Projectile Motion Laboratory

Categories: Physics

This laboratory aims to investigate various aspects of projectile motion, including the range as a function of the projectile angle, the maximum height of projection in relation to the angle of inclination, and the maximum range as a function of the initial velocity.

Experimental Setup:

1. Determining Range as a Function of Projectile Angle:
• Fix the initial velocity of the projectile.
• Launch the projectile at different angles, ranging from 0 to 90 degrees.
• Measure the horizontal displacement (range) for each angle.
• Record the data in a table.
2. Determining Maximum Height of Projection:
• Set the initial velocity and launch angle.
• Measure the maximum height reached by the projectile.
• Repeat for various launch angles.
• Record the data in a table.
3. Determining Maximum Range as a Function of Initial Velocity:
• Fix the launch angle.
• Vary the initial velocity of the projectile.
• Measure the horizontal displacement for each velocity.
• Record the data in a table.

Theory: Projectile motion involves the motion of an object thrown into the air, experiencing a constant acceleration due to gravity.

The horizontal and vertical motions are independent of each other.

Horizontal Motion: The horizontal velocity (vx​) remains constant throughout the motion, and the horizontal position (x) can be calculated using the equation: x=vx​⋅t

Vertical Motion: The vertical velocity (vy​) changes due to gravity, and the vertical position (y) can be calculated using the equations: vy​=voy​−g⋅t y=voy​⋅t−21​g⋅t2+yo​

Where voy​ is the initial vertical velocity, g is the acceleration due to gravity, t is the time, and yo​ is the initial vertical position.

Data and Calculations:

1. Determining Range as a Function of Projectile Angle:
• The range (R) can be calculated using the formula: R=gv2⋅sin(2θ)​
2. Determining Maximum Height of Projection:
• The maximum height (H) is given by: H=2gvoy2​​
3. Determining Maximum Range as a Function of Initial Velocity:
• The range (R) can be calculated as: R=gv2⋅sin(2θ)​

Present the recorded data in tables for each experiment.

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Include graphs if necessary to visualize trends and relationships between variables.

Conclusion: Summarize the key findings from each experiment, emphasizing the impact of launch angle and initial velocity on projectile motion. Relate the experimental results to the theoretical concepts discussed.

Applications: Discuss real-world applications of projectile motion, such as sports, engineering, and physics research.

Limitations and Sources of Error: Address potential sources of error in the experiments and discuss how they might have influenced the results.

Future Extensions: Suggest possible extensions to the laboratory, such as exploring the effects of air resistance or investigating projectile motion in different gravitational environments.

Combining Horizontal and Vertical Velocities: To find the total velocity (v) of a projectile, the horizontal velocity (vx​) and the vertical velocity (vy​) are combined using the Pythagorean Theorem: v=vx2​+vy2​​

At Maximum Height: At the peak of its trajectory, a projectile momentarily ceases vertical ascent (vy​=0). The only remaining velocity is the horizontal component (vx​). It's crucial to note that despite the common misconception of zero acceleration at this point, gravity is still in effect, pulling the projectile downward at an acceleration of −9.8 m/s2−9.8m/s2.

Range of Projectile Motion: For a projectile returning to the same height, the range can be determined using a simple equation. The focus here is on understanding the implications rather than solving the equation directly.

• A steep launch angle results in more time in the air but a slower horizontal speed.
• A shallow launch angle leads to less airtime but a higher horizontal speed.
• The optimal combination occurs at a 45° angle, resulting in maximum range. This is evident in sports like long jump and soccer.
• However, if the projectile starts at a different height, the ideal angle changes. The range for a 30° launch is the same as for a 60° launch, and similarly for 40° and 50°. The range vs angle graph is symmetrical around the 45° maximum.

Equations for Various Parameters:

• Time of Flight: T=g2⋅voy​​
• Maximum Height: H=2⋅gvoy2​​
• Horizontal Range: R=gv2⋅sin(2θ)​

Adjustments for Launching from Height 'h': If the projectile starts at a height ℎh above the ground, adjustments need to be made to the equations accordingly.

Laboratory Apparatus:

1. Ballistic unit
2. Recording paper
3. Steel ball (diameter 19mm)
4. Two-tier platform support
5. Meter scale
6. Speed measuring attachment
7. Barrel base

By conducting experiments with this apparatus, students can observe and analyze the principles of projectile motion, understand the significance of launch angles, and verify the theoretical equations governing the motion of projectiles.

The aim of this laboratory is to investigate and analyze various aspects of projectile motion. Task A focuses on determining the range and maximum height of a projectile at different launch angles, while Task B delves into understanding the relationship between initial velocity and range at a fixed launch angle.

Experimental Setup:

Task A (Objective 1 and 2):

1. The ballistic unit is set up, and the platform height is adjusted.
2. The projection angle is set at 10°, and the ball is launched using the ballistic unit.
3. The point of impact is marked, and the initial velocity is recorded.
4. Range and maximum height are measured and recorded.
5. Steps 3-6 are repeated for accuracy, and the average values are calculated.
6. Steps 2-6 are repeated for angles 20°, 30°, 40°, and 50°.
7. Experimental and theoretical data are tabulated for comparison.

1. The projection angle is fixed at 45°, and the ball is launched using different settings.
2. The point of impact is marked, and the initial velocity is recorded.
3. Range is measured, and the initial velocity is calculated using theoretical values.
4. Steps 2-3 are repeated for different ball settings.
5. Experimental and theoretical values for initial velocity are recorded.

Observations:

 Angle (°) Velocity (m/s) Range (m) Max Height (m) 10 3.63 0.692 0.093 20 3.57 1.097 0.168 30 3.62 1.371 0.265 40 3.56 1.486 0.365

Calculations and Formulas:

• Range (R): R=gv2⋅sin(2θ)​
• Maximum Height (H): H=2⋅gvoy2​​

• Initial Velocity (v) from Range: v=sin(2θ)g⋅R​​

Discussion:

In Task A, as the launch angle increases, the range and maximum height also increase, reaching a maximum at 40°. The experimental and theoretical values generally align, with slight variations attributable to factors like air resistance.

In Task B, a fixed launch angle of 45° is maintained. As the ball setting changes, the initial velocity, range, and maximum height vary. The experimental and theoretical values again show good agreement.

This laboratory successfully explored projectile motion, demonstrating the impact of launch angles on range and maximum height. The experimental results closely matched theoretical predictions, validating the principles of projectile motion.

Applications: Understanding projectile motion is crucial in various fields, including sports, engineering, and physics research. This knowledge is applied in designing optimal trajectories for projectiles like soccer balls or projectiles in military applications.

Limitations and Sources of Error: Potential sources of error include air resistance, imperfections in the ballistic unit, and measurement inaccuracies. These factors could contribute to discrepancies between experimental and theoretical values.

Future Extensions: To enhance this laboratory, future experiments could consider factors like air resistance, different launch surfaces, or variations in gravitational acceleration.

Updated: Feb 29, 2024