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# Projectiles

The picture below shows the path through the air of a jet of water.
This path is known as a Trajectory.
This path would be similar if you propelled a ball by kicking/hitting
it. i.e. when it has been hit or kicked, the only force acting is gravity!
You can see that the Trajectory is a Parabola.
Any object moving
through the air in
this manner, solely
under the influence
of gravity is
called a Projectile!

## The projectile is a particle

The projectile is not under power
The air does not affect the motion
The only force acting is gravity, vertically downwards
Consider a golf ball being chipped from ground level at a velocity of

1
o
20y (m) height
20ms

60
The diagram
would look like 15
20 ms-1
this.
10
5

60o
5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

## Using what we learned previously, I have now resolved the velocity

into two components. One horizontal, the other vertical.
20y (m) height
This gives:
+ ve
9.8 ms-2

15

20 sin 60 ms-1

20 sin 60 ms-1
20 ms-1

10

60o

20 cos 60 ms-1

20 cos 60 ms-1

Horizontal
Initial posn.
0
Accln.
Initial vel.

10
15
Vertical
0

## x (m) horizontal distance

20

25
30
Vector

9.8 ms-2
20 cos 60 ms-1 = 10

35

40

0
9.8

20cos 60
20sin 60

## Using the suvat equation. v = u + at , I may define the horizontal and

vertical velocities, vh and vv.
20y (m) height

+ ve

9.8 ms-2

15

20 sin 60 ms-1
10

20 cos 60 ms-1
5

Horizontal

10

15

vh = 20 cos 60

## x (m) horizontal distance

20

25

30

Vertical

35

40

vv = 20 sin 60 9.8t

vh = 10

vv = 17.32 9.8t

10

17.32

9.8t

1
Using the suvat equation s ut at 2 , I may define the horizontal
2
and vertical positions, sh and sv. (or x and y)
20y (m) height

+ ve

9.8 ms-2

15

20 sin 60 ms-1
10

20 cos 60 ms-1
5

10

Horizontal

15

20

25

30

35

40

Vertical

sh = 20 (cos 60)t
sh = 10t

10t

r
2
17.32
t

4.9
t

sv = 17.32 4.9t2

20y (m) height

vv = 0

vh = 10

vh = 10

(1)

+ ve 9.8t
vv = 17.32

15

(2)

10

H max. height
5

sh = 10t

(3)

## sv = 17.32t 4.9t2 (4)

x (m) horizontal distance

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

From (2): vv = 17.32 9.8t and at the maximum height equals zero!
0 = 17.32 9.8t

17.32
t
1.767 s
9.8

## Substituting for t in (4)

sv = 17.32t 4.9t2
sv = 17.321.767 4.9 1.7672 = 15.3 m
Max height, H = 15.3 m

20y (m) height
vh = 10

(1)

+ ve

vv = 17.32 9.8t

15

(2)

10

sh = 10t
5

(3)

## sv = 17.32t 4.9t2 (4)

x (m) horizontal distance

10

15

20

R range

25

30

35

40

When the ball returns to the ground the vertical position, sv equals zero!
From (4): sv = 17.32t 4.9t2
0 = 17.32t 4.9t2
0 = t(17.32 4.9t)
t = 0 or 3.54
The ball is initially hit at t = 0, then the ball hits the ground at t = 3.54 s
From (3):

sh = 10t

sh = 10 3.54 = 35.4 m

20y (m) height

vh = 10

+ ve

15

(1)

vv = 17.32 9.8t

10

sh = 10t

10

15

20

R range

25

(2)

(3)

2
sv =
17.32t

4.9t
(4)
30
35
40

## When the ball is at maximum height vv equals zero!

From (2): vv = 17.32t 9.8t
0 = 17.32 9.8t
9.8t = 17.32
t = 1.77
As the trajectory is symmetrical T = 2 1.77 = 3.54 s
As before, from (3), R = 10T = 35.4 m

## General Projectile Equations

20y (m) height

+ ve

15

v sin
10

9.8
v

v cos

Horizontal:
5
10
15
uh = v cos vh = v cosah = 0
Vertical:
uv = v sin

## x (m) horizontal distance

20

vv = v sin 9.8t

25

30

35

40

sh = v (cos)t
sv = v (sin)t 4.9t2

Projectile Problems
A ball is projected horizontally at 5 ms-1 from a window 4 m above the
ground. a) how long does it take to hit the ground? b) how far from
the window does it land? c) what is the velocity, as a magnitude and
direction at the instant it hits the ground?
Draw a diagram
a) Vertical: uv = 0, sv = 4, a = 9.8, t = ?
5 ms-1
Use: s = ut + 0.5at2 4 = 4.9t2
9.8 ms-2
4m

+ ve

t= 4
0.904s
4.9
b) Horizontal: sh = R = uh t = 5 0.904
R = 4.52 m

Rm

## c) what is the velocity, as a magnitude and direction at the instant it

hits the ground?
We must find the vertical component of the velocity!
Vertical: uv = 0, t = 0.904, a = 9.8, vv = ?
Use: v = u + at v = 0 + 9.8 0.904
-1
5 ms
vv = 8.86 ms-1
5 ms-1
Vector diagram:
9.8 ms-2

4m

v ms-1

+ ve

8.86 ms-1

v 52 8.862 10.17 ms 1
Rm

8.86
o
tan

60.6

v 10.17 60.6o
1

## Exam Style Question

The diagram depicts Romeos attempt to attract Juliet's attention by
throwing a pebble at her window. He launches the pebble at a height of
1 m above the ground, at a speed of 11.5 ms-1 , 60o to the horizontal.
a) How long does the pebble take to reach the house?
1.0 m
b) Does the pebble hit Juliets window?
c) What is the speed of the pebble
9.8 ms-2 Juliets window 1.0 m
when it hits the house?
+ve

