Q & A: Parachute Surface Area | Department of Physics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Correlation It allows the user to harness the air to control and slow his descent. The open parachute results in air resistance that is greater than the pull of gravity. What Are Some Examples of the Laws of Motion?. The ratio of force to mass (Fnet/m) is the same for the elephant and the mouse be discussed in greater detail in a later unit of The Physics Classroom tutorial.) The actual amount of air resistance encountered by the object is dependent one with a mass of kg (skydiver plus parachute) and the other with a mass of . Computer drawing of a falling ball ubject to gravitational and drag forces. The net external force is then equal to the difference of the weight and the drag.
Tie the free end of the strings together with an overhand knot. What do you think the purpose of the pennies is?
Try this parachute two more times, releasing it from the same height each time. About how long did it take to fall on average? Try this parachute two more times. About how long did it take the larger parachute to fall?
Parachutes, Gravity and Air Resistance - Kids Discover
Why do you think this is? Make some more parachutes out of differently sized squares from the garbage bag. Test out your new parachutes. Do you see a clear trend between the size of the parachutes and how long it takes them to fall?
In this activity, you tested one variable—the surface area of the parachute—but there are a lot of other variables that affect how well a parachute works.
Diagram 2 Variables There are different variables which can be changed in this experiment.
Skydiving Science: Does the Size of a Parachute Matter? - Scientific American
I am however, due to my line of inquiry, going to change the surface area of the parachutes. The variables I will control will be the height I drop the parachute from, the type of material I use for the parachute and the conditions of the environment, also the mass i.
I will not put any paper clips or clay on the parachutes. Below is a table showing the effect of changing variables. Table 1 Fair Test To ensure the investigation is fair I will keep all the variables the same apart from the one I am changing.
I will also try to carry out the investigation to the greatest degree of accuracy I can manage. This means that I will drop the parachute from the same height each time but the surface area will be altered each time.
I will keep the air vents and windows closed as this will affect the rate at which the parachute falls. Although air resistance and gravity will affect the fall of the parachute, I cannot control these factors; however, it will be the same for each experiment so the results should be unbiased. Below is a sample graph graph 1 to show the kind of results I expect to obtain.
Table 1 Below are the results I have obtained. Graph 1 I can see, by observing the table that the larger the surface area of the parachute the greater amount of time it took to reach the ground.
- Skydiving Science: Does the Size of a Parachute Matter?
- Parachutes, Gravity and Air Resistance
This means that the larger the surface area the more air particles air resistance hit the parachute. Similarly, the smaller the surface area of the parachute the less air resistance there was.
On the next two pages is a Bar Chart and scatters graph showing the results of the experiment— draw a bar chart from the results you have obtained. Conclusion In conclusion, there is very strong evidence to show that the larger the surface area radius of the parachute the longer it will take to fall to the ground.
Free Fall and Air Resistance
This is because more air particles collide with the parachute when there is more surface area as opposed to a smaller surface area. Even though there is more gravity acting on the larger parachutes the smaller ones are more streamlined and also have less air resistance.
These two factors, therefore, meant that they fell to the ground in a shorter time. Diagram 1 illustrates that there was less air resistance because the surface area of the parachute is smaller than that the parachute in diagram 2 i.
Also the graph I drew showing the results I expected matched the pattern of the actual results.