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Projectile Motion

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Projectile Motion Objects that are thrown or launched into the air and are subject to gravity are called projectiles. Projectile motion is the curved path that an object follows when thrown, launched, or otherwise projected near the surface of Earth. If air resistance is disregarded, projectiles follow parabolic trajectories.

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Projectile Motion Projectile motion is free fall with an initial horizontal velocity. The yellow ball is given an initial horizontal velocity and the red ball is dropped. Both balls fall at the same rate. For this course, the horizontal velocity of a projectile will be considered constant. This would not be the case if we accounted for air resistance.

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**Solving Projectile Motion Problems**

How can you solve a word problem involving projectile motion? One method is to resolve vectors into components, then apply the simpler one-dimensional forms of the equations for each component. (Deal with x and y separately!) Finally, you can recombine the components to determine the resultant.

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**Solving Projectile Motion Problems**

To solve projectile problems, apply the kinematic equations in the horizontal and vertical directions. In the vertical direction, the acceleration ay will equal –g (–9.81 m/s2) because the only vertical component of acceleration is free-fall acceleration. In the horizontal direction, the acceleration is zero, so the velocity is constant.

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**Projectiles Launched Horizontally**

The initial vertical velocity (vy) is 0. The initial horizontal velocity (vx) is the initial velocity (vi) . The horizontal velocity (vx) is constant. Equations Δx = vxt Δ y = ½ ayt2 Vfy = gt t = √(2 Δ y /g)

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**Example: Horizontally Launched Projectile**

A ball is thrown from a height of 25.0 m with an initial horizontal velocity of m/s. How long is the ball in flight before striking the ground? How far from the building does the ball strike the ground?

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**Projectiles Launched At An Angle**

Resolve the initial velocity into x and y components. The initial vertical velocity is the y component. The initial horizontal velocity is the x component. Equations x-direction y-direction vix = v cos θ viy = v sin θ Δ x = vixt (range) Δ y = viyt + ½gt2 (height) vfx= vix vfy = viy + gt ttotal = -2 viy /g thalf = -viy /g

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**Example: Projectile Launched at an Angle**

A golf ball leaves the tee with an initial velocity of 30.0 m/s at an angle of 37º to the horizontal. What is the maximum height of the ball? What is its range?

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