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# Projectile motion As a simple illustration of the concepts introduced in the previous subsections, let us examine the following problem

. Suppose that a projectile is What is the initial vector velocity with which the

projectile is launched into the air at (say) ? As illustrated in Fig. 16, given that the magnitude of , this velocity is , its horizontal component is -axis, and its direction with this axis, the components

launched upward from ground level, with speed making an angle with the horizontal. Neglecting the effect of air resistance, what is the subsequent trajectory of the projectile? Our first task is to set up a suitable Cartesian coordinate system. A convenient system is illustrated in Fig. 16. The -axis points vertically upwards (this is a standard convention), whereas the -axis points along the projectile's initial direction of horizontal motion. Furthermore, the origin of our coordinate system corresponds to the launch point. Thus, level. corresponds to ground

directed along the subtends an angle

of

take the form (71 )

Neglecting air resistance, the projectile is subject to

Note that has zero component along the which points into the paper in Fig. 16. Since the projectile moves with constant acceleration, its vector displacement

-axis,

a constant acceleration , due to gravity, which is directed vertically downwards. Thus, the projectile's vector acceleration is written (70 )

Eq. (64)]

from its launch point satisfies [see

(72 ) Here, the minus sign indicates that the acceleration is in the minus -direction (i.e., downwards), as -direction (i.e., upwards). Making use of Eqs. (70) and (71), the -, -, and

opposed to the plus

-components of the above equation are written (73 ) (74 ) (75 )

Figure 16: Coordinates for the projectile problem

the projectile's vertical motion is identical to that of a second projectile launched vertically upwards. . It follows from the above expression ) that (77 ) Figure 17: The parabolic trajectory of a projectile when (neglecting the trivial result Note that the range attains its maximum value. In other words. since there is zero component of the projectile's acceleration along the -axis. lying entirely within the plane. of the projectile is projectile's acceleration along the -axis. In other words. the projectile never moves in the direction. neglecting air resistance. It follows from Eq. a projectile travels furthest when it is launched into the air at The maximum altitude to the horizontal. when the projectile has just stopped rising and is about to start falling).e.respectively. (79 ) initial velocity (i. Note. Note... Note that the projectile moves with (78 ) constant velocity.e. and will subsequently strike the ground simultaneously. ..e. the initial vertical velocity component of the first projectile)--both projectiles will reach the same maximum altitude at the same time. the projectile's trajectory is 2-dimensional. (80 ) is obtained when the projectile is launched vertically upwards (i. Equations (73) and (75) can be rearranged to give (76 ) Obviously. In other words. that the projectile's vertical motion is entirely decoupled from its horizontal motion. Hence. finally. As was first pointed out by Galileo. with the attained when (i. 17. (75) that the maximum altitude occurs at time . This is hardly surprising. The horizontal range its of the projectile corresponds to -coordinate when it strikes the ground (i. ). in the -direction (i. horizontally).e.e. the largest value of . and the projectile's initial velocity also has zero component along this axis. that since there is zero component of the when . and is illustrated in Fig.. ). at .. further. this is the equation of a parabola.

