Terminal velocity is the speed when a falling object is no longer getting faster. It is when the force due to gravity, called weight, is equal to the opposing force of air resistance. An object continues to fall steadily until air resistance becomes so great that it equals with the pull of gravity and the object can fall no faster. The first place ever, that humans witnessed this was at the Empire State Building. It was the first man-made object that if you threw something off of it, it would take so long to get to the bottom, that it could not speed up any more. Most people believe that this is where the "throw-a-penny" of the Empire State Building will kill someone myth came from. That myth was proven to be false. The updraft created by the Empire State building would drastically slow down the penny. Terminal velocity differs for each and every object. For humans it can reach up to 337 km/h.
References[change | change source]
- John Stossel and Gena Binkley (3 May 2007). "Can a Penny Dropped From a Building Kill a Pedestrian Below?". 20/20 (ABC News Network). http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3131332.