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Motion with Constant Acceleration in Two and Three Dimensions
We have already seen that motion in more than one dimension that undergoes constant
acceleration is given by the vector equation:
x
(
t
) =
a
t
2
+
v
0
t
+
x
0
,
where
a
,
v
0
and
x
0
are constant vectors denoting the acceleration, intitial velocity, and initial
position, respectively. Our next task will be to analyze special cases of this equation that describe
important examples of two and threedimensional motion with constant acceleration: mainly, we
will study projectile motion.
Projectile Motion
Simply stated, projectile motion is just the motion of an object near the earth's surface which
experiences acceleration only due to the earth's gravitational pull. In the section on
one
dimensional motion with constant acceleration
, we learned that this acceleration is given by
g
=
9.8 m/s
2
. Using a threedimensional coordinate system, with the
z
axis pointing upwards to the
sky, the corresponding acceleration vector becomes
a
= (0, 0, 
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 Fall '10
 DavidJudd
 Physics, Acceleration

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