inertial path. upwards and rightwards. A projectile is an object upon which the only force is gravity. What effect will gravity have upon the motion of the cannonball? Will gravity affect the cannonball's horizontal motion? Will the cannonball travel a greater (or shorter) horizontal distance due to the influence of gravity? The answer to both of these questions is "No!" Gravity will act downwards upon the cannonball to affect its vertical motion. the free-body diagram of the projectile is still as depicted in the diagram at the right. the changes in the state of motion) of objects which are either at rest or moving in 1dimension. A force is only required to maintain an acceleration. thus causing a vertical acceleration. Although a thrown baseball could be Projectile Motion and Inertia Many students have difficulty with the concept that the only force acting upon an upward moving projectile is gravity. Gravity causes a vertical acceleration. such a cannonball would continue in motion in a straight line at constant speed. Recall from the Unit 2 that Newton's laws stood in direct opposition to the common misconception that a force is required to keep an object in motion. If there was any other force acting upon an object. there must be both an upward and rightward force.. Their conception of motion prompts them to think that if an object is moving upward. upwards.A projectile is an object upon which the only force acting is gravity. and if there is an upward motion then there must be an upward force.What is a Projectile? In Unit 1 of the Physics Classroom Tutorial. Their belief is that forces cause motion. In Unit 2 of the Physics Classroom Tutorial. A projectile is any object which once projected or dropped continues in motion by its own inertia and is influenced only by the downward force of gravity. a projectile remains in motion with a constant horizontal velocity. An object which is thrown vertically upward is also a projectile (provided that the influence of air resistance is negligible). we learned how Newton's laws help to explain the motion (and specifically. Gravity is the downward force upon a projectile which influences its vertical motion and causes the parabolic trajectory which is characteristic of projectiles. there is a downward force and a downward acceleration. a projectile is any object upon which the only force is gravity. then there must be an upward force. "How in the world can an object be moving upward if the only force acting upon it is gravity?" Such students do not believe in Newtonian physics (or at least do not believe strongly in Newtonian physics). the free-body diagram of a projectile would show a single force acting downwards and labeled force of gravity (or simply Fgrav). Lesson 2 of this unit is devoted to understanding the motion of projectiles. And suppose for a moment that the gravity switch could be turned off such that the cannonball would travel in the absence of gravity? What would the motion of such a cannonball be like? How could its motion be described? According to Newton's first law of motion.the force of gravity. This is Newton's law of inertia.". And if an object is moving upward and rightward. "an object in motion will . By definition. a projectile has only one force acting upon it . the object is moving upward and slowing down. The ball will drop vertically below its otherwise straight-line. Now in this unit we will apply both kinematic principles and Newton's laws of motion to understand and explain the motion of objects moving in two dimensions. Thus. If not acted upon by an unbalanced force. or downwards and leftwards. The most common example of an object which is moving in two dimensions is a projectile. The horizontal motion of the projectile is the result of the tendency of any object in motion to remain in motion at constant velocity. Now suppose that the gravity switch is turned on and that the cannonball is projected horizontally from the top of the same cliff. This idea is simply not true! A force is not required to keep an object in motion. Horizontal forces are not required to keep a projectile moving horizontally. Due to the absence of horizontal forces. To further ponder this concept of the downward force and a downward acceleration for a projectile. we learned a variety of means to describe the 1dimensional motion of objects. acceleration (not a motion). And an object is which thrown upward at an angle to the horizontal is also a projectile (provided that the influence of air resistance is negligible). then that object would not be a projectile. The only force acting upon a projectile is gravity! Next Section: Characteristics of a Projectile's Trajectory Jump To Lesson 3: Forces in Two Dimensions Projectile A projectile is any object propelled through space by the exertion of a force which ceases after launch. Thus. And in the case of a projectile that is moving upward. Newton's laws suggest that forces are only required to cause an . An object dropped from rest is a projectile (provided that the influence of air resistance is negligible). Regardless of whether a projectile is moving downwards. By definition. That is.. Gravity acts to influence the vertical motion of the projectile. There are a variety of examples of projectiles. consider a cannonball shot horizontally from a very high cliff at a high speed. They reason.

