What Is a Projectile

  • A projectile is an object that is in acted upon only by gravity

  • In reality, air resistance plays a role

  • Typically, projectiles are objects launched at an angle

Path of a Projectile

  • Projectiles launched at an angle move in parabolic arcs


Independence of Motion

  • Projectiles launched at an angle have motion in two dimensions

    • Vertical - like free fall

    • Horizontal - 0 acceleration

  • Vertical motion and horizontal motion can be treated separately!

Angled Projectiles

  • For objects launched at an angle, you must first break up the object's initial velocity into x and y components of initial velocity

  • Then, use these components of initial velocity in your horizontal and vertical motion tables

  • An object will travel the maximum horizontal distance with a launch angle of 45°


Graphing Projectile Motion

  • Track vector components as a function of time

  • Solve for time in the horizontal, and use that to eliminate time in the vertical equation


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