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Unformatted text preview: Projectile Motion In this section, we look at the motion of objects as they move in a two dimensional vertical plane in the presence of gravity. Such an object is called a projectile (as in to project or launch an object). Since this is motion in two-dimensions, we look at the motion in both the x-direction and y-direction. We also assume that the only acceleration being experienced by the object is the acceleration due to gravity (9.80 m/s 2 , directed downward toward the center of the Earth). Properties of Projectile Motion 1) Projectile motion is a combination of un-accelerated x-direction motion and free-fall. 2) Since there is no acceleration in the x-direction, the velocity in the x-direction is constant. 3) The maximum horizontal distance reached by the projectile is called the RANGE. 4) The maximum vertical distance reached by the projectile is called the MAXIMUM HEIGHT. 5) The velocity of the projectile in the y-direction is equal to zero at the maximum height reached by the projectile (just like the motion of an object in free-fall, the object thrown upward has to stop before it eventually comes back down). 6) The vertical and horizontal motion of a projectile is independent. To illustrate: lets say that I have 2 golf balls on a table. The first golf ball is pushed off of the table at the same time the second one is dropped from the table. The ball that was pushed undergoes some horizontal motion yet they both reach the ground at the same time (see figure below). This horizontal motion yet they both reach the ground at the same time (see figure below)....
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