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**Chapter 3–3: Projectile Motion**

Physics Coach Kelsoe Pages 95–101

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**Objectives Recognize examples of projectile motion.**

Describe the path of a projectile as a parabola. Resolve vectors into their components and apply the kinematic equations to solve problems involving projectile motion.

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2-D Motion In Section 2 we expressed displacement and velocity as vectors that we could resolve into components. In this section, these components will be used to understand and predict the motion of objects thrown into the air.

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2-D Motion When an object is propelled into the air in a direction other than straight up or down, the velocity, acceleration, and displacement of the object do not all point in the same direction. One way to deal with these situations is to apply the technique of resolving vectors into components. By resolving many vectors into one or two, we can recombine these components to find the resultant.

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Projectile Motion Projectile motion is the curved path that an object follows when thrown, launched, or otherwise projected near the surface of Earth. Footballs, arrows, and even people are some of many things that can be considered projectiles.

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Projectile Motion The path of a projectile is a curve called a parabola. Projectiles that have any horizontal motion never fall straight down – if an object has an initial horizontal velocity in any given time interval, there will be horizontal motion throughout the flight of the projectile. For our purposes, the horizontal velocity of the projectile will be considered constant. Keep in mind that horizontal velocity would not be constant if we consider air resistance.

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Projectile Motion

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Projectiles 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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Projectiles 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 our calculations, the horizontal velocity of a projectile will be considered constant, but this would not be accurate if we accounted for air resistance.

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**Motion Equations Vertical Motion Of A Projectile That Falls From Rest**

vy,f = ayΔt vy,f2 = 2ayΔy Δy = ½ay(Δt)2 Horizontal Motion Of A Projectile vx = vx,i = constant Δx = vxΔt

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**Kinematic Equations for Projectiles**

How can you know the displacement, velocity, and acceleration of a projectile at any point in time during a flight? One method is to resolve vectors into components, then apply the simpler one-dimensional forms of the equations for each component. Finally, you can recombine the components to determine the resultant.

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**Kinematic Equations for Projectiles**

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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**Kinematic Equations for Projectiles**

For projectiles launched horizontally: The initial vertical velocity is 0. The initial horizontal velocity is the initial velocity. For 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.

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**Motion Equations Projectiles Launched At An Angle**

vx = vx,i = vi cos θ = constant Δx = (vi cos θ)Δt vy,f = vi sin θ + ayΔt vy,f2 = vi2(sin θ)2 + 2ayΔy Δy = (vi sin θ)Δt + ½ay(Δt)2

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**Sample Problem Projectiles Launched At An Angle**

A zookeeper finds an escaped monkey hanging from a light pole. Aiming her tranquilizer gun at the monkey, she kneels 10.0 m from the light pole, which is 5.00 m high. The tip of her gun is 1.00 m above the ground. At the same moment that the monkey drops a banana, the zookeeper shoots. If the dart travels at 50.0 m/s, will the dart hit the monkey, the banana, or neither one?

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**Sample Problem Solution**

Select a coordinate system. The positive y-axis points up, and the positive x-axis points along the ground toward the pole. Because the dart leaves the gun at a height of 1.00 m, the vertical distance is 4.00 m.

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**Sample Problem Solution**

Use the inverse tangent function to find the angle that the initial velocity makes with the x-axis. Tan θ = opposite/adjacent Tan θ = Δy/Δx = 4.00m/10.0 m Tan θ = 0.400 θ = 21.8° above the horizontal

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**Sample Problem Solution**

Choose a kinematic equation to solve for time. Rearrange the equation for motion along the x-axis to isolate the unknown Δt, which is the time the dart takes to travel the horizontal distance. Δx = (v1cosθ)Δt Δt = Δx/(v1cosθ) = 10.0 m/(50.0 m/s)(cos 21.8°) Δt = s

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**Sample Problem Solution**

Find out how far each object will fall during this time. Use the free-fall kinematic equation in both cases. For the banana, vi = 0. Thus: Δyb = ½ay(Δt)2 = ½(-9.81 m/s2)(0.215s)= m The dart has an initial vertical component of velocity equal to vi sin θ, so: Δyd = (visin θ)(Δt) + ½ay(Δt)2 Δyd = (50.0 m/s)(sin 21.8°)(0.215 s) + ½(-9.81 m/s2) (0.215 s)2 = 3.76 m

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**Sample Problem Solution**

Analyze the results. Find the final height of both the banana and the dart. ybanana,f = yb,i + Δyb = 5.00 m + ( m) ybanana,f = 4.77 m above the ground ydart,f = yd,i + Δyd = 1.00 m m ydart,f = 4.76 m above the ground The dart hits the banana. The slight difference is due to rounding.

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Vocabulary Projectile Motion

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**Important Formulas Vertical motion of a proj. that falls from rest:**

vy,f = ayΔt vy,f2 = 2ayΔy Δy = ½ay(Δt)2 Horizontal motion of a projectile: vx = vx,i = constant Δx = vxΔt Projectiles launched at an angle: vx = vx,i = vi cos θ = constant Δx = (vi cos θ)Δt vy,f = vi sin θ + ayΔt vy,f2 = vi2 (sin θ)2 + 2ayΔy Δy = (vi sin θ)Δt + ½ay(Δt)2

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