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# A 75 kg skydiver in free fall is subjected to

#### Bydreamtravel

Jan 7, 2023

A 75 kg Skydiver in Free Fall: Exploring the Forces at Play

Introduction

When a skilled skydiver takes the thrilling plunge from the heavens, their body becomes a canvas upon which a symphony of physical forces unfolds. This article delves into the intricate interplay of these forces and their profound impact on a 75 kg skydiver in free fall.

Forces Acting on the Skydiver

Gravity (mg): A fundamental force that pulls the skydiver towards the Earth, equal to 75 kg x 9.8 m/s², approximately 735 N.
Drag Force (D): An opposing force that arises from air resistance, proportional to the square of the skydiver’s velocity relative to the air.
Buoyancy Force (B): An upward force exerted by the air on the skydiver due to its lower density compared to the air.

Free Fall Kinematics

At the beginning of free fall, the skydiver’s velocity is zero, and gravity causes them to accelerate downwards. As they accelerate, the drag force increases, eventually reaching a steady state where the drag force and gravity balance each other out. This terminal velocity is approximately 50 m/s for a skydiver of this size.

Terminal Velocity and Body Position

The terminal velocity of a skydiver is directly related to their body position. A streamlined position, such as an arch or “belly-to-earth,” reduces air resistance and allows for a higher terminal velocity. Conversely, a spread-eagle position increases drag and reduces the terminal velocity.

Forces in Different Body Positions

Head-Down Position: Gravity acts primarily on the skydiver’s legs, exerting a force of 735 N downwards. Drag force opposes this, supporting 735 N of the weight. Buoyancy force is minimal.
Belly-to-Earth Position: Gravity acts on the entire body, but the drag force is more evenly distributed. The downward force is still 735 N, but the drag force supports a larger proportion of it.
Spread-Eagle Position: Gravity acts on the entire body, but the increased drag force provides a greater upward force. The downward force is reduced to less than 735 N.

Effects of Free Fall on the Skydiver’s Body

Tensile Forces on Skin and Muscles: The drag force exerts a backward force on the skydiver’s body, which is transmitted through their skin and muscles. These forces can cause stretching and discomfort.
Increased Heart Rate and Respiration: The skydiver’s body undergoes physiological changes to compensate for the increase in gravity and airflow. Heart rate and breathing increase to meet the demand for oxygen.
Disorientation and Vertigo: The sudden acceleration and changing body positions can disorient the skydiver, leading to nausea and vertigo.
Risks and Safety Measures: Free fall skydiving is an inherently risky activity. Proper training, equipment, and safety protocols are crucial to mitigate the potential risks associated with this extreme sport.

Conclusion

The free fall of a 75 kg skydiver is a captivating spectacle that showcases the interplay of gravity, drag force, and buoyancy force. Understanding these forces and their effects on the skydiver’s body is essential for both the thrill-seekers who take to the skies and the professionals who ensure their safety. From the rush of acceleration to the serene glide at terminal velocity, the journey of a skydiver through the air is a testament to the intricate balance of physical forces that govern our existence.

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