is less affected by drag forces and wind resistance, so it reaches terminal velocity more quickly. Given two objects of the same size and shape but with different mass, the heavier one has a higher terminal velocity because Earth's gravity attracts it more strongly.

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