Open main menu

Wikibooks β

The Physics Problem Solver/Mechanics/Projectile Motion

< The Physics Problem Solver

In all parabolic motion examples, where you're given an initial velocity, and an angle, there's always a simple way to solve it.

1) Break the initial velocity into x and y components. V_y = V*Sin(theta), V_x = V*Cos(theta)
2) Find how long it will be in the air, using d = v_i*t + 1/2*a*t^2, (d will be 0, since it the total displacement in the height is 0) and solve for t.
3) Using that 't', use d = vt, where v is the x component of the velocity, and t is the time you calculated before. This 'd' is the total distance traveled horizontally.
4) To get the speed at the end, use vf = v + at, where a is gravity, and t is the calculated time. This is the vf for the y component.
5) Then, use V_total = sqrt(v_x^2 + v_y_f^2) to find the speed it's moving at as hits the ground.