Projectile Motion: Quantitative Testing Experiment


Apply the model of projectile motion quantitatively: Use the idea that the ball moves with constant speed in a horizontal direction and with constant acceleration in the vertical direction to predict how far the ball will travel horizontally when launched at different angles

Prior Knowledge

  1. Reference frames.
  2. Kinematics of the motion with constant speed and constant acceleration.

Description of the Experiment

Use the first part of the experiment when the ball is shot vertically, to predict how far it will go in the horizontal direction when shot at angles of 30, 45 and 60 degrees. View the second part of the experiment (when the ball is launched at an angle) after you make the prediction. Decide on the amount of uncertainty in your prediction.

Addtional Information

  • From the first part of the experiment (when the ball is launched straight up) can you figure out what the initial launch speed of the ball is?

  • When the ball is launched at some angle, say 30 degrees, how can you use your idea that the horizontal and vertical motions are independent in order to
    1. figure out how long the ball will fly through the air until it falls back past the level of the ruler from which it was launched?
    2. use this time of flight to determine how far the ball will travel in the horizontal direction?
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