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CLIP 14354

# Terminal velocity - why do cats have nine lives?

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Key Info
• Terminal velocity - why do cats have nine lives?
• Duration: 02:44
• James May explains why a cat has a better chance of surviving a big fall than a human. It's all to do with cats having a non-fatal terminal velocity. As a falling object accelerates, drag builds up; when this equals the downward force of gravity, the object hits a constant speed or its terminal velocity. This speed varies with different shapes and sizes; a falling human has a terminal velocity of 120 mph, whilst a cat's is just 60 mph. This is because smaller things have a larger surface area relative to their mass than bigger things, so air resistance has a greater effect. First broadcast on 'James May's Things You Need to Know' on BBC Two in August 2012.
• Subject:

Topic:

## Phys: Forces - Motion

• Keywords: JamesMaysThingsYouNeedToKnow, James May, forces, motion, terminal velocity, air resistance, drag, Isaac Newton
Ideas for use in class
• Could be used in KS4 physics as a fun way of introducing terminal velocity.
Background details
• Clip language : English
• Aspect ratio : 16x9