1.5 m
11.5 ms-1

60o

downstairs window

1.0 m

1.0 m
0.5 m

10 m

1.0 m

## vh = 11.5 cos 60 = 5.75

9.8 ms-2

ah = 0, hence,
distance 10
time =

1.74 s
speed
5.75

Juliets window

+ve

1.0 m
1.5 m

11.5 ms-1
60o

downstairs window

1.0 m

1.0 m
0.5 m

10 m

## b) Does the pebble hit Juliets window?

av = 9.8, uv = 11.5 sin 60 = 9.96, t = 1.74, so = 1, vv = ?
1.0
m

1 2
use sv s0 ut at
2
sv 1 9.96 1.74 0.5 9.8 1.74 2

window
+v
e
11.5 ms-

1.5
m

1
o

60

sv 3.50 m

1.0
m

1.0 m

downstairs
window
10 m

## Juliets window is > 3 m high and

< 4 m high, so the stone hits her window!

1.0
m
0.5
m

## c) What is the speed of the pebble when it hits the house?

We need to find vv
av = 9.8, uv = 9.96, t = 1.74, vv = ?
use v = u + at
vv = 9.96 + 9.8 1.74 = 7.092

window

+v
e

1.0 m
1.0
m
1.5
m

11.5 ms1
o

60

1.0 m

Speed
is the
10

5.0

magnitude of v
v

7.092

downstairs
window

1.0
m
0.5
m

## v 5.752 7.0922 9.13

Speed of pebble

when it hits
the house is, 9.13

50 y (m) height

40

30

20

## We started off this lecture by looking at the path of a projectile (its

Trajectory). We will now look at this in more detail.
x = 20t
Eqn1
+ ve
9.8 ms-2
y = 30t 0.5 9.8t2
30 ms-1
2
y = 30t 4.9t Eqn2
These equations give
20 ms-1
x & y in terms of a third
parameter t. Consequently they are known as Parametric
Equations.
We may find the Cartesian Equation as follows:
x
x 20t t
(from Eqn1)
20
10

## x (m) horizontal distance

20

40

60

80

100

120

x
4.9 2 3 x
x
y 30 4.9
x
(subs. for t inEqn2)
20
400
2
20

## Exam Style Question

A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a
speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
i) Derive expressions for the horizontal and vertical displacement at
time t.
ii) Calculate the maximum height the ball reaches.
iii) Calculate the times when the ball is at half its maximum height and
the horizontal distance travelled between these two times.
iv) Find, when t = 1.25: A) the vertical component of velocity of the
ball. B) With a reason, whether the ball is rising or falling. C) The
speed of the ball.
v) Show that the Cartesian equation of the trajectory is:
0.7 x
and find
y
(240
7 x)the range of the ball.
576

## A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a

speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
i) Derive expressions for the horizontal and vertical displacement at
time t.
Positive upwards.
Vertical: uv = 25 sin = 25 0.28 = 7, av = 9.8
1 2
2
s

ut

at

7
t

4.9
t
Use:
2
Horizontal: uh = 25 cos = 25 0.96 = 24, ah = 0
1 2
Again use: s ut 2 at x 24t

## Exam Style Question

A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a
speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
ii. Calculate the maximum height the ball reaches.
Positive upwards
vy = 0, uy = 7, ay = 9.8
Use: v2 = u2 + 2as 0 = 72 + 2 9.8sy = 49 19.6sy
49
sy
2.5 m
19.6

A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a speed
of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96 and sin =
0.28.
iii. Calculate the times when the ball is at half its maximum height and the
horizontal distance travelled between these two times.

sy = 1.25, uy = 7, ay = 9.8
1 2
s ut at 1.25 7t 4.9t 2 4.9t 2 7t 1.25 0
Use:
2
a 4.9 b 7 c 1.25
b b 2 4ac (7) (7) 2 4(4.9)(1.25)
t

2a
2(4.9)
7 4.9497...
t
t 0.209 or t 1.219
9.8
uh = 24 and as this is constant, sh = 24t
Distance between times = 24 1.219 24 0.209 = 24.2m

## A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a

speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
iv) Find, when t = 1.25: A) the vertical component of velocity of the
ball. B) With a reason, whether the ball is rising or falling. C) The
speed of the ball.
A & B) uv =7, av = 9.8, t = 1.25, so use v = u + at
vv = 7 + 9.8 1.25 = 5.25 ms-1 . Negative, ball is falling!
C) 24

5.25

## A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a

speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
v) Show that the Cartesian equation of the trajectory is:
0.7 x
y
(240and
7 xfind
) the range of the ball.
576
y 7t 4.9t 2
Eq1
x 24t
Eq 2
x
from Eq 2 t
subs. for t in Eq 2
24
2
10 x 7 x 2
7 x 4.9 x 2
x
x
y 7 4.9

0.7
2
2
24 24
24
24

24 24
y

0.7
0.7 x
2
10

24
x

7
x

240 7 x

2
24
576

## A ball is kicked from ground level over horizontal ground. It leaves at a

speed of 25 ms-1 at an angle of to the horizontal such that cos = 0.96
and sin = 0.28.
v. Find the range of the ball.

x (m)

## To find the range we need

to find x when y = 0
0.7 x
0
(240 7 x)
576
x 0 or 240 -7x 0
240
Range =
34.3 m
7

x

+ ve

Initial
position
0
0
a
0
g
u
ux = u cos
uy = u sin
v

vx = u cos

vy = u sin gt

x = ut cos

y = ut sin gt2