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You are on page 1of 41

HSC Course

Stage 6

Space

Part 2: Projectile motion

Contents

Introduction ............................................................................... 2

Projectile motion........................................................................ 4

The trajectory two separate parts.....................................................5

x and y components ...........................................................................15

Velocity of the projectile .....................................................................16

Maximum height and trip time ...........................................................18

Range of the trajectory.......................................................................20

Summary................................................................................. 29

Suggested answers................................................................. 31

Exercises Part 2 ................................................................... 35

Introduction

gravitational fields. You will now begin to learn about escaping the

Earths gravitational field in order to reach space. Your focus will be on

examining the motion of an object projected into the air, but not

propelled after launch like a rocket. This type of motion is called

projectile motion.

Before beginning this part you must have already studied certain

concepts. In particular

you must be able to rdescribe

r

r r and calculate

r Dv v u

r

r

velocity ( v = D ) and acceleration ( a =

).

=

Dt

t

t

These were covered when you studied the module Moving about in the

preliminary physics course.

In Part 2 you will be given the opportunities to learn to:

within the Earths gravitational field in terms of horizontal and

vertical components

gravitational constant

velocity of a projectile from its horizontal and vertical components

Space

r

r

r

v = u + at

r

r

r

v 2 = u 2 + 2as

r

r

1r

s = ut + at 2

2

analyse data to describe factors, such as initial and final velocity,

maximum height reached, range, time of flight of a projectile, and

quantitatively calculate each for a range of situations by using

simulations, data loggers and computer analysis.

The original and most up-to-date version of this document can be found on the

Boards website at http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au.

In this part you will learn the methods you need to do this. However, just

reading about the methods is not enough. You must attempt all the

problems assigned. Check your answers as you progress and if you are

incorrect look at the solutions provided to find out why, then attempt the

problem again. This practice is important and is the best way to learn

that skill.

Projectile motion

launched) into the air, but not propelled as is a rocket. This includes a

ball being thrown, a football being kicked, a golf ball being struck, a

bullet being fired, or cargo being dropped from a plane.

Four hundred years ago, Galileo Galilei stated that all masses, large or

small, fall at the same rate. It is difficult, here on Earth, to convince

people of this and he conducted experiments to prove his point. He is

reputed to have dropped different objects from the leaning tower of Pisa.

However, this wasnt conclusive so he moved on to more sophisticated

experiments. He had two major obstacles to overcome. The first is that

gravity makes things happen too quickly to get conclusive results with

crude equipment. The second problem was that resistance from the air

affected large surface area objects, slowing their acceleration.

He eventually overcame these difficulties by designing highly polished

ramped tracks, down which he would roll balls of different masses.

This reduced the effective acceleration. The lower rate of acceleration

was less affected by air resistance and was easier to measure. Therefore,

he was able to show that the rate of acceleration due to gravity is the

same for all masses. You saw in the previous part that this rate has an

average value of 9.80 ms2 and that this acceleration was a direct result of

the gravitational force of attraction between the Earth and any mass

within its gravitational field. This is the force we call weight.

Throughout a projectiles motion following its launch, there are just two

forces acting upon it the weight force down and air resistance acting

against its velocity at any instant. To simplify your treatment of

projectile motion ignore air resistance so that, for your purposes, weight

is the only force affecting a projectiles motion.

Space

A launched projectile, in the absence of any air resistance, will follow a

parabolic path until it strikes the Earth. This path is called the trajectory

of a projectile. The effect of air resistance is to reduce the maximum

height and horizontal distance the projectile could otherwise achieve.

The diagram below shows the trajectory of a ball thrown with and

without air resistance. The exact effect of air resistance upon a trajectory

depends upon many variables (such as speed of the projectile and air as

well as the shape, size and spin of the projectile) so ignore it in the

calculations that follow.

parabolic trajectory

of a projectile

without air resistance

trajectory with

air resistance is

reduced in height

and range

important observation: the motion of a projectile can be regarded as two

separate and independent motions superimposed upon each other.

experiences no acceleration.

therefore experiences the downwards acceleration due to gravity.

(Recall that there is only one force acting the vertical weight.)

In which direction does gravity always work? Did you say, down?

Because the two motions are perpendicular, they are independent.

