1.16 describe forces acting on falling objects and why they reach terminal velocity

The two forces that act on falling objects –

  • Gravity (weight) – direction, pulling objects downwards to the centre of the earth
  • Air resistance (drag) – upwards force pushing objects upwards


  • For acceleration to occur there must be unbalanced forces

Exam style answer – what is terminal velocity?

Drag forces (air resistance) have reached an increase to balance out the weight force. As a result of balanced forces, no more acceleration can occur, meaning it has reached terminal velocity.


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