In this experiment I aim to investigate the factors which effect the speed of a falling object

I predict that the less surface area to weight the faster the object will fall. A full sheet of A4 paper will travel slower than a piece of A4 paper folded in half.

I predict this because there is less surface area on the folded piece so therefor there is less friction and air resistance. Fewer molecules also hit the paper if there is a smaller surface area.

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The force of gravity pulls down on all objects here on earth, If an object is allowed to fall, it accelerated downwards. One of the main factors of haw a fast an object falls is its shape size and weight. If an object is streamlined it will have less drag. If the object is large it will take longer to fall because of drag and resistance. There is more friction produced by a high-speed object. This limits it to its Terminal Velocity.


We measured 2m with a metre stick and dropped a single weighed piece of paper and timed haw long it took to fall with a stopwatch. I did this for different surface areas.


I used 1 piece of plain paper with no holes to make it a fair test so there was maximum air resistance. A metre rules to measure the dropping height, a stopwatch to time it and Scales for weighing the paper.


Many factors could affect the time that the paper takes to hit the floor, Surface area shape mass and gravity.

Pulmonary tests

I started with weighing the paper and assessing that it weighs 5.012 Grams.

I tried dropping paper from different heights to see which height gave the best readings 1m was too low and the paper didn’t have enough airtime and 3 m took to long to reach the floor so I settled on 2m


We will reset the stopwatch and measure 2m off the ground. We will drop the paper and time how long it takes to reach the floor, the timer stops when it reaches the floor.

We will change the surface area by folding the paper so the weight remains the same.

Number and Range of readings

The paper size was 290.3 mm x 210.1 mm this was halved to survey different dropping speeds.


Surface area of paper

Time to fall (seconds)

290.3 x 210.1


145.15 x 210.1


145.15 x 105.05


72.575 x 105.05


72.575 x 52.525


36.2875 x 52.525



I have concluded from my investigation that the smaller the surface area of the paper the quicker it will fall. This is because there is less air resistance and drag the smaller the surface area.

There is also a distinct pattern, as the amount of surface area decreases the falling time decreases also. These Results back up my prediction and where correct.


The experiment went well and no mistakes where made all results where correct. My results where accurate and reliable because they matched my prediction I also tried the experiment 3 times and averaged out the results to also ensure it was a fair test.

If I did the investigation again I would extend it and investigate other areas such as mass and weight of paper. Better results would have been achieved if I used a dropping point of more than 2m because I feel that 2m was not sufficient