Therefore, you can treat them, and analyse them, separately. The

diagram below shows both of these motions within an x-y frame of

reference. This frame will become important.

uniformly

accelerated

vertical

motion

non-accelerated

horizontal

motion

x

The motion of a projectile can be analysed as two separate motions.

Acceleration equations

At this point you should take a few moments to recall some of the work

from the preliminary course topic called Moving about. In that module

you studied uniformly accelerated motion, that is, motion that is subject

to acceleration that is unchanging. This acceleration was defined by the

following equation.

Space

r r r

r Dv v u

a=

=

Dt

t

where

r

a = acceleration, in ms-2

r

Dv = change in velocity, in ms-1

r

v = final velocity, in ms-1

r

u = final velocity, in ms-1

t = time taken, in s

Although this is the defining equation, you will more often see this

equation in the following rearranged form:

r r r

v = u + at

Using this equation, two more equations describing accelerated motion

can be derived. (You dont need to know the derivations, but you can

look them up in a good physics reference if you are curious.) These

equations are:

rr

v 2 = u 2 + 2ar

where

r

r = displacement covered, in m

r r 1r 2

r = ut + at

2

As you examine each of the horizontal and vertical motions, you are

going to change these last three equations to more specific equations that

better suit your purposes.

The horizontal portion of a projectiles motion is like the motion of a

horizontally sliding object. Can you imagine an object sliding in a

horizontal direction without friction? Its difficult, isnt it? But, thats

only because we are so used to dealing with friction from personal

experiences. However, if you have ever played air hockey, then you

have seen the way a puck can slide sideways slowly and, without any

acceleration at all, progress its way across the table. This is

non-accelerated, uniform velocity motion, just like the horizontal part of

projectile motion.

The motion is not accelerated because the only force present, the

downward weight force, is at right angles to the horizontal motion, and

therefore does not influence it. In order to modify the three equations

above you need only note that acceleration equals zero. Also, you are

going to use different symbols for displacement and velocity, to indicate

motion in the x direction (horizontal). The changes are:

r

a =0

r

a = 0

r

v = vx

r

u = ux

r

r = Dx (displacement = change of position on the x - axis)

If these changes are substituted into the three equations then we get the

following:

r

v x = u x (that is, horizontal velocity is uniform)

Dx = u x t

Sample problem 1

Lets start to use these formulas right away. A rifle with a muzzle

velocity (the speed the bullet comes out of the barrel) of 450 ms-1 is fired

level at the horizon. Determine:

a)

Solution

a)

b)

r

Our first formula tells us that v x = u x , that is, the final velocity

equals the initial velocity over any time period. In other words, the

horizontal velocity is the same all the way through the motion.

Therefore, the velocity after 0.3 s is still 450 ms-1 (horizontally).

Dx = u x t

= 450 0.3

= 135 m

That is, after 0.3 s the bullet has travelled 135 m.

Try this next problem out for yourself. These motion problems are quite

simple, however solutions are provided at the end of this booklet.

Space

An air hockey puck is pushed so that it glides along its table at 0.15 ms-1. If

the table is 1.2 m long, determine:

a)

how long the puck takes to travel the length of the table

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Check your answers.

There is one more thing to point out regarding the horizontal motion it

doesnt go on forever. Eventually, the falling projectile will strike the

Earth and stop moving. The horizontal displacement then has a

maximum value, called the range of the trajectory. Also, the time t has a

maximum value, that can be called the trip time. In order to calculate

what the trip time will be it is necessary to examine the vertical motion of

a projectiles motion.

Sample problem 2

A stone is thrown horizontally at 8.0 ms-1. If it takes 0.5 s to fall to the

ground, how far horizontally will it have travelled in this time?

Solution

It is helpful to list the data as you read a question. It will help you to

develop the skill of interpreting numerical physics problems

ux = 8.0 ms-1, t = 0.5 s, Dx = ?

Dx = u x t

= 8.0 0.5

= 4.0 ms-1

That is, the trajectory of the stone will have a range of 4.0 m.

-1

ball is struck horizontally at 15.0 ms . It is low to the ground so that it takes

just 0.3 s to strike the ground. How far does the ball travel horizontally

before it bounces for the first time?

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Check your answer.

