Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park

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Questions For You

Everyone knows what a FAQ is, and we even have one on our site. I answer questions all the time, and my wife assumes that I have an answer for everything. Thanks to Mr. Google, if I don't know something, usually the answer is not far away. The truth is, there are a lot of things I don't know, but would like to. If you know the answer to any of the following questions, please email us. I'll give you credit and post your answer too.

  1. What is the terminal velocity of a Cheerio?
  2. If a Cheerio impacts the earth at vterminal will it break?

1. What is the terminal velocity of a Cheerio?

I've made a few calculations and come up with 16 mph. I used a quadratic drag approximation for a spherical cheerio with cross sectional area of 6.36 x 10-5 m2 and a mass of 1.07 x 10-4 kg. Does anyone have a better answer? Maybe someone with access to a wind tunnel can provide some experimantal data.

2. If a Cheerio impacts the earth at vterminal will it break?

This was actually the question that made me figure out vterminal for a Cheerio anyway. My guess is that a Cheerio will not break at vterminal impact. Just examining a Cheerio, it seems to be too structurally sound to suffer much damage from a sudden deceleration from 16 mph. To figure this out theoretically requires me to remember too much physics. Maybe someone from Caltech can get roof access to Milikan, enlist a few spotters, and tell me the answer.