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Projectile Motion. Types of Projectile Motion. Projectile Motion. Projectile Motion (7 min) The path of motion an object when it is thrown or launched into the air The shape of the path is a parabola Also called a trajectory An object has the vertical and horizontal motion simultaneously

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Projectile motion1
Projectile Motion

  • Projectile Motion (7 min)

  • The path of motion an object when it is thrown or launched into the air

    • The shape of the path is a parabola

    • Also called a trajectory

  • An object has the vertical and horizontal motion simultaneously

    • The vertical motion is a free fall due to gravity, acceleration downward (g = –10 m/s2)

      • Mass of a falling object doesn’t change the vertical speed and acceleration

    • The horizontal motion is a constant velocity – no horizontal acceleration

  • The vertical motion and horizontal motion are INDEPENDENT of each other

    (Ex) An object is thrown horizontally from the top of a building. What will be its trajectory?

Projectile motion

Problem solving strategies
Problem Solving Strategies

Divide the projectile (≈object) motion into vertical and horizontal motions

  • vertical motion

    • straight up or down regardless of the surface

    • A gravitational force acts on the object

Projectile motion

vi,x = vf,x

vi,y = 0 if the object is just dropped vf,y =

△tx=△ty= △ttotal

△x =

△y =

ax = 0

ay = g = -9.8 m/s2

Which bullet hits the ground first
Which bullet hits the ground first?

  • A bullet is shot horizontally and another one is dropped at the same time

Problem solving strategy
Problem Solving Strategy

  • Draw a diagram and identify all info

  • Keep x-component variables and y-component variables separate

    • time is the only variable that is the same for both components

  • Know what you are solving for

  • Select the proper formulas

    • The formulas are used for both components

    • Be careful not to mix x- and y- components when plugging values into the formula

    • Choose the right sign for the variable

  • Check to see if the answer is reasonable – sign, value, etc


  • A movie director is shooting a scene that involves dropping a stunt dummy out of an airplane and into a swimming pool. the plane is 10.0 m above the ground, traveling at a velocity of 22.5 m/s in the positive x direction. The director wants to know where in the plane’s path the dummy should be dropped so that it will land in the pool. (You will need this problem to solve #3 of Practice 3D, Pg 102)

Projectile motion

2)A stone is thrown horizontally at a speed of 5.0 m/s from the top of a cliff that is 78.4 m high.

a) How long does it take the stone to reach the bottom of the cliff?

b) How far from the base of the cliff does the stone hit the ground?

c) What are the horizontal and vertical components of the stone’s velocity just before it hits the ground?

Projectile motion

3) Lucy and her friend are working at an assembly plant making wooden toy giraffes. At the end of the line, the giraffes go horizontally off the edge of the conveyor belt and fall into a box below. If the box is 0.6 m below the level of the conveyor belt and 0.4 m away from it, what must be the horizontal velocity of giraffes as they leave the conveyor belt?

Projectile motion

4) You are visiting a friend from elementary school who now lives in a small town. One local amusement is the ice-cream parlor, where Stan, the short-order cook, slides his completed ice-cream sundaes down the counter at a constant speed of 2.0 m/s to the servers. If the servers catch the sundaes 7.0 cm from the edge of the counter, how far do they fall from the edge of the counter to the point at which the servers catch them? (No friction on the counter)

You also need to know about
You also need to know about

A projectile launched at a angle

1) forms a complete parabola

2) ½ left of the parabola is symmetrical to ½ right – velocity, time, displacement

3) constant horizontal velocity

*The horizontal acceleration = 0

  • vertical velocity: the same magnitude with the opposite sign (going up “+” velocity; coming down “–” velocity )

    *The vertical acceleration = –9.8 m/s2 regardless going up or coming down

    5) The max (vertical) height

    • occurs at ½ of flight time (∆t)

    • has vy = 0 and vx = vi,x

      6) Range (R) = the horizontal distance (a scalar quantity) a projectile travels


1) A ball is launched at 4.5 m/s at 66˚ above the horizontal. What are the max height and flight time of the ball?

vi = 4.5 m/s

ө = 66˚

Projectile motion

2. A player kicks a football from ground level with an initial velocity of 27.0 m/s, 30.0° above the horizontal, as shown in Figure 6-4. Find each of the following. Assume that air resistance is negligible.

the ball’s hang time

b. the ball’s maximum height

c. the ball’s range

Projectile motion

3) The player in problem 2 then kicks the ball with the same speed, but at 60.0°from the horizontal. What is the ball’s hang time, range, and maximum height?