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Projectile Motion

Date: June 29, 2011/December 10, 2011 Subject: Physics Theme: Projectile Motion Lesson: Analysis of The Two Dimensional Motion of a projectile Objective: Students will determine a projectiles range by analyzing the vertical and horizontal components of its motion. Introduction Today, we are going to investigate the motion of projectiles. A projectile is an object that travels through the air influenced by the downward pull of gravity only. Please follow the procedure given to you for this investigation. Video Presentation Homeland Security Component Motivation Students, prior to September 11, 2001, most citizens of the United States gave very little or no thought at all to the issue of national security. Those who did probably felt it was the combined responsibility of the military, the CIA, the FBI, the Police Department, and other law enforcement agencies. The terrorist airplane attacks on strategic targets in our homeland on that infamous day, September 11, 2001 changed all of that. Now, homeland security is everybodys business. Now we know that there are terrorist out there in the world who wish us deathly harm. Consequently, each U.S. citizen should feel a sense of personal responsibility towards homeland security. We are to be the multiplied eyes and ears of our homeland security efforts. Case in point, we are constantly reminded, on our highways and byways, to report any suspicious activities by calling the Department of Homeland Security agents at the telephone number given. Engagement: Say to students, Hold a textbook on one hand and a sheet of paper on the other. If you drop both objects from exactly the same height above the floor, predict which one will hit the floor first? Why? Now test your hypothesis by performing the experiment. Which one hit the floor first? Why? Now ball up the sheet of paper and repeat the experiment. What did you observe? What conclusions can you draw from your observation now? Conclusion We have learned that there are terrorists out there who desire to do us harm on a large scale. They are aggressively seeking weapons of mass destruction capabilities. Consequently, we learned today that homeland security should be every U.S. citizens moral responsibility. Hopefully, this will motivate a number of you to explore careers in the various facets of the Department of Homeland Security.

We also learned from our investigative activities, analysis, and discussions from todays lesson that the rate of downward acceleration due to gravity of objects in

free-fall is the same (constant: 9.8 m/s ) regardless of the mass of the falling object. We also learned that the horizontal and vertical components of a projectiles motion are independent of each other. We also learned how to calculate the range of a projectile. Home Assignment: 1. Research three Homeland Security jobs that require a strong background in math and science. 2. Research and compare four different types of ballistic missiles. Physics Laboratory Project Activity Projectile Motion Problem The two-dimensional, simultaneous, motion of a projectile: An analysis of the vertical and horizontal components of the motion of a projectile. Materials Per Group Electronic timer, 2 photogates, Meter stick, Projectile, Plumb line, Book, Sheet of paper, Target, Calculator, 2 Grooved tracks, Masking tape Objectives To accurately measure Dt for the horizontal component of a projectiles motion.

To use the equation of motion for free fall acceleration,


d = 1/2gt
v v

to calculate Dt (The split-second time interval during which the


projectile remains airborne) for the vertical component of the motion. To use both the calculated value of Dt and the measured magnitude of the

projectiles horizontal velocity to calculate the pin point landing point of the projectile. Horizontal Motion Length of track, d = _________ m.

Average time, t = _______ s.


Constant horizontal velocity, v = d /t

h h h h

Horizontal track velocity, v = _______________ m/s Vertical Motion Vertical distance, d = _________ m

Formula: Solve for t


d = 1/2gt
v v

= 1/2(9.8 m/s )t

or d = 4.9t
v v

t = _________________ s

Airborne horizontal distance (Range) formula: d


= vt
h v

Range, d

= ________________ m.

Procedure 1. Set up your grooved tracks as directed by your teacher, with the first track forming a suitable incline. Make sure the second track is horizontal, with its free end terminating precisely at the edge of the lab table, or extending slightly beyond the edge of the table. Use pieces of masking tape to secure the tracks to the lab table (Make sure the masking tape does not extend to the top of the tracks, otherwise, it will stick to and slow down your rolling steel ball. 2. Attach photogates A and B 80 cm (0.80 m) apart on the horizontal grooved steel track. Make sure rolling steel ball rolls past photogate A first (starts the timer) before rolling past photogate B (stops the timer). Make sure the cord from photogate A is connected to the A receptacle on the timer and the B cord to the B receptacle. 3. Release the steel ball from the top of the inclined track (Make sure you release the steel ball from exactly the same point on the inclined track every time, otherwise, your data will be inaccurate). 4. Record the timer reading. That is your horizontal time, th. 5. Measure the vertical distance from the top of the track to the floor and record (in meters). This is your dv. 6. Use the formula, vertical distance, dv = 4.9tv to solve for tv, and record. Remember, once airborne, tv is the same for both the vertical and horizontal (range) components of the motion of the projectile. 7. Use the value of tv obtained in step 6 to calculate the projectiles range by multiplying the constant horizontal velocity, vh, by the airborne time, tv. Analyze and Conclude 1. Draw a diagram of the motion of your projectile and label the (A) Trajectory (B) Range (C) Vertical height 2. I. How would you describe the shape of the trajectory of your projectile? II. Give an explanation for the shape of the trajectory. 3. How would you describe the: I. Horizontal velocity of your projectile? II. Vertical velocity of your projectile?

