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QUESTION: am currently doing a planning and design lab in physics and am suppose tell how the terminal velocity of the parachute depends upon the load and the diameter of a canopy.what kind of procedure would i have to carry out in this experiment

ANSWER: This, of course, has been extensively researched.  I was about to launch into a lengthy explanation of how weight = drag...but it's all been better explained by other people already... and with pictures:

http://www.pcprg.com/rounddes.htm
http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/VirtualAero/BottleRocket/airplane/rktvrecv.html

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: so what am i going to manipulate in this lab, and how should the graph look

Answer
Now, at this point, you're asking me to do your homework.  You have to determine these things.  You obviously manipulate parameters that you can in the equations and make a graph based on that.  What is up to you, it's a planning and design lab, you have to determine that for yourself.  Look at the equation and design an experiment around what you can manipulate for an independent variable and what you can measure for a dependent variable.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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