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Projectile Motion

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A series of free Online High School Physics Video Lessons.

In this lesson, we will learn

  • projectile motion
  • linear motion
  • parabolic motion

Projectile Motion

When an object is moving through space this object is called a projectile. Examples of projectile motion include a pen falling off a table, ball thrown through the air or a cork shot from a champagne bottle. The velocity of a falling object = 9.8 m/sec2 × t.
A brief introduction to projectile motion
Cannonball Shot at Angle - Physics of Projectile Motion

Linear Motion

Linear motion is the motion that is natural to an object: moving in a straight line. According to Newton's First Law of Motion, an object not affected by any force will continue indefinitely in a straight line. If a projectile is thrown vertically, it will travel in linear motion and will begin to fall when the force of gravity equals the force of the throw. How linear motion works.
Linear Motion (kinematics in one dimension)

Parabolic Motion

If an object moving forward in a straight line is affected by gravity it will fall in a parabolic arc. Since projectiles are objects affected only by gravity, the path of a projectile moving forward from the momentum of an initial thrust is parabolic. When working with parabolic motion, some important equations to know include change in x = the horizontal component of the vector × time and the vertical component of the vector = gravity × time.
How parabolic motion works.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
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