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Terminal Velocity

Posted on Feb 11 2013 by Richard N. Tarrant, Richard J. Thompson

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Experiment Overview

This experiment serves as an extension to the Mechanics module undertaken in lectures by first year students in the Regular physics stream.

Students drop paper gliders (1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 stacked muffin cases) from a height of approximately 2 metres, and using a motion detector, measure the distance fallen, the velocity and acceleration during the fall. Students then determine the terminal velocities of each stack, and analyse and graph, using log-log paper the motions of the glider stacks.


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