to the energy of a kinetic kill vehicle with a closing speed of 10 km/s.considered a projectile. see RIM-161 Standard Missile 3). spears. See also Hypervelocity terminal ballistics. which is 50 MJ/kg. It is also applied for training the act of dropping a bomb with explosives. as well as kinetic energy penetrators.g. kinetic warhead or kinetic penetrator. This saves costly weight and there is no detonation to be precisely timed. shells. however. Classic kinetic energy weapons are blunt projectiles such as rocks and round shot. see equations of motion. For details of the mathematics surrounding projectile trajectory. each with a cable. converting their kinetic energy into destructive shock waves and heat. and collide with their objective. kinetic energy weapon. two projectiles are shot simultaneously. [edit] Non-kinetic effects Many projectiles. which requires a more accurate trajectory. Among projectiles which do not contain • • for guidance: wire-guided missile (range up to 4000 meters) to administer an electric shock. and THAAD being developed do not (see Missile Defense Agency). but the Kinetic Energy Interceptor (KEI). and bow. usually found in science fiction. contain an explosive charge. A hypothetical kinetic weapon that travels at a significant fraction of the speed of light. Some kinetic weapons for targeting objects in spaceflight are anti-satellite weapons and antiballistic missiles. Other weapons use the compression or expansion of gases as their motive force. Blowguns and pneumatic rifles use compressed gases. Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV). the Arrow missile and MIM-104 Patriot have explosives. A kinetic projectile can also be dropped from aircraft. and mass drivers. This method. A kinetic bombardment may involve a projectile dropped from Earth orbit. is termed a relativistic kill vehicle (RKV). explosives are not necessary. the word more often refers to a weapon. . In military terminology. Some projectiles provide propulsion during (part of) the flight by means of a rocket engine or jet engine. mechanisms include the catapult. coilguns. Note the two meanings of "rocket": an ICBM is a missile with rocket engines. Since they need to attain a high velocity anyway. [edit] Wired projectiles Some projectiles stay connected by a cable to the launch equipment after launching it: • • • • • • • • 1 Motive force 2 Non-kinetic effects 3 Kinetic projectiles 4 Wired projectiles 5 Typical projectile speeds 6 Miscellaneous 7 See also 8 External links [edit] Motive force Arrows. Railguns utilize electromagnetic fields to provide a constant acceleration along the entire length of the device. as in the case of a Taser (range up to 10. [1] This method has been used in Operation Iraqi Freedom and the subsequent military operations in Iraq by mating concrete-filled training bombs with JDAM GPS guidance kits. slingshot. e. [edit] Kinetic projectiles See also: KE-Munitions Projectiles which do not contain an explosive charge are termed kinetic projectile. while a missile is guided. darts. they can destroy their target with their released kinetic energy alone. greatly increasing the muzzle velocity. and similar weapons are fired using pure mechanical force applied by another solid object.g.g. Lightweight Exo-Atmospheric Projectile (LEAP. Contents [hide] explosives are those launched from railguns. 4. to attack vehicles and other relatively "soft" targets located too close to civilian structures for the use of conventional high explosive bombs. This is applied by replacing the explosives of a regular bomb e. by concrete. while most other guns and firearms utilize expanding gases liberated by sudden chemical reactions. e. Compare the energy of TNT. fire (see also early thermal weapons). A typical bomb has a mass of 900 kg and a speed of impact of 800 km/h (220 m/s). or poisoning (see also arrow poison). a rocket is unguided.6 meters). for a precision hit with less collateral damage. With regard to anti-missile weapons. pointed ones such as arrows. All of these weapons work by attaining a high muzzle velocity (hypervelocity). Light gas guns use a combination of these mechanisms.6 MJ/kg. requires direct contact with the target. With or without explosive charge a projectile can be designed to cause special damage. apart from throwing without tools. and somewhat pointed ones such as bullets.

(conventiona 878. the forces acting upon the projectile. An explosive weapon.• to make a connection with the target. whether or not by a weapon.7 kJ/kg 175-lb-draw 97 m/s.8 545 mph kJ/kg 1116 ft/s 761 mph 58 . 130 ft/s (expert 144 km/h thrower) object falling 45 m/s. 208. 150 ft/s 162 km/h 100 mph 1000 J/kg 58 m/s. crossbow 349. 470 3018 ft/s 2058 mph in many 3312 km/h kJ/kg assault rifles) 125x1400 m 1700 m/s.5 mm 150 m/s. air gun pellet 244 m/s.43 m/s.g. object falling 15. 327. causes the debris to act as multiple high velocity projectiles. pistol) 1224 km/h kJ/kg [edit] Typical projectile speeds See also: Orders of magnitude (speed) and Muzzle velocity Kinetic energy density = Speed ^2 / 2 9.7 130 mph kJ/kg closing Exoatmosph speed eric Kill roughly Vehicle 10 km/s projectile (e.5 Slug (from 10800 9843 ft/s 6711 mph MJ/kg Experimental km/h Railgun) ICBM reentry up to vehicle 4 km/s projectile of up to a light gas 7 km/s gun satellite in low earth orbit 8 km/s up to up to up to 8 13000 ft/ 9000 mph MJ/kg s up to up to up to 23000 ft/ 16000 mp 24 s h MJ/kg 26000 ft/ 19000 mp 32 s h MJ/kg Projectile Speed (m/s). 320 heavy 2625 ft/s 1790 mph 2880 km/h kJ/kg machine gun) 5.6 km/h 190 ft/s 1. 150 ft/s 100 m 162 km/h refined (= flexible) atlatl dart (expert thrower) 80-lb-draw pistol crossbow bolt paintball fired from marker 31 mph 98 J/kg 90 mph 800 J/kg 980 J/kg 100 mph 45 m/s. or to draw the launcher to the target. A guided missile is not called a projectile.4 l maximum) km/h 9x19 mm (bullet of a 340 m/s. and the impact that a projectile has on a target. or device may also be designed to produce many high velocity projectiles by the break-up of its casing. space closing debris) and speed 0 target both 16 km/s in low earth orbit [edit] Miscellaneous ~33000 f ~22000 t/s mph ~ 50 MJ/kg 300 ft/s 204 mph 4. as a grappling hook does. either to tow it towards the launcher. (km/h) (ft/s) (mph) 4. 492 ft/s 540 km/h 800 ft/s 224 mph 5 kJ/kg 336 mph 11 kJ/kg Ballistics analyze the projectile trajectory. 46 ft/s 10 m 50. 328 ft/s 6 mm BB 360 km/h rifle bullet 4.9 mph 1m km/h object falling 14 m/s.948 14.2 bolt km/h ~53000 f ~36000 t/s mph ~ 130 MJ/kg 320 ft/s 217 mph air gun pellet 100 m/s. these are correctly termed fragments.7x99 mm (bullet of a 800 m/s. 29. An explosion. as with a whaling harpoon.1 kJ/kg 4.8 km/h 91 m/s.4 km/h thrown club (weapon) 40 m/s.4 m (shell of a 5577 ft/s 3803 mph 6120 km/h MJ/kg tank) 2kg Tungsten 3000 m/s. 4.56x45 mm (standard bullet used 920 m/s.8 J/kg 12.5 ft/s 9. 1.

