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How to work with Terminal Velocity

If you jump out of a plane, you will accelerate towards the Earth for a while. The speed at which you fall will eventually even out as a result of air resistance. This is known as terminal velocity. But before you start revising, why not check out some of these fun facts about speed.

Apparently the mouth is the fastest healing part of the body, for a number of reasons. Firstly, unlike your skin, the tissue lining your tongue, cheeks and inner lips is mucous tissue. It is much easier for the body to repair this, as it has a much simpler structure than skin tissue which has several layers. Secondly, there is a good blood supply, and the blood provides plentiful nutrients and oxygen to the damaged area, helping the healing process. And last, but not least, substances found in saliva are extremely useful. A protein called histatin which is found in saliva is an antibacterial agent. There is also an enzyme in saliva which is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-fungal!

Sticking with how quickly things happen in your body, did you know that fingernails grow faster than toenails?  In fact, they grow about three times quicker

On a completely different note, bulls can run faster uphill than downhill. This is because their hind legs are longer than their front legs. And if you think you could outrun some of these animals…think again! The warthog can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, elephants up to 25 miles per hour, and a hippopotamus up to 28 miles per hour. That may not seem very fast, however, the fastest speed reached by a human is 27.5  miles per hour, and that was Usain Bolt!


If you are studying GCSE Science and need some extra help with understanding terminal velocity, try our new guide “How to work with Terminal Velocity”. It explains what happens in terms of forces when you jump out of a plane. Included are questions for you to try, and answers for you to check your understanding.
Click the picture below to see the guide.

Terminal Velocity powerpoint


Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects. New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

If you found this useful and think you would benefit from some additional help, please contact us.


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