Schottenbauer Publishing

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Acceleration of Parachutes

Parachutes offer a good opportunity for learning about acceleration and gravity. The following graph, excerpted from The Science of Flight: Volume 2 from Schottenbauer Publishing, shows a parachute in motion:

Discussion Questions
  1. What is the original height of the parachute? The maximum height? The final height?
  2. What is the final acceleration of the parachute? Describe the acceleration in relation to gravity.
  3. Describe the pattern of acceleration of the parachute, from beginning to end of the flight.
  4. What is the maximum force exerted on the parachute? Is the maximum force associated with throwing the parachute, or the parachute deploying in air?
  5. Describe the sequence of deployment of the parachute. Why does the height change in an up-down-up pattern, rather than simply going up and down?
  6. Describe the entire flight of the parachute, from beginning to ending, in words.

Additional Information