In discrete mathematics. Newton's theory later developed into the branch of theoretical physics known as classical mechanics. for example. In control theory a trajectory is a time-ordered set of states of a dynamical system (see e. That is.1 Derivation based on equations of a parabola with 2.g. and cause the comet to eject material into space.Projectile is also the name of an annual anarchist film festival based in Newcastle UK * [2] Trajectory A trajectory is the path a moving object follows through space.e. Physically speaking.1. • 4 External links [edit] Physics of trajectories A familiar example of a trajectory is the path of a projectile such as a thrown ball or rock. reason.1 Uniform gravity. i. of a particular kind known as "conservative". In this simple approximation the trajectory takes the shape of a parabola. Although if a comet passes close to the Sun. and the field V represents external forces. Classical mechanics became a most prominent demonstration of the power of rational thought.2 Uphill/downhill in uniform gravity in a vacuum ○ • 2. This can be a good approximation for a rock that is thrown for short distances for example.3 Angle of elevation 2. say from gravity. The object might be a projectile or a satellite. however. Poincaré map). Trajectories are but one example. moving in a potential field V. air resistance (drag and aerodynamics). in his youth). One of the remarkable achievements of Newtonian mechanics was the derivation of the laws of Kepler.1 Derivation of the equation of motion 2. mass represents inertia. It employs the mathematics of differential calculus (which was. or as the position of the object over time. The motion of the particle is described by the second-order differential equation Illustration showing the trajectory of a bullet fired at an uphill target.3 Orbiting objects 3 See also . Contents [hide] • • 1 Physics of trajectories 2 Examples ○ 2. Generally. then it is also influenced by other forces. The trajectory is a conic section. to a reasonably good approximation. This is the focus of the discipline of ballistics. This agrees with the observed orbits of planets and comets. also initiated by Newton.2 Range and height 2. at the surface of the moon. there is a way to infer the associated force that would act at that position. It helps to understand and predict an enormous range of phenomena.2. a trajectory is a sequence of values calculated by the iterated application of a mapping f to an element x of its source. an asteroid or a comet as it travels around a central mass. Over the centuries. given V at every relevant position. A trajectory can be described mathematically either by the geometry of the path.1. in fact. Consider a particle of mass m. like an ellipse or a parabola. countless scientists contributed to the development of these two disciplines.1. Not all forces can be expressed in this way. in science as well as technology. when determining trajectories it may be necessary to account for nonuniform gravitational forces.the path of a planet. no drag or wind ○ 2. which modify the orbit. in the case of the gravitational field of a single point mass (representing the Sun). such as the solar wind and radiation pressure. In a greatly simplified model the object moves only under the influence of a uniform homogenous gravitational force field. It thus includes the meaning of orbit .

