One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The constant speed that a freely falling object eventually reaches when the resistance of the medium through which it is falling prevents further acceleration.
- ‘On their first jump, students are told that they will reach terminal velocity of 120 mph, the speed at which a body stops accelerating, about 10 seconds after leaving the plane.’
- ‘Initially they will accelerate, but they will soon reach a constant terminal velocity when the air resistance around them offsets their downward acceleration.’
- ‘He starts to fall, picks up speed, and accelerates to near his terminal velocity in the first 10 seconds.’
- ‘Because air resistance also depends on the shape of the object and so by tucking in your arms and legs you can reach a faster terminal velocity than if your arms and legs are spread out.’
- ‘The drops begin falling as rain or ice crystals as snow when they grow to a size that makes their terminal velocity faster than the rising air.’
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