You should now attempt Exercises 2.1 and 2.2.

Recall that the only force acting on a projectile during its motion is the

downward weight (ignoring air resistance). This force will affect the

vertical portion of the motion of a projectile. According to Isaac

Newtons second law of motion, a net force acting on a mass will cause

an acceleration. The acceleration in this case is, of course, acceleration

r

due to gravity g . This was discussed in some detail in the previous part

where you deduced an average value of around 9.8 ms2.

As a result, the vertical portion of projectile motion

is uniformly accelerated motion where the rate of

acceleration is 9.8 ms-2.

In this regard it is much like any object thrown

straight up. If thrown up from ground level, an

object will rise up to a peak height, stop

momentarily in the air, then return to the ground,

speeding up as it does so. The second half of the

motion is symmetrical with the first part, so that the

time taken for the fall will equal the time taken for

the rise. Also, the speed with which the object

strikes the ground will equal the speed with which

it was launched (only the direction will be down

instead of up).

This symmetry will be used to solve many

problems later on.

10

Space

You now need to adapt the three acceleration equations for the vertical

motion. To do so you will make the following changes to the variables:

a = ay = 9.8 ms-2 down

v = vy

u = uy

r = Dy (displacement = change of position on the y-axis)

Remember that the vertical direction corresponds to the y-axis in our x-y

frame of reference. Substituting these changes:

vy = uy + a y t

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

1

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

2

This now gives a set of three equations that can be used specifically for

uniformly accelerated vertical motion.

Sample problem 4

An arrow is fired directly upwards with a velocity of 55 ms-1. Assume

that it is fired from ground level and that there is no air resistance. There

are a number of things about the motion of this arrow that you need to be

able to calculate. Each is modelled below.

a) How fast is the arrow moving when it returns to the ground?

Solution: By the symmetry of the motion, you can say that the arrow

will have a velocity of 55 ms-1 down.

b) What is the time of flight of the arrow?

Solution: A useful strategy to solve this problem is to focus on the

arrows rise up to its peak height. Assume that up is the positive

direction. You can now say that:

uy = 55 ms-1, vy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8 ms-2, t = ?

The equation to use is:

vy = uy + a y t

0 = 55 + (9.8)t

\ t = 5.6 s

That is, the arrow will take 5.6 s to rise to its peak height.

By symmetry, it must take just as long to fall back, so:

trip time = 2 5.6 = 11.2 s.

11

In other words, the arrow will take 11.2 s to return to the ground.

You need to be careful about the number of significant figures that

you quote in the answer. The data used had only two significant

figures, the answer should be restricted to the same number of

significant figures. This is because in physics the number of

significant figures implies the accuracy with which a piece of data is

known. If the trip time is stated as 11.2 s you are implying that you

know the trip time more accurately than the data from which it was

calculated. This isnt possible! Therefore, you should state that the

trip time is approximately 11 s (two significant figures).

c)

Solution: Once again consider just the rise up to the peak of

trajectory. Note that at the peak the arrow will stop momentarily, so

its velocity at this point is zero. The data available is:

uy = 55 ms-1

vy = 0 ms-1

ay = -9.8 ms-2

Dy = ?

Selecting an equation that has these four variables:

v 2 = u 2y + 2a y Dy

0 2 = 552 + 2 ( -9.8)Dy

\ Dy = 154 m 150 m

150 m. Notice again the restricted number of significant figures in

the answer, in order to conform with the data.

d) What is the velocity of the arrow 7.5 s after firing?

Solution: In this case it is best to consider the whole of the motion

rather than specific segments. The data is:

uy = 55 ms-1

ay = -9.8 ms-2

t = 7.5 s

vy = ?

vy = uy + a y t

= 55 + ( -9.8 7.5)

= -18.5 ms-1

That is, the velocity of the arrow after 7.5 s is approximately 19 ms-1

downwards.

12

Space

uniform-acceleration problems. Note the very useful practice of listing

the available data before stating a problem. This helps you to select the

right equation to use from the start. Its worth pointing out that in the

HSC exam marks are allocated for working, so you must always show it!

Following are two problems for you to practice on. Attempt each before you

r

-2

check the answers. For each problem, use g = 9.8 ms down.

