CSI - Acceleration or Velocity?
In the episode "Overload," in which Grissom investigates the falling death of a construction worker, he gets his facts mixed up. At the very beginning of the episode when they first go to the floor that the worker was on when he fell, Grissom says that "Terminal velocity is 9.8 meters per second squared. This guy would have hit the ground in 5 seconds." This sounds like pretty impressive knowledge, but 9.8 m/s/s (meters per second squared)is actually acceleration due to gravity, an entirely different value that concerns velocity change per unit time. Terminal velocity is the point at which no acceleration occurs due to air resistance, and is measured in m/s (velocity), not m/s/s (acceleration). It is a slip-up in itself that he would use an acceleration value to describe a point at which no acceleration occurs. Terminal velocity depends on the air resistance of the body, but it's about 120 mph, or 54 m/s, quite different from 9.8 m/s/s. And if he had hit after five seconds, according to Grissom's numbers, it would mean that he fell about 49 meters (and that's assuming constant "terminal velocity"), when, using the right numbers, the worker would have fallen about 123 meters. Grissom needs to brush up on his physics. (If I messed up any of the math, sorry, but the slip-up is still true).
just the episode
on 01-20-2002 and