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Projectile Motion

Objectives: • Understand projectile motion and how gravity influences it • Understand the effects of projection speed, angle, and relative height on projectile motion • Learn to compute the maximum height, flight time, and flight distance of a projectile

What is a Projectile?
• A projectile is a body or object that – is in the air – is subject only to the forces of gravity and air resistance (i.e. the object is in free fall). • The motion of the center of mass of any object in free fall is governed by the laws of projectile motion

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Influence of Gravity
• Gravity: pull of the mass of the Earth on a body • Gravity accelerates an object in a vertical direction towards the center of the Earth. • Acceleration due to gravity (g) is always straight downward at a constant 9.81 m/s2 (32.2 ft/s2). velocity velocity

g = 9.81 m/s2 upward velocity decreases

g = 9.81 m/s2 downward velocity increases

Gravity & Vertical Velocity
• From the laws of constant acceleration:

(vvertical)2 = (vvertical)1 + (-9.81 m/s 2) * ∆t
• Vertical velocity changes linearly with time
vvertical (m/s)
decelerating upward

vvertical vhorizontal

at max. height time (s)

0
accelerating downward

g = 9.81 m/s2

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Gravity & Horizontal Velocity
• Gravity does not change the horizontal velocity of an object. • From the laws of constant acceleration:

(vhorizontal)2 = (vhorizontal)1 + ahorizontal * ∆t
For gravity, ahorizontal = 0, so: vvertical vhorizontal vvertical changes vhorizontal remains constant g = 9.81 m/s2

(vhorizontal)2 = (vhorizontal )1

Projectile Motion
• Gravity causes a projectile to move in a parabolic path that is symmetric about the apex (the highest point in the trajectory)

Height (m)

apex

Horizontal Distance (m)

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Influences on Projectile Trajectory
• Three factors that influence projectile trajectory: – Angle of projection – Projection speed – Relative height of projection
= (projection height) – (landing height)
ion ject spe ed

Pro

Projection angle

Projection height

Influences of Projection Angle
• Effect of projection angle on object trajectory
(projection speed = 10 m/s, projection height = 0)
6 5

15 deg 30 deg 45 deg 60 deg 75 deg 90 deg

Height (m)

4 3 2 1 0 0 2 4 6 8

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Distance (m)

• Trajectory shape depends only on projection angle

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Influences of Projection Speed
• Effect of projection speed on object trajectory
(projection angle = 45°, projection height = 0)
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2 m/s

gl

e

Height (m)

tio

n

an

4 3 2 1 0 0 2

4 m/s 6 m/s 8 m/s 10 m/s

Pr

oj

ec

4

6

8

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Distance (m)

Influences of Projection Height
• Effect of relative projection height on object trajectory
(projection speed = 10 m/s, projection angle = 45°)
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(-2) m (-1) m 0m (+1) m (+2) m

Relative Height (m)

3 2 1 0 0 -1 -2 -3 2 4 6 8 10

Landing Height
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Distance (m)

Relative projection ht. = (projection ht.) – (landing ht.)

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Optimum Projection Conditions
• Projection angle for maximum distance depends on relative projection height – rel. projection ht. > 0 optimal angle < 45° – rel. projection ht. = 0 optimal angle = 45° – rel. projection ht. < 0 optimal angle > 45°
Rel. Proj. Height +1 m 0 -1 m Optimal Angle 42.4° 45° 48.1° Max. Distance 11.15 m 10.19 m 9.14 m Distance @ 45° 11.11 m 10.19 m 9.07 m

• Projection angle for maximum height = 90°

Actual Projection Conditions
• In real-life, often cannot attain theoretical optimum conditions • Trade-off exists between projection speed, angle, and height due to anatomical constraints
Sport Long Jump Ski Jump High Jump Shot Put Actual Projection Angles

18 – 27° 4 – 6° 40 – 48° 36 – 37°
(Hall, 2003)

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Trade-off Between Factors
• Can obtain the same distance or height with different combinations of projection speed, angle, and height
6 5 Height (m) 4 3 2 1 0 0 2 4 6 8 10

Speed = 10.75 m/s Angle = 60°

Speed = 10 m/s Angle = 45°

Horizontal Distance (m)

Maximum Height
• At the apex, vvertical = v0 sinθ = 0 • From the laws of constant acceleration:

v22 = v 12 + 2 a * d 0 = (v0 sinθ)2 + 2 (-9.81 m/s 2) * (yapex – y0) yapex = y 0 +
where:
yapex y0 v0 θ = height at apex = projection height = projection speed = projection angle
y0

(v0 sinθ)2 2 * (9.81 m/s 2 )
v0

θ

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Example Problem #1
A high jumper leave the ground with a velocity of 6 m/s at a projection angle of 40°. Her center of mass is 1 m above the ground at take-off. What is the maximum height of her center of mass during the jump?

Flight Time
• From the laws of constant acceleration:

d = v 1 * ∆ t + (½) a * ( ∆ t)2 (yfinal – y0) = (v0 sinθ) * tF + (½)*(-9.81 m/s 2)* tF2
Solve the above quadratic equation to find the flight time tF (choose the largest positive answer)
where:
yfinal y0 v0
θ

= final height = projection height = projection speed = projection angle

v0

θ
y final

y0

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Example Problem #2
A figure skater is attempting a jump in which she performs 3 complete revolutions while in the air. She leaves the ice with a velocity of 7 m/s at a projection angle of 30° If she spins at 3 revolutions per second, will she be able to complete all 3 revolutions before landing?

Flight Distance
• During projectile motion, vhorizontal = v0 cos θ is constant • From the laws of constant acceleration with a = 0:

d = v1 * ∆t dF = (v 0 cos θ) * tF
where:
dF tF v0
θ

= flight distance = flight time = projection speed = projection angle

v0

θ

dF

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Example Problem #3
A kicker is attempting field goal from 40 yards away. The ball is kicked with an initial velocity of 24 m/s at a projection angle of 30°. The crossbar of the goal post is 10 ft above the ground. If his aim is correct, will he make the field goal?

Effects on Projectile Motion
Variable Horizontal velocity Vertical velocity Maximum height Determined by: Projection speed Projection angle Projection speed Projection angle Vertical velocity Projection height Vertical velocity Projection height Final height Horizontal velocity Flight time

Flight time

Flight distance

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Influence of Air Resistance
• In real-life, air resistance will cause both horizontal and velocity to change while in flight. • Forces created by wind will also affect the trajectory
No Air Resist Air Resist Tailwind

Height (m)

Oblique Trajectory
Horizontal Distance (m)

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