1

stationary, in the air, 84 m above the ground.

a) Calculate how long the sandbag takes to reach the ground.

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

b) Determine the velocity of the sandbag just before it strikes the

ground.

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

This next problem is a bit harder. A tennis player tosses the ball into

the air to serve It takes 1.1 s between tossing and serving. Assume

that the racquet strikes the ball at the same height from which it was

tossed.

a) Calculate the speed with which the ball was tossed. (Hint:

displacement equals zero for the whole motion.)

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

b) Calculate the height achieved, above the players hand, by the

ball.

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

You should now attempt Exercises 2.3 and 2.4.

13

By now you have adapted the three acceleration equations to suit.

It always helps to look for patterns in the information you are trying to

learn, so take a moment to view them into one table. Notice that the

major difference between the equation sets is the absence of acceleration

in the x direction. Note also that the one variable common to both sets is

the time, t.

Horizontal motion

Vertical motion

x direction

y direction

vx = ux

vy = uy + a y t

v 2x = u 2x

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

Dx = u x t

1

2

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

This is the toolkit of equations that you can call upon to solve problems

that involve both horizontal and vertical motion, that is, whole projectile

motion problems. Even so, some strategy is required to determine

particular quantities. Now you are going to examine the methods you

should use to do this.

14

Space

x and y components

Often the first step you will need to do is to resolve the initial velocity of

the projectile into horizontal and vertical components, so that these can

then be used in the various equations. This is a simple application of

trigonometry, as shown by the following diagram.

uy = u sin q

ux = u cos q

horizontal.

Sample problem 5

What is the horizontal and vertical components of the initial velocity of a

tennis ball struck at 12.5 ms-1 at 30.0 above horizontal?

15

Solution

The horizontal component, ux = u cos q = 12.5 cos 30.0 = 10.8 ms-1

The vertical component, uy = u sin q = 12.5 sin 30.0 = 6.25 ms-1

Here is a problem for you to practice on. Check your answers with those

provided at the end of this unit after you have finished (not before!).

-1

A soccer player kicks the ball off the ground with a velocity of 7.0 ms at

8.0 above horizontal. What are the horizontal and vertical components of

the balls velocity?

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Check your answer.

In order to find the velocity of the projectile at other times during its

flight you need to separately calculate the velocity in the x direction and

the y direction, and then add them together using two-dimensional vector

arithmetic. (This is made easier by the two vectors being at right angles

to each other.) The various steps that you need to follow are as follows:

a)

(vx = u x )

c)

Consider the vertical motion and calculate the velocity vy after the

specified time.

diagram:

Vx

q

V

16

Vy

or

Vy

V

Vx

Space

theorem) and the angle is given by:

u

q = tan -1 y

ux

If you need more information on resolving vectors you may wish to

recall the work on resolving vectors from the module Moving about,

Part 2.

Sample problem 6

A tennis ball is struck, this time at 5.0 ms-1, 55 above horizontal.

What is the velocity of the tennis ball 1.2 s after being struck?

a)

-1

The vertical component, uy = u sin q = 5.0 sin 55 = 4.10 ms-1

b) vx = ux = 2.87 ms-1

c)

direction.

d) The final step is to add vx and vy together as shown in the diagram

below.

2.87 ms-1

7.66 ms-1

V

17

v

7.66

q = tan -1 y = tan -1

= 69

2.87

vx

That is, after 1.2 s the velocity of the tennis ball is 8.2 ms-1 at 69 below

horizontal.

Continue now with your practice problem, by returning to the soccer player

used before (A soccer player kicks the ball off the ground with a velocity of

7 ms-1 at 8 above horizontal). Calculate the velocity of the ball 0.05 s after

it was kicked.

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Check your answer.

The strategy for working out these quantities is to consider just the

vertical motion up to the peak. At the peak, the projectile has stopped

moving in the vertical direction so that you can say that vy = 0 in this

portion of the motion. The method then follows these steps.

a)

c)

from the data.

then either

calculate Dy, which is the maximum height.

or

calculate t, which is the time for the projectile to rise up to the peak.

e)

18

Double this time to find the trip time. (Making use of the symmetry

of the motion here, because it takes as long to fall as it does to rise

up to the peak.)

