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Problem

1. A cannonball, can be launched an initial velocity of 100 m/s. A target, on the same
level as the muzzle of the cannon, is 1000 m away. (a) Can the cannonball reach the
target? (b) At what angle should the cannonball be launched to hit the target?
Given:

Required:

Solution:

College Physics Part 1


Interpretation of Results

The motion of an object under the influence of gravity is determined completely by the
acceleration of gravity, its launch speed, and launch angle provided air friction is negligible. The
horizontal and vertical motions may be separated and described by the general motion
equations for constant acceleration. The initial vector components of the velocity are used in
the equations.

At certain instances, a golf ball and a basketball fired with the same angle and initial speed,
depending on the mass and diameter, might travel both on the same range, height and time of
travel under certain circumstances. Looking at the figures below, we can see they shows a

parabolic path. The cannonball launched at a 45-degree angle had the maximum range. Note
that the cannonball launched at a 60-degree angle had the highest peak height before falling.
The cannonball launched at the 30-degree angle reached the ground first. The 60 and
30 degree trajectories have almost the same range, as does any pair of launches
at complementary angles. This is base on the general ballistic trajectory.

Variation of the launch angle of a projectile will change the range. If the launch velocity is
known, the required angle of launch for a desired range can be calculated from the motion
College Physics Part 1
equations. Basing on the computed range on the experiment, the launch angle at 30 and 60
degrees are the same, both are 2.27 meters. Though base on the statement earlier, the 30
degrees will reach the target first before the 60 degrees. Base on theory, since the acceleration
along the x-axis is zero, the horizontal velocity is constant all throughout the motion.

Along the y-axis, the velocity changes because of the acceleration due to gravity. From the
results of the experiment, the maximum distance reached by the projectile launched at 60° is
higher with a value of 0.98 m along the y-axis, against the projectile launched at 30° with only
0.33 m high. This is shown in figure above. Basing on the equation , as the ө
reach 90°, so does the value of whereas will be divided by 2g which leads to a
higher value of .

With percentage errors obtained, it is apparent that the computed values and the experimental
values of range obtained have precise values. Such percentage errors may be caused by the
inaccurate measurement of the vertical distance, since the time of travel depends on this, or
maybe due to the inaccuracy in the measurement of the horizontal distance, where the initial
velocity depends. The time of travel is used in the calculation of the initial velocity, which in
turn will determine the computed value of the range. Or else, the inaccuracy of the
experimental values may also have yielded such discrepancies, since these are also manually
measured. Otherwise, these discrepancies may be due to the inconsistent launches, that is, the
release cord was not pulled at right angles to the launcher, or maybe also due to erroneous
measurement of the angles in the second part of the experiment. On the other hand, air
resistance, which is one of the factors that affect the projectile motion, is negligible in this case
because there are no strong winds while performing the experiment. Furthermore, air
resistance cannot easily affect the cannonball, since this is heavy.

Credits to http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/trajs.html#tra16 and


http://www.physicsclassroom.com/mmedia/vectors/mr.cfm for the images.

Credits are not mine.

College Physics Part 1