## Do Skydivers Accelerate at a Constant Rate?

Skydiving is an exciting and thrilling activity that involves jumping out of an aircraft at a high altitude and freefalling before deploying a parachute to descend safely to the ground. As skydivers fall through the air, they experience a variety of forces that affect their speed and acceleration. One common question that many people have about skydiving is whether or not skydivers accelerate at a constant rate.

## Factors Affecting Acceleration

The acceleration of a skydiver is determined by several factors, including:

– Gravity: Gravity is the force that pulls objects towards the center of the Earth. This force is what causes skydivers to fall.
– Air resistance: Air resistance is the force that opposes the motion of an object through the air. This force increases as the object’s speed increases.
– Body position: The body position of the skydiver can also affect their acceleration. A skydiver who is in a streamlined position will experience less air resistance and will accelerate more quickly than a skydiver who is in a less streamlined position.

## Initial Acceleration

When a skydiver first jumps out of the aircraft, they experience a rapid acceleration due to gravity. This acceleration is often described as a “freefall” and can reach speeds of up to 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour).

## Terminal Velocity

As the skydiver continues to fall, the force of air resistance increases and begins to counteract the force of gravity. This causes the skydiver’s acceleration to decrease until they reach a constant speed known as terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is the speed at which the force of gravity is equal to the force of air resistance.

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The terminal velocity of a skydiver depends on their body weight, body position, and the air density. For an average-sized skydiver in a streamlined position, the terminal velocity is around 120 miles per hour (193 kilometers per hour).

### Factors Affecting Terminal Velocity

The terminal velocity of a skydiver can be affected by several factors, including:

– Body weight: Heavier skydivers have a higher terminal velocity than lighter skydivers.
– Body position: Skydivers who are in a more streamlined position have a lower terminal velocity than skydivers who are in a less streamlined position.
– Air density: The air density affects the force of air resistance. Skydivers who are jumping in denser air have a lower terminal velocity than skydivers who are jumping in less dense air.

## Conclusion

Skydivers do not accelerate at a constant rate. They experience a rapid acceleration when they first jump out of the aircraft, and then their acceleration decreases until they reach a constant speed known as terminal velocity. The terminal velocity of a skydiver is determined by their body weight, body position, and the air density.

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