The ideal case of motion of a projectile in a uniform gravitational field. h is the height the projectile is fired from. all through the Middle Ages in Europe. at rest with respect to the ground. The x-axis is parallel to the ground and the y axis perpendicular to it ( parallel to the gravitational field lines ). This range is v2 / g. in the absence of other forces(such as air drag). y = − g(x / vh)2 / 2. with respect to our inertial frame would be y = − gt2 / 2. his simplified parabolic trajectory proves essentially correct. In the analysis that follows we derive the equation of motion of a projectile as measured from an inertial frame. vi. i. .y)=(0. Nevertheless. no drag or wind Trajectories of three objects thrown at the same angle (70°). The initial velocity. the force is given in terms of . The blue object experiences Stokes' drag. is the greatest parabolic height said object reaches within its trajectory [edit] Angle of elevation In terms of angle of elevation θ and initial speed v: giving the range as This equation can be rearranged to find the angle for a required range projectile launch) (Equation II: angle of Note that the sine function is such that there are two solutions for θ for a given range dh. R. to which frame is associated a right-hand co-ordinate system . Now translating back to the inertial frame the coordinates of the projectile becomes y = xtan(θ) − g(x / vh)2 / 2 That is: . later to be demonstrated on Earth by his collaborator Evangelista Torricelli[citation needed]. is the speed at which said object is launched from the point of origin. Let g be the acceleration of gravity. Galileo was able to initiate the future science of mechanics. and the maximum altitude at the maximum range is a quarter of that. [edit] Range and height The range. To neglect the action of the atmosphere. The black object doesn't experience any form of drag and moves along a parabola. the range is 2vhvv / g. (where v0 is the initial speed.On the right-hand side. The initial angle. [edit] Examples [edit] Uniform gravity.[citation needed] And in a near vacuum. in shaping a trajectory. The maximum range. as it turns out for instance on the Moon. is the greatest distance the object travels along the x-axis in the I sector. The coordinates of this free-fall frame. and the green object Newton drag.e. was first investigated by Galileo Galilei. This is the mathematical form of Newton's second law of motion: mass times acceleration equals force. [edit] Derivation of the equation of motion Assume the motion of the projective is being measured from a Free fall frame which happens to be at (x. The angle θ giving the maximum range can be found by considering the derivative or R with respect to θ and setting it to zero. The equation of motion of the projectile in this frame ( by the principle of equivalence) would be y = xtan(θ). is obtained when vh = vv. this corresponds to a direct shot versus a mortar shot up and over obstacles to the target. h. Relative to the flat terrain. the initial angle is 45 degrees. would have been considered a futile hypothesis by practical minded investigators. It will also be shown that. and g is the acceleration due to gravity).the origin of which coincides with the point of launch of the projectile. by anticipating the existence of the vacuum. θi. for a given initial speed v. taken at positions along the trajectory. The g is the respective gravitational pull on the object within a null-medium. Physically. The height.0) at t=0. the gradient of the potential. for such situations. That is. and the maximum altitude is . let the initial horizontal speed be vh = vcos(θ) and the initial vertical speed be vv = vsin(θ). is the angle at which said object is released.

y = dv. is obtained when the projectile is fired [edit] Uphill/downhill in uniform gravity in a vacuum Given a hill angle α and launch angle θ as before. Thus equation 11 may be approximated as: maximum height obtained is . the interpretation is more complex as sometimes the uphill range may be shorter or longer than the equivalent range along level terrain. it can be shown that the range along the hill Rs forms a ratio with the original range R along the imaginary horizontal. that is when which is zero . both tanα and tanθ have a small value and thus when multiplied together (as in equation 11). the result is almost zero.y): (Equation 12) where in this case.which has a non trivial solutions at . and aim as if the target were really at that horizontal position. To find the angle giving the maximum height for a given speed calculate the derivative of the maximum height H = v2sin(θ) / (2g) with respect to And solving for level terrain range. such that: (Equation 11) In this equation. For this range of α we know: tan( − α) = − tanα and sec( − α) = secα. the slant range is equal to the level terrain range) and solving for the "critical angle" θcr: (Solving above x) This value of x may be substituted back into the linear equation 12 to get the corresponding y coordinate at the intercept: . For small values.e. At this angle sin(π / 2) = 1 so the Equation 11 may also be used to develop the "rifleman's rule" for small values of α and θ (i. Thus for this range of α. s/he will actually hit the slant target. close to horizontal firing. The maximum range is then . pretend that the inclined target is at a horizontal distance equal to the slant range distance multiplied by the cosine of the inclination angle."[1] [edit] Derivation based on equations of a parabola The intersect of the projectile trajectory with a hill may most easily be derived using the trajectory in parabolic form in Cartesian coordinates (Equation 10) intersecting the hill of slope m in standard linear form at coordinates (x. downhill occurs when α is between 0 and -90 degrees.e. Thus Rs / R is a positive value meaning the range downhill is always further than along level terrain. R "Rifleman's rule" Thus if the shooter attempts to hit the level distance R. "In other words. allowing it to travel further horizontally before hitting the ground. The lower level of terrain causes the projectile to remain in the air longer. Equation 11 may be set to Rs / R = 1 (i. So the maximum height straight up. While the same equation applies to projectiles fired uphill. x = dh and b = 0 Substituting the value of dv = mdh into Equation 10: θ. which is the case for many firearm situations). Rs / R = (1 + tanθtanα)secα.

