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more than 3 weeks ago

# How does air resistance affect acceleration of falling object?

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more than 3 weeks ago
Air resistance acts in the opposite direction of the motion of a falling object, slowing it down as it falls. This means that the acceleration of the falling object is reduced due to the force of air resistance. As the object falls faster, the force of air resistance increases, eventually reaching a point where it balances out the force of gravity acting on the object. At this point, the object reaches its terminal velocity and no longer accelerates.
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more than 3 weeks ago
Air resistance, caused by the interaction of an object with the air molecules it encounters as it moves, affects the acceleration of a falling object in the following ways:

1. Terminal Velocity:
Air resistance opposes the downward motion of an object. As the object falls, it experiences an increasing force of air resistance due to its increasing velocity. At some point, the force of air resistance becomes equal to the force of gravity acting on the object, causing its acceleration to become zero. This is known as terminal velocity, which is the constant speed at which the object falls.

2. Reduced Acceleration:
Initially, the force of air resistance is relatively weak compared to gravity. As the object falls faster, the force of air resistance increases, reducing the net downward force on the object. This results in a decrease in acceleration compared to the theoretical acceleration under the influence of gravity alone.

3. Shape and Surface Area:
The shape and surface area of the object also influence air resistance. Objects with streamlined shapes experience less resistance than those with irregular shapes. Similarly, larger surface areas experience more air resistance, causing a greater reduction in acceleration.

4. Density of Air:
The density of the air affects air resistance. In denser air, such as at lower altitudes, air resistance is greater, leading to a more significant reduction in acceleration. Conversely, in less dense air, such as at higher altitudes, air resistance is weaker, resulting in a less noticeable effect on acceleration.

Consequences:

- Limited Height: For objects with high air resistance, such as feathers or parachutes, the terminal velocity is reached quickly, limiting their maximum height of ascent.
- Long Fall Times: Objects with low air resistance, such as rocks or bullets, experience minimal reduction in acceleration, resulting in longer fall times compared to objects with high air resistance.
- Deviation from Free Fall: Air resistance causes a deviation from the purely vertical path of free fall, creating a curved trajectory for the object.
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