Space

Sample problem 7

Back to the tennis player for this problem. This time the player plays a

half volley off the ground, so that the ball leaves the racquet with a

velocity of 7.2 ms-1 at 36 above horizontal. Calculate the maximum

height achieved by the ball, and the time it takes to bounce for the first

time (that is, the trip time).

Solution

The first step is to calculate uy:

uy = 7.2 sin 36 = 4.2 ms-1

Now considering the vertical motion up to the peak, noting that for this

segment, vy = 0. The available data is:

uy = 4.2 ms-1, vy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8 ms-2, Dy = ?

The calculation needed to find the maximum height is:

v 2 = u 2y + 2a y Dy

0 2 = 4.2 2 + 2( -9.8)Dy

Dy = 0.9 m

That is, the maximum height achieved by the ball is 0.9 m. To calculate

the trip time you need to find the time to reach the peak. The available

data now is:

uy = 4.2 ms-1, vy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8 ms-1, Dy = 0.9 m, t = ?

A suitable calculation to find the time to the peak is:

vy = uy + a y t

0 = 4.2 + ( -9.8)t

\ t = 0.43 s

19

D

=

x

x

tu

Returning to the soccer player once again. You have already calculated the

components of the initial velocity and the velocity of the ball just 0.05 s after

being kicked. Your task now is to calculate the maximum height achieved

by the ball and the time it takes to return to the ground.

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Check your answer.

Your final strategy is concerned with calculating the maximum

horizontal displacement of a projectile, that is, the range of the trajectory.

In order to make this calculation you will need to follow these steps:

a)

b) Analyse the vertical motion to find the trip time as shown above.

c)

Consider only the horizontal motion and calculate the range using,

Dx = u x t

Sample problem 8

Back to the tennis shot played in the earlier sample problem. The ball

was struck from ground level at 7.2 ms-1 at 36 above horizontal.

What will be the range of its trajectory?

Solution

The first step, as usual, is to resolve the initial velocity into components.

ux = 7.2 cos 36 = 5.8 ms-1

uy = 7.2 sin 36 = 4.2 ms-1

Normally you would have to calculate the trip time by analysing the

vertical motion, but this has already been done in the solution to sample

problem 7. You know that the trip time is 0.86 s.

20

Space

The final step then is to analyse the horizontal motion to find the

maximum displacement. This is the displacement that corresponds to the

trip time. The available data is:

ux = 5.8 ms-1, trip time t = 0.86 s, Dx = ?

The required calculation is:

Dx = u x t

= 5.8 0.86

= 5.0 m

That is, the tennis ball travelled 5.0 m before bouncing for the first time.

1

Once again it is your turn to try the calculation. Returning to the soccer

player again. In the previous portion of this practice problem you

calculated the time taken for the ball to return to the ground, and you

have already calculated ux for the ball. Use these pieces of information

to calculate how far the ball travels horizontally before it bounces.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

and kicks a ball horizontally out at 12 ms-1 so that it falls into the

valley below. Calculate how far from the base of the cliff the ball

will land. Assume that the cliff is vertical and that there is no air

resistance. (This question is a little different to the others we have

done so far. Think about it a little first and you will realise that it is

actually easier to solve.)

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

The last practice problem is of the more usual sort. A hockey player

strikes the ball, giving it a velocity of 15 ms-1 but unfortunately lifts

the ball off the grass at an angle of 5.0 above horizontal. In hockey,

the ball is not supposed to rise above knee height. If we assume that

this is 0.4 m above the ground, is the hockey player playing an

illegal shot?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

21

You should now attempt exercises 2.5, 2.6, 2.7 and 2.8.

on the physics website page at http://www.lmpc.edu.au/science

In this activity you are going to set up a simple projectile motion, using a

marble as the projectile. Before performing the experiment you will

calculate the range of the projectiles trajectory and place a cup at this

location to catch the marble. The marble will then be released. Will you

succeed?

You will need:

a marble

a bench

a ruler which has ridges that can act as a track for the marble.

Method:

1

marble

q

bench

plastic

cup

floor

22

Space

The upper end of the ruler should be propped up with a few books

and the lower end should be a few centimetres away from the edge

of the bench. The marble will be held at the upper end of the ruler

and then released. It will roll down the ruler, onto the bench, and

then over the edge of the bench. From that point it is a projectile.