m = tanα. As in Trajectory of a projectile. The derivation of these was one of the major works of Isaac Newton Contents [hide] • 1 Derivations ○ 1. we obtain Kepler's laws of planetary motion. which is just the hypotenuse of x and y: The path of this projectile launched from a height y0 has a range d. meaning the object is being launched on flat ground. so by definition of tangent. Range of a projectile Now the slant range Rs is the distance of the intercept from the origin.80 m/s2 near the Earth's surface θ: the angle at which the projectile is launched v: the velocity at which the projectile is launched y0: the initial height of the projectile d: the total horizontal distance travelled by the projectile Now this can be refactored and the trigonometric identity for may be used: • • • When neglecting air resistance. the range of the projectile will then simplify to [edit] Orbiting objects If instead of a uniform downwards gravitational force we consider two bodies orbiting with the mutual gravitation between them. This can be substituted into the equation for Rs: • • g: the gravitational acceleration—usually taken to be 9.1 Flat Ground . a projectile launched with specific initial conditions in a uniform gravity field will have a predictable range. the range of a projectile will be Now the flat range R = v2sin2θ / g = 2v2sinθcosθ / g by the previously used trigonometric identity and sinθ / cosθ = tanθ so: If (y0) is taken to be zero.and provided much of the motivation for the development of differential calculus. we will use: Now α is defined as the angle of the hill. In physics.

thus Once again we solve for (t) in the case where the (y) position of the projectile is at zero (since this is how we defined our starting height to begin with) By applying the quadratic formula Again by applying the quadratic formula we find two solutions for the time. After several steps of algebraic manipulation or The first solution corresponds to when the projectile is first launched. Plugging this value for (t) into the horizontal equation yields The square root must be a positive number. the solution becomes [edit] Derivations [edit] Flat Ground First we examine the case where (y0) is zero. Our equations of motion are now In the vertical direction and We are interested in the time when the projectile returns to the same height it originated at.○ ○ 1. the solution is Applying the trigonometric identity sin(x + y) = sin(x)cos(y) + sin(y)cos(x) If x and y are same. The second solution is the useful one for determining the range of the projectile. Thus. This can be computed by finding the derivative of the range with respect to the . and since the velocity and the cosine of the launch angle can also be assumed to be positive.3 Maximum Range on Uneven Ground Note that when (θ) is 45°. sin(2x) = 2sin(x)cos(x) allows us to simplify the solution to Solving for the range once again [edit] Maximum Range on Uneven Ground It might be of interest to know how to compute the elevation angle which will provide the maximum range when launching the projectile from a nonzero initial height. the solution with the greater time will occur when the positive of the plus or minus sign is used.2 Uneven Ground 1. The horizontal position (x(t)) of the projectile is [edit] Uneven Ground Now we will allow (y0) to be nonzero.

11 . the elevation angle is greater than 45 degrees. and for negative initial heights (bounded below by y0 > − 0. y0 = 40m . For positive initial heights. and v = 50m / s.5v2 / g).80m / s2. ignoring air resistance: Note that for zero initial height. the elevation angle that produces maximum range is 45 degrees.1015° produces a maximum range of Rmax = 292. Setting the derivative to zero provides the equation: Substituting u = (cosθ)2 and 1 − u = (sinθ)2 produces: Which reduces to the surprisingly simple expression: Replacing our substitutions yields the angle that produces the maximum range for uneven ground. an elevation angle θ = 41.elevation angle and setting the derivative to zero to find the extremum: where and R = horizontal range. Example: For the values g = 9. the elevation angle is below 45 degrees. as expected.