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## The Physics of a Skydiver’s Fall

When a skydiver jumps out of an airplane, they are initially free falling until they open their parachute. During this free fall, the skydiver experiences a force of gravity pull them down towards the earth. The only other force acting on the skydiver is air resistance, which will increase as the skydiver’s speed increases. At some point, the force of air resistance will become equal to the force of gravity, and the skydiver will reach terminal velocity.

### Terminal Velocity

Terminal velocity is the maximum speed that an object can reach when falling through a fluid. For a skydiver, the terminal velocity can vary depending on factors such as their body position, mass, and the density of the air. For a typical skydiver in a head-down position, terminal velocity will be approximately 120 mph.

### The Effect of Gravity on a Skydiver

The force of gravity is what pulls the skydiver down towards the earth. The greater the mass of the skydiver, the greater the force of gravity will be. For a 72-kg skydiver, the force of gravity is approximately 700 newtons.

### The Effect of Air Resistance on a Skydiver

Air resistance is the force that opposes the motion of an object moving through a fluid. For a skydiver, air resistance will increase as the skydiver’s speed increases. Air resistance is proportional to the square of the skydiver’s speed. For a 72-kg skydiver falling at 120 mph, the force of air resistance is approximately 400 newtons.

### The Skydiver’s Acceleration

The skydiver’s acceleration is equal to the net force acting on the skydiver divided by the skydiver’s mass. For a 72-kg skydiver falling at 120 mph, the acceleration is approximately 3.3 m/s².

### The Time it Takes a Skydiver to Reach Terminal Velocity

The time it takes a skydiver to reach terminal velocity is dependent on the skydiver’s mass, body position, and the density of the air. For a typical skydiver in a head-down position, it will take approximately 10 seconds to reach terminal velocity.

### The Distance a Skydiver Falls Before Reaching Terminal Velocity

The distance a skydiver falls before reaching terminal velocity is dependent on the skydiver’s mass, body position, and the density of the air. For a typical skydiver in a head-down position, the distance fallen before reaching terminal velocity will be approximately 400 meters.

### The Skydiver’s Impact on the Ground

The impact force of a skydiver on the ground will depend on the skydiver’s mass, velocity, and the surface they are landing on. For a 72-kg skydiver landing on a soft surface, the impact force will be approximately 3,000 newtons. This force is equivalent to the force of a small car crash.

### Safety Precautions for Skydiving

Skydiving is a relatively safe sport, but there are potential risks involved. It is important for skydivers to take the following safety precautions:

– Get proper training from a qualified instructor. This training will teach skydivers the proper techniques and procedures for safe skydiving.
– Use proper equipment. Skydivers should use properly maintained equipment that meets all safety standards.
– Follow the rules and regulations for skydiving. These rules are in place to help keep skydivers safe.
– Be aware of the risks involved. Skydiving is a potentially dangerous sport, and skydivers should be aware of the risks before participating.

By following these safety precautions, skydivers can help reduce the risks associated with skydiving.

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