CIE AS Physics (9702) exams from 2022

Revision Notes

2.1.9 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

Projectile Motion, downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes


How to find the time of flight, maximum height and range

  • 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:

Worked Example 1

Projectile Motion Worked Examples (1), downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes


How to calculate vertical projection (free fall)

Worked Example 2

  Projectile Motion Worked Examples (2), downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes


How to calculate horizontal projection

Worked Example 3

Projectile Motion Worked Examples (3), downloadable AS & A Level Physics revision notes

How to calculate projection at an angle

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

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