2

Measure the height of the upper end of the ruler above the bench,

and record this.

Height of upper end of ruler = ________________ cm

Now use trigonometry to calculate the angle the ruler is making with

the bench.

-1

Angle q = sin (height of upper end of ruler / length of ruler)

= _________________

4

slope of the ruler can now be calculated.

aslope = g sin q = ______________________ ms-2.

Your next step is to consider the acceleration of the marble down the

ruler in order to calculate the velocity of the marble when it reaches

the bench surface.

v = u + a t = _________________________________ ms-1

This velocity will now become the initial horizontal velocity of the

marble when it rolls off the bench and into the air.

motion in order to determine the trip time.

Measure the height of your bench and record it here:

Dy = _________________ m

Next, calculate the time taken for the marble to fall to the floor:

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Therefore, trip time = ____________ s

determine the range.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Therefore, the range will be _______________ m

23

Now it is time to put your prediction to the test. Place a plastic cup

this distance from the base of the cupboard. If your bench top has a

lip that extends beyond the base of the cupboard you will need to

compensate for this. Finally, place the marble at the top of the ruler

and release it.

Did your marble land in your cup? __________________________

If not, can you suggest reasons why? (It may have fallen short, and

this would indicate a loss of energy.)

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

24

Space

Escape velocity

In your treatment of projectiles you have been assuming that the ground

is flat but on a larger scale, of course, it is not. Rather, it shows the

curvature of the Earth. Newton reasoned that if projected far enough,

a projectile will start to make its way around the curvature of the Earth

before returning to the ground. If projected fast enough then a projectile

will make it completely around the Earth before returning to its starting

point. He drew sketches to illustrate this idea, that looked like this:

but it does lead to a question: what if the projectile had been projected

even faster than this velocity?

The idea was used by Jules Verne in his book From the Earth to the

Moon about two hundred years later. Verne described a spacecraft

launched by cannon. Its speed out of the cannon would be sufficient to

allow the spacecraft to escape the gravity of the Earth and head off

towards the Moon. It sounds impractical, doesnt it? In fact, this scheme

wouldnt work, but only for purely practical reasons.

25

The Earth has an atmosphere that causes friction with anything that tries

to pass through it quickly, leading to a heating effect. The speed of a

spacecraft out of such a cannon would be so great that the spacecraft

would burn up almost immediately after hitting the atmosphere.

Additionally, occupants of this spacecraft would never survive the

enormous g force suffered during this launch.

If these practical problems are removed, by assuming that the spacecraft

has no living occupants and the Earth has no atmosphere, then it is quite

possible to calculate just how fast it must be fired directly up so that it

completely escapes the Earths gravitational field. This may surprise you

to read this, given that the idea is such an old one. In order to determine

this escape velocity you will need to recall some of the ideas about the

Earths gravitational field that were discussed in the previous part.

Firstly, recall that a mass has not escaped the Earths (or any planets)

gravitational field until it is at an infinite distance away (theoretically,

anyway). A more practical term is a very large distance away. At this

point its gravitational potential energy is zero, and at any point closer it

has a negative potential energy.

Jules Vernes cannon will be giving the spacecraft kinetic energy (recall

1

that E k = mv 2 ) and if this equals the magnitude of the spacecrafts

2

spacecraft will have enough energy to leave the Earths gravitational

field completely. Therefore:

Ek = Ep

m m

1

mv 2 = G E

2

rE

v=

where

2 Gm E

rE

= escape velocity, in ms-1

24

rE

-11

Nm2kg-2

A more general form of this equation that can be applied to any planet

would be:

Escape velocity =

26

2 Gm planet

rplanet

Space

where

mplanet

rplanet

Notice that the escape velocity depends upon just two variables the

mass of a planet and its radius. Interestingly, it does not depend upon the

mass of the spacecraft or projectile involved. With this formula you can

now calculate what the velocity of the spacecraft fired out of Jules

Vernes cannon would have to have been:

Escape velocity =

=

2 Gm Earth

rEarth

2(6.67 10 -11 )(5.97 10 24 )

6.38 10 6

That is, the escape velocity of Earth is about 40 000 kmh-1. To put this

into some perspective, an FA/18 jet fighter plane can fly at

approximately twice the speed of sound, or mach two. Expressed in the

same terms, the escape velocity of the Earth is approximately mach 33!

