# Describe Projectile Motion…

A projectile is any object that has a constant sideways velocity and has a vertical acceleration due to gravity alone. Eg.
• • • • • •
a baseball that has been pitched, batted, or thrown a bullet the instant it exits the barrel of a gun or rifle a moving airplane in the air with its engines and wings disabled a runner in mid stride (since they

momentarily lose contact with the ground) the space shuttle or any other spacecraft after main engine cut off a bus driven off an uncompleted bridge

An object which has other forces than gravity acting on it is no longer a projectile eg missile, dragster, kite boarder etc. The path of a projectile is called its trajectory. The horizontal distance a projectile travels is called its range. A trajectory of a projectile is best analysed by breaking it into 2 separate motions, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal there is no acceleration, velocity stays constant for the entire flight use v ! d"t #the 4 equations of motion also work but a=0, and Vi =Vf \$ Vertical The only acceleration is due to gravity #a ! %.& ms 2 \$ 'elocity is continually changing 'elocity at top of flight is ( )se the * e+uations of motion to calculate The final trajectory is simply a combination of these two paths. ,n this picture the ball is travelling at a constant velocity sideways #eg -( cm every flash\$, but it is falling faster and faster vertically with every flash. The combination of the two, gives the parabolic curve that all projectiles have.

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1. In the 1994 action-adventure film Speed, an extortionist equipped a Los Angeles bus with a bomb that was set explode if the speed of the bus fell below 50 mph (22 m/s). The police discovered the bomb and routed the bus on to a segment of freeway that was still under construction — their intention being to keep it out of the notoriously heavy Southern California traffic. In a twist of the plot, however, they overlooked a 50 foot (15 m) gap in the construction. Since the bomb would explode killing everyone on board if they slowed down, they decide to jump the gap. The missing segment lies on an effectively level stretch of elevated freeway, 50 feet (15 m) above the ground, yet somehow they manage to jump the gap at 67 mph (30 m/s) and land safely on the other side.

To view this clip on 5outube6

a. b. If the bus in Speed obeyed the laws of physics how would this scene end? Just out of curiosity, what would happen if the bus in the movie Speed was driven off of a 15 m high, horizontal ramp? i. Where would the bus land? ii. What velocity would it have when it struck the ground?

Solutions … c. Although the bus is accelerating downward due to gravity its horizontal velocity remains constant. (Gravity never acts horizontally.) It will take the bus …

7t ! 7x ! 15 m v 30 m/s
d.

= 0.50 s

to travel the width of the gap, during which time it would fall …

d !
e.

at& !

½ ( 9.8 m/s2)(0.50 s)2 = 1.3 m

This means the bus will strike the flat concrete face of the freeway stub somewhere above its front bumper. So much for Speed II.