Would a parachute attached to a mass fall faster than a parachute attached to a lighter mass? Why?Assuming they are both dropped from the same height and that they have the same parachute...

Would a parachute attached to a mass fall faster than a parachute attached to a lighter mass? Why?

Assuming they are both dropped from the same height and that they have the same parachute (ie.surface area of parachute, length of the string attached are the same etc.), would a parachute attached to a mass fall faster than a parachute attached to a lighter mass? Why?

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ndnordic | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

The reason a parachute works is that their is an upward force exerted by the air that works against the downward force of the weight of the object attached to the parachute.  How fast the object falls depends on the relationship between the two forces.

To take an extreme example, imagine one large parachute has an egg under it, while the other large parachute has a large metal anchor attached to it. The anchor/parachute will fall faster than the egg/parachute.  That is why when a plane is dropping a large load - like a truck or artillery piece - there are usually several parachutes attached to counter the weight of the truck.

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