This is a very high velocity and now you can see why, in practice, it

would present several problems.

Sample problem 9

What is the escape velocity of the planet Mercury, given that its mass is

3.6 1023 kg and its radius is 2439 km.

Solution

escape velocity =

=

2 Gm Mercury

rMercury

2(6.67 10 -11 )(3.6 10 23 )

2.439 10 6

That is, escape velocity on the planet Mercury is approximately

16 000 kmh-1.

27

Calculate the escape velocity of the planet Mars. The mass of Mars is

approximately 6.57 1023 kg and its diameter is 6 795 km. (Watch out for

the little trick here.)

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Check your answer.

Complete Exercises 2.9 and 2.10.

In this part you have learned about the nature of projectile motion and

acquired the skills necessary to solve projectile motion problems.

In addition, you have learned about the concept of escape velocity.

In the next part, you will learn about the orbital motion of satellites.

28

Space

Summary

A projectile is any object that is projected into the air but does not

continue to be propelled.

air resistance is ignored. The trajectory can be analysed

mathematically by regarding the horizontal and vertical components

of the motion separately.

analysed using these equations:

vx = ux

v 2x = u 2x

Dx = u x t

and can be analysed using these equations:

vy = uy + a y t

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

1

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

2

projected vertically in order to completely escape the gravitational

field of a planet.

Escape velocity =

where

2 Gm planet

rplanet

= 6.67 10-11 Nm2kg-2

mplanet

rplanet

29

30

Space

Suggested answers

a)

Dx = u x t

1.2 = 0.15 t

\ t = 8.0 s

b) vx = ux = 0.15 ms-1

ux = 15.0 ms-1, t = 0.3 s, Dx = ?

Dx = u x t

= 0.15 0.3

= 4.5 m

1

Balloon problem:

a) uy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8 m s-2, Dy = -8.4 m, t = ?

1

2

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

1

2

-8.4 = 0 t + ( -9.8)t 2

\ t = 4.1 s

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

= 0 2 + 2 ( -9.8)( -84)

\ v y = 41 ms-1

31

a) Consider the whole motion: t = 1.1 s, a = -9.8 ms-2, Dy = 0 m,

uy = ?

1

2

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

1

2

0 = u y 1.1 + ( -9.8)(1.1)2

\ u y = 10.5 ms-1

a = -9.8 ms-2, vy = 0 ms-1, Dy = ?

t = 1.1 2 = 0.55 s

1

2

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

1

2

= 4.3 m

x and y components

The horizontal component, ux = u cos q = 7.0 cos 8.0 = 6.9 ms-1

The vertical component, uy = u sin q = 7.0 sin 8.0 = 0.97 ms-1

Note that vx = ux = 6.9 ms-1

Consider the vertical motion to find vy:

v y = u y + a y t = 0.97 + (-9.8 0.05) = 0.48 ms-1

Use vector addition to combine vx and vy together to give v:

( )

v

0.48

q = tan -1 y = tan -1

= 4o above horizontal

6.9

v

x

32

Space

Consider the motion up to the peak: uy = 0.97 ms-1, vy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8

ms-2, Dy = ? t = ?

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

0 2 = 0.972 + 2( -9.8)Dy

\ Dy = 0.048 m = 4.8 cm

That is, the maximum height achieved by the soccer ball is 4.8 cm.

Consider the vertical motion to the peak in order to calculate the time

taken:

vy = uy + a y t

0 = 0.97 + 2( -9.8)Dy

\ t = 0.049 s

1

Dx = u x t

= 6.9 0.20

1.4 m

uy = 0 ms-1, ay =-9.8 ms-2, Dy =-50.0 m, t = ?

1

2

Dy = u y t + a y t 2

1

2

-50 = 0 t + ( -9.8)t 2

\ t = 3.2 s

ux = 12 ms-1, t = 3.2 s, Dx = ?

