Will an object falling in still air, with its motion modeled by a set of differential equations, always have a terminal behavior, given that enough time has passed?

Consider meteorites, for example. If after sufficient time has passed, if it's rotating and drifting, is there some guarantee that this falling mode is permanent?

I know that in elementary calculus courses, we study briefly something called "terminal velocity", but I have never heard of "terminal behavior" before, until recently.

The assumption is still air, so, no flow velocities in the background, no wind, etc.


  • $\begingroup$ How do you define "terminal behaviour"? $\endgroup$ – Chee Han Jul 10 '18 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ @CheeHan, for instance, if a meteorite were rotating and drifting, is that behavior permanent, given that a sufficient amount of time has passed? You could assume that the meteorite is about the size of your hand, i.e. not enormous, so, not the size of a dinner table ... $\endgroup$ – user563147 Jul 10 '18 at 1:03
  • $\begingroup$ Gut feeling: no. It is likely that you have a turbulent air flow. While this is still described by differential equations, the solution is likely chaotic. I would ask the same question on the physics stackexchange $\endgroup$ – Andrei Jul 14 '18 at 16:45

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