SC1: Investigating Terminal Velocity Introduction When an object falls through a fluid it accelerates until it reaches its terminal velocity. At this speed the forces acting on it are balanced. My task is to investigate the factors that affect the terminal velocity of a falling object. Key Factors Mass of ball bearing Viscosity/density of the fluid Surface area of ball bearing Texture of the balls surface Temperature I am going to investigate how mass affects the terminal velocity. Prediction I think that as the mass of the ball bearing increases so does the weight of the ball bearing, which requires more friction to balance the ball bearings weight thus making the terminal velocity increase. Mathematical Prediction I think that the mass of a ball bearing is directly proportional to the terminal velocity. This is because if the mass of ball bearing doubles so does the weight of the ball bearing, which requires twice as much friction to balance the ball bearings weight, which then doubles the terminal velocity. Scientific Knowledge The scientific knowledge to prove my prediction is that as the mass of the ball bearing increases the weight of the ball bearing is increased that requires more friction to balance the ball bearings weight which increases the terminal velocity. As the ball bearing accelerates the friction acting against the falling ball bearing increases which in turn balances out the forces applied to the ball bearing which reaches the terminal velocity. Method The apparatus was set up as shown (in the diagram on the next page) Two elastic bands were placed on the tube 60 cm (600 mm) apart measured to the nearest 0.1 cm. The first band placed low enough so that the terminal velocity of the ball bearing was reached before the ball bearing reached the band and the second band placed far enough apart so that there would have been a smaller percentage …
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