# 4.3.4 Projectile Motion

### Projectile Motion

• The trajectory of an object undergoing projectile motion consists of a vertical component and a horizontal component
• These need to be evaluated separately
• Some key terms to know, and how to calculate them, are:
• Time of flight: how long the projectile is in the air
• Maximum height attained: the height at which the projectile is momentarily at rest
• Range: the horizontal distance travelled by the projectile
• Remember: the only force acting on the projectile, after it has been released, is gravity
• There are three possible scenarios for projectile motion:
• Vertical projection
• Horizontal projection
• Projection at an angle
• Let’s consider each in turn:

#### To calculate vertical projection(free fall)

A science museum designed an experiment to show the fall of a feather in a vertical glass vacuum tube.

The time of fall from rest is 0.5 s. What it the length of the tube, L? #### To calculate horizontal projection

A motorcycle stunt-rider moving horizontally takes off from a point 1.25 m above the ground, landing 10 m away as shown.

What was the speed at take-off?  #### To calculate projection at an angle

A ball is thrown from a point P with an initial velocity u of 12 m s-1 at 50° to the horizontal.

What is the value of the maximum height at Q?  #### Exam Tip

Make sure you don’t make these common mistakes:

• Forgetting that deceleration is negative as the object rises
• Confusing the direction of sin θ and cos θ
• Not converting units (mm, cm, km etc.) to metres ### Author: Ashika

Ashika graduated with a first-class Physics degree from Manchester University and, having worked as a software engineer, focused on Physics education, creating engaging content to help students across all levels. Now an experienced GCSE and A Level Physics and Maths tutor, Ashika helps to grow and improve our Physics resources.
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