Page 1 of 4

Classical Mechanics
Projectile Motion


An object w/ an initial horizontal velocity and acted upon by earth¶s gravitational pull

Case 1: Projectile without an angle

The path of the object in projectile motion:

݀


ݒ



ݒ
௜௫

ݒ


ݒ
௜௬

ݒ
ଶ௬
ݒ
ଶ௫

ݒ


݀



Characteristics of the velocity:


ݒ

= ݒ
௜௫
= ݒ
ଶ௫

ݒ
௜௬
< ݒ
ଶ௬


ݒ






ݒ


ݒ



Must know Equations:
ݒ

ൌ ටݒ


൅ݒ



݀

= ݒ

ݐ ൅
௔௧



݀

ൌ ݒ

ܶݐ

Summary of points:
y The velocity of a projectile can be separated into horizontal (ݒ

) and vertical components


,). The actual velocity is represented by resultant vector ( ݒ

).
y The horizontal component of velocity is constant
y The vertical component of velocity changes

Page 2 of 4

Case2: Projectile @ an angle
ݕ
ݒ

= 0




݀



ʾ ɲ
݀

ݔ

ʾ = ɲ

When the projectile is fired w/ an angle:

ݒ
௜௫
ൌ ݒ

ܿ݋ݏˁ
ݒ
௜௬
ൌ ݒ

ݏ݅݊ˁ

@ Peak of trajectory (max. height):

ݒ
௙௬
ൌ ݒ
௜௬
െ ݃ݐ
Ͳ ൌ ݒ
௜௬
െ ݃ݐ
ݐ ൌ
ݒ
௜௬
݃

But, ݒ
௜௬
ൌ ݒ

ݏ݅݊ˁ

So:
ݐ ൌ


௦௜௡ˁ




For a projectile beginning and ending @ the same height,

t
rise
= t
fall


Total time of flight:
tT = 2t

But, ݐ ൌ


௦௜௡ˁ




So:

tT = 2ሺ


௦௜௡ˁ





Page 3 of 4

Max horizontal distance (Range, R)

݀

ൌ ݒ
௜௫
ܶݐ

But, ݒ
௜௫
ൌ v

cosˁ & ܶݐ ൌ ʹሺ


௦௜௡ˁ




݀

ൌ ሺv

cosˁሻሺ
ʹݒ
݅
ݏ݅݊ˁ

݃

݀


ʹݒ

మ ݏ݅݊ˁܿ݋ݏˁ
݃


Now, according to one of the Double Angle formulas:

sinሺʹˁሻ ൌ ʹݏ݅݊ˁܿ݋ݏˁ

So:
݀





௦௜௡ଶˁ



The max height considering the downward motion
݀

ൌ ݒ
௜௬
ݐ ൅
݃ݐ

ʹ


If ݒ
௜௬
ൌ Ͳ
Then:

݀


݃ݐ

ʹ


But, ݐ ൌ


௦௜௡ˁ



So:

݀

ൌ ሺ݃ሻ

ݒ

ݏ݅݊ˁ

݃


ʹ

݀


ሺ݃ሻሺ
ݒ


ݏ݅݊

ˁ
݃


ʹ


݀

ൌ ൬
ͳ
݃
൰ሺ
ݒ


ݏ݅݊

ˁ
ʹ


݀





௦௜௡

ˁ
ଶ௚
0i
ሺ௩

௦௜௡ˁሻ

ଶ௚

Page 4 of 4


Another equation to find the max height considering that the object follows a parabolic path


ݕ ൌ ݔ ݐܽ݊ˁ െ
௚௫

ଶ௩


௖௢௦

ˁ

The velocity of the object from the point of trajectory to the ground

y


h
x
ݒ
௙௬
ൌ ݒ
௜௬
൅ ݃ݐ
But, ݒ
௜௬
= 0
So:
ݒ
௙௬
ൌ ݃ݐ
Summary of the Equations
Time (t)
ݐ ൌ
ݒ

ݏ݅݊ˁ

݃


Total time (Tt)
tT = 2ሺ


௦௜௡ˁ



Range
݀


ݒ

మݏ݅݊ʹˁ
݃

Maximum height
݀





௦௜௡

ˁ
ଶ௚
0i
ሺ௩

௦௜௡ˁሻ

ଶ௚

ݕ ൌ ݔ ݐܽ݊ˁ െ
݃ݔ

ʹݒ

మܿ݋ݏ

ˁ


Vertical velocity
ݒ
௙௬
ൌ ݃ݐ

Case2: Projectile @ an angle =0 = When the projectile is fired w/ an angle: @ Peak of trajectory (max. So: tT = 2   Page 2 of 4 . Total time of flight: tT = 2t But. height):      But. So:  trise = tfall  For a projectile beginning and ending @ the same height.

R) But.Max horizontal distance (Range. So:       ”  Page 3 of 4 .  ˜ …‘• &      ˜ …‘•  Now. according to one of the Double Angle formulas: •‹  So:  The max height considering the downward motion  If Then:   But.

Another equation to find the max height considering that the object follows a parabolic path  y  The velocity of the object from the point of trajectory to the ground h x  But. So: =0 Summary of the Equations Time (t)  tT = 2  Total time (Tt) Range     Maximum height ”    Vertical velocity Page 4 of 4 .

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