Dx = u x t

= 12 3.2

38 m

33

vy = 0 ms-1, ay = -9.8 ms-2, Dy = ?

uy = u sin q = 15 sin 5.0 = 1.3 ms-1

v 2y = u 2y + 2a y Dy

0 2 = 1.32 + 2( -9.8)Dy

\ Dy = 0.086 m = 8.6 cm

Escape velocity

mMars = 6.57 1023 kg, rMars = 6.795 106 m 2 = 3.398 106 m

escape velocity =

=

2 Gm Mercury

rMercury

2(6.67 10 -11 )(3.6 10 23 )

3.398 10 6

34

Space

Exercises Part 2

Name: _________________________________

Complete the exercises and return them to your teacher if you are a

distance education school student. If you are an Open Learning Program

TAFE student your teacher will supply you with the answers to these

exercises.

By doing these exercises you should learn whether or not you have

understood the main concepts taught, and achieved the outcomes for this

section of the course. Your teacher will send comments back to you to

help you achieve any outcomes you are not currently achieving.

Data:

r

acceleration due to gravity, g = 9.8 ms-2

Exercise 2.1

a) Describe the shape of the trajectory of a projectile, launched into the

air at an angle to the horizontal.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

b) You analyse projectile motion as two separate motion a horizontal

and vertical motion. Why are the two motions independent of each

other?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

c) Describe the difference in the nature of the horizontal and vertical

motions.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

35

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Exercise 2.2

a) A snooker ball is struck so that it has a velocity of 0.25 ms-1. If the

snooker table is 1.3 m long, how long does this ball take to travel the

full length of the table?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

b) A spherical bomb is rolled across a smooth floor. It has a velocity of

2.7 ms-1 and explodes 4.8 s after being released. How far has it

travelled when it explodes?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Exercise 2.3

A science teacher conducts a demonstration of gas pressure. The test

tube containing water was fitted gently with a cork, and then held

vertically in a clamp. It was then heated over a Bunsen burner until the

cork popped out with a velocity of 4.2 ms-1.

a) Calculate the height to which the cork rises.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

b) Calculate the time taken for the cork to rise and fall back to the level

of the mouth of the test tube.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

36

Space

Exercise 2.4

Ernie loves to eat his peanuts by throwing them up in the air and catching

them in his mouth. When he throws them up his hand is level with his

mouth. Each peanut is in the air for 1.4 s.

a) How fast is Ernie throwing the peanuts?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

b) How high above his mouth do the peanuts rise?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Exercise 2.5

Scary McLairy, the famous stuntman, is planning his next job. In this

stunt he will stand on the bonnet of a car travelling at 72 kmh-1 as it has a

collision with another car. Just prior to the collision, Scary will jump up

with an initial velocity of 4.9 ms-1. His resultant projectile motion will

catapult him over the collision so that her can land on the boot lid of a

third car. How far away must the third car be, for Scary to successfully

perform his stunt?

4.9 ms-1

72 kmh-1

range = ?

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

37

Exercise 2.6

When trying to bowl, Tim, a novice ten-pin bowler, slightly lofts the

ball a practice that is frowned upon. This means that he released the

ball to late and lifted it into the air, so that it crashes down upon the

wooden flooring of the lane. If the ball was released with a velocity of

3.5 ms-1 and at an angle of 15 above horizontal, calculate:

a) the x and y components of the initial velocity.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

b) the maximum height achieved by the ball.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

c) the time of flight of the ball.

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

d) how far down the lane the ball lands, measured from Tims release

point

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

e)

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

Exercise 2.7

a) A coastal defence cannon is positioned at the top of a 150 m vertical

cliff. It is able to fire a one kilogram shell at a velocity of 120 ms-1.

If fired horizontally out from the cliff, how far out to sea will the

shell land?

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

38

Space

How far will a shell now travel?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Exercise 2.8

A rifle is fired up at an angle of 55 above horizontal. If the initial

velocity of the bullet is 570 ms-1, what will be its velocity 2.5 s after

firing?

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

Exercise 2.9

a) Upon what variables does the escape velocity from a planet depend?

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

b) Describe Isaac Newtons explanation of escape velocity.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Exercise 2.10

a) The planet Venus has a mass of 4.9 1024 kg and a radius of

6052 km. Determine its escape velocity.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

b) Determine the escape velocity of the planet Pluto, given that its mass

is 1.8 1022 kg and its diameter is 2320 km.

_____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

39

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