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Physics Project

# Physics Project

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Group project on how to throw the best beer pong shot
Group project on how to throw the best beer pong shot

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06/16/2009

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Physics Of Beer PongSystem:Ping Pong ShotDescription:A ping pong ball is thrown from one end of a table into a solo cup at the otherend.Model:The ball is tossed from a height h with a speed V
o

at an angle of Θ
o
. The balllands in a cup at the other end of a table of length L. There is a clearance of Cbetween the release height and the ceiling. The ball travels on a trajectory until itlands in the cup at t
ime T at an angle of Θ
f
with respect to the horizontal.Assumptions:1.

The ball is tossed towards the cup exclusively in the xy-plane; there is no sideto side deviation.2.

Air resistance is neglected for simplicity. Prior versions of the modelattempted to include air resistance but became needlessly complicated veryrapidly. Due to lack of air resistance, wind and ball spin have no effect.3.

The ball is thrown directly into the cup; bounce shots are not included.4.

The player releases the ball from the edge of the table and is targeting a cupat the other edge. To accommodate release points above the table and/orcups not at table edge, simply redefine L as the horizontal distance fromrelease to the cup.5.

The ping pong ball can be considered a particle concentrated at its center ofmass for the mathematical analysis.Limitations
h

c

Θ
o

Θ
f

ceiling

L

1.

The human body cannot throw a ball at specified velocity with the exactprecision and perfect accuracy. Knowledge of the best shot provides only atarget value from which there will be certainly be deviations.a.

There will be deviations from the xy-plane which are not considered inthe model.b.

As
Θ
0

goes to 90° a deviation ΔΘ has a larger and larger impact on the
trajectory deviation. Distractions will increase deviations.c.

This limits the applicability of any model and the deviations must beminimized when applying.2.

The model is only valid so long as air resistance can be neglected. Airresistance has a more significant affect as speed approaches terminal speedand hang time increases.a.

As speeds near terminal, the model becomes less applicable.b.

As hang time increases the model becomes less applicable.3.

The model will only be applied to shots which keep the above criteriaminimal.3.

The model must be applied indoors where wind and drafts are negligible. Thisintroduces a further constraint on the trajectory, limiting the maximum heightto the ceiling height.4.

Bounce shots are not included.5.

Spin is not included.Qualitative Analysis:When a ping pong ball is thrown, it has a horizontal and vertical velocity,depending on the initial angle that the ball is thrown at.Variables and Equations:L = length of table = 2.44 mh = initial height of ball above cup = .82d = diameter of a cup = .09 mg = force due to gravity = 9.8 m/s
2
T = Time when Ball enters cup

Quantitative Analysis:1.

V
o
may be expressed in terms of components V
Xo
and V
Yo
.V
Xo
= V
o
cosΘ
o
and V
Yo
= V
o
sinΘ
o

and tanΘ
o
= V
Yo
/V
Xo

FBD:2. The ball is in free fall after release after release at t = 0.When t = 0, x = 0, y = h, V
X
= V
Xo
, and V
Y
= V
Yo
Thereforex(t) = V
Xo
t y(t) = h + V
Yo
t
–
½gt
2
.Anddx/dt = V
X
= V
Xo
dy/dt = V
Y
= V
Yo

–
gt3. No forces act on the ball in the x so V
X
is constant and equal to V
Xo
.The ball starts at h, gaining height initially for positive V
Yo
while beinguniformly accelerated downward by gravity.4. The angle of the ball at any time t is given by
Θ(t) = Arctan[V
Y
(t)/V
X
(t)]V
Y
(t) and V
X
(t) can be substituted into the expression from step 2. V
Xo
andV
Yo
can be replaced by V
o

and Θ
o

using equations from step 1 to obtain Θ(t,
V
o
, Θ
o
).5. The ball will land in the cup if x(t) = L and y(t) = 0 where t is an arbitrarytime. Therefore, t is the hang time of the ball.- x(t) = L may be solved for t then used in y(t) = 0- y(t) = 0 can be solved for V
o
o
)- V
o

can then be substituted into the expression for t to obtain t(Θ
o
)6.

Plug t(Θ
o
) and V
o
o
) into Θ(t, V
o
, Θ
o
) from step 4 to obtain Θ
f
o
)7.

Apply appropriate physical constraints to obtain a proper domain which themodel is appropriate over.8.

Analyze.
Main Equations (functions of θ
0
)

mg