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Inquiry: Projectile Motion

Purpose: To examine and calculate projectile motion.

In this Inquiry you will experiment with a projectile launcher and predict ranges and various launch angles. In Part I we will examine the simplified example that occurs when the launcher and the target are on the same horizontal plane which means vectorally the overall vertical displacement (S) equals zero. In Part II we will examine the examples of having an elevated launcher or target.

Procedure for Part 1:

In part I we will use our derived equation for range when launching and landing on the same plane. The velocity of the ball has been previously measured at 6.67 m/s. Calculate the maximum range and test. Calculate the two angles that will give you a range of 3 meters and 2 meters and test.

Procedure for Part 2:

We will now experiment with elevated launchers or elevated targets. We will use our derived quadratic equation that will allow us to solve for the tangent of the angles of trajectory. If you are talented enough you can code a program on your TI-84 by following this video.

Inquiry Questions:

  1. The right field line of Busch Stadium, home of the 11 time World Champion St. Louis Cardinals, is 335 feet. Assuming the release point of a ball and the homerun fence are the same height, how fast in mph would a person standing on home plate have to THROW a ball to just get it over the fence? (1 mph = 0.447 m/s)

  2. An airplane flying horizontally 5800 meters above the ground at a speed of 57.4 m/s needs to drop a bomb on a target on the ground. How far away from the target should the plane be when the pilot releases the bomb?