4. What was the magnitude of the: (A) initial vertical velocity of your projectile? (B) final vertical velocity of the projectile at the instant of impact? (C) initial horizontal velocity of your projectile? (D) final horizontal velocity of your projectile? 5. If the projectile does not land at the calculated target point on the floor (inside the target), identify the possible sources of error in the experiment.
PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE Units of measurement Number line

ME FRAME: 4 days

ncept Name Distance, Displacement, Speed, Velocity, Acceleration


NDICATOR 5.1.2 The student will use algebraic and geometric concepts to qualitatively and quantitatively describe an object s motion.

sessment limits:

Motion with a constant velocity Motion with a constant acceleration C SKILLS AND PROCESSES

NDICATOR 1.4 The student will demonstrate that data analysis is a vital aspect of the process of scientific inquiry and communications.

4.2 The student will analyze data to make predictions, decisions, or draw conclusions

4.4 The student will determine the relationships between quantities and develop the mathematical model that describes these relationship

NDICATOR 1.6 The student will use mathematical processes.

6.2 The student will use computer/graphing calculators to perform calculations for tables, graphs, or spreadsheets.


BIG IDEA y Motion is predictable and can be described in mathematical identities. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS y How can motion be described mathematically so that it can be predicted? y What factors influence motion and what effects result from motion y What is a reference point and why is it needed to describe motion? y How do we measure speed? y How do you know that something has moved? CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING y y y y y y y y



ference Point

glish system

me interval



nstant Speed

Distance is the length of the path a moving object takes. Displacement is the length between the start position and the end position of a moving object. Distance is always positive. Displacement can be positive or negative. The motion of an object is determined by its change of position relative to a reference point. Speed is the distance an object travels in one unit of time. When you state both the speed of an object and the direction in which it is moving, you are describing the obj

erage Speed

Acceleration is the rate at which velocity changes. It involves increasing speed, decreasing speed, or changing The International System of Units (SI) is a system of measurement based on multiples of ten and on establishe of mass, length, and time.

nstant Velocity

erage Velocity Common Student Misconceptions


it Conversion

y y y y y y y y y

Students think that if speed is increasing then its acceleration must be increasing. The location of an object can be described by stating its distance from a given point (ignoring dire The terms distance and displacement are synonymous and may be used interchangeably. Thus the object travels and its displacement are always the same. Velocity is another word for speed. An object's speed and velocity are always the same. Acceleration is confused with speed. Acceleration always means that an object is speeding up. Acceleration is always in a straight line. Acceleration always occurs in the same direction as an object is moving. If an object has a speed of zero (even instantaneously), it has no acceleration.


estigation 1A: Time, Distance, and Speed

om Physics A First Course by Tom Hsu

Students learn how to use a CPO Timer and photogates, set energy car to travel at constant speed, measure time intervals, calculate speed from time interval measurements, and graph position vs time for energy car traveling down track.

Energy car and track, timer and 2 p #33 rubber band, clay

Investigation Answer Sheet 1.A pa Ebook Time-Distance-Speed pages

y Question: How is motion described and measured physics?

Skill and Practice sheets 1.2 Intern System of Measurement

Skill and Practice sheets 1.4 Speed

Skill and Practice sheets 2.2 Accele Problems

estigation 1B: Systems, Energy and Change

om Physics A First Course by Tom Hsu

y Question: Why do things change?

Students learn how to calculate speed from time interval measurements, identify variables in an experiment, identify dependent and independent variables, control variables in an experiment, compare speeds and energy of energy car.

Energy car and track, timer and 2 p physics stand, clay

Investigation Answer Sheet 1.B pa Ebook System-Energy-Change pag

hy do things change by a certain amount?

Skill and Practice sheets 2.4 Analyz motion without numbers

tivity 4.2 The Physics 500 in Teaching Physics for the st Time by Jan Mader and Mary Winn pages 59 to 60.

Students determine speeds of different objects or people by dividing the distance an object or person travels by the time taken to travel that distance.

y Question: How can you describe the motion of an ject in a race?

metersticks, stopwatch, bike, tricy board, roller skates, level straight string, wind-up toys, battery toys, playground balls

eed velocity acceleration from SchoolsNet. It is an eractive site with student input and feedback.

Students will learn about speed and SI units, how to calculate speed, how to calculate velocity, and about acceleration and how to calculate it.

Computer with internet connectio

The web pages have the discussion test, reference, class worksheet, h and extension available for printin


R esou rce s CPO y Active Physics y Other Resources