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Terminal velocity formula

Terminal velocity is the highest velocity that can be attained by an object when it falls through the air. It happens when the sum of the dragged force (Fd) and buoyancy is equal to the downward force of gravity (FG) acting on the body. The object holds zero acceleration since the net force acting is zero.

Terminal Velocity Formula is given as


g = acceleration due to gravity,

h = height from the ground

Terminal velocity formula is applied to calculate terminal velocity, acceleration due to gravity or height if any of these quantities are known.

Terminal velocity is expressed in meter per second (m/s).

Example 1

A man is at the height of 2000 m from the ground. What would be his terminal velocity.



Height h = 2000 m,

The terminal velocity formula is given by

Vterminal = 2×9.8 ×2000

           = 39200

        = 197.98 m/s.

Example 2

Determine the height of the body if its terminal velocity is 100 m/s.



Terminal velocity Vterminal = 100 m/s,

The height is given by

h = v2terminal / 2g

  = 10000 / 9.8 x 2

  = 510.204 m.