**Unit 7: Vectors and
Projectiles**

**Problem Set D**

**Overview:**

Problem Set D targets your ability to combine a conceptual understanding of projectile motion with an ability to use kinematic equations in order to solve non-horizontally launched projectile problems. More than ever, you will have to rely upon good problem-solving habits to be successful.

The projectile equations introduced in Set
C can be used in this Problem Set as well. However, in set C, the
projectiles were launched horizontally and the v_{oy} value
was equal to 0 m/s. Any expression with v_{oy} in it
subsequently cancelled from the equation. This is not the case in Set
D in which there is a horizontal component of velocity due to the
angled launch. Thus, the equations are

Because the horizontal acceleration of a projectile is 0 m/s/s,
the a_{x} terms in the above equations are cancelled.

The quantities v_{ox} and
v_{oy} are the x- and y-components of the original velocity.
The values of v_{ox} and v_{oy} are related to the
original velocity (v_{o}) and the angle of launch ().
This relationship is depicted in the diagram and equations shown
below.

The above two equations (affectionately
known as the *voxvoy* equations) are used on nearly every
projectile problem in Problem Set D.

**The Trajectory Diagram
and Characteristics**

Non-horizontally launched projectiles move horizontally above the ground as they move upward and downward through the air. One special case is a projectile which is launched from ground level, moves upwards towards a peak position, and subsequently fall from the peak position back to the ground. A trajectory diagram is often used to depict the motion of such a projectile. The diagram shown below depicts the path of the projectile and also displays the components of its velocity at regular time intervals.

The v_{x} and v_{y} vectors in the diagram
represent the horizontal and vertical components of the velocity at
each instant during the trajectory. A careful inspection shows that
the v_{x} values remain constant throughout the trajectory.
The v_{y} values decrease as the projectile rises from its
initial location towards the peak position. As the projectile falls
from its peak position back to the ground, the v_{y} values
increase. In other words, the projectile slows down as it rises
upward and speeds up as it falls downward. This information is
consistent with the definition of a projectile - an object whose
motion is influenced solely by the force of gravity; such an object
will experience a vertical acceleration only.

At least three other principles are observed in the trajectory diagram.

- The time for a projectile to rise to the peak is equal to the
time for it to fall to the peak. The total time
(t
_{total}) is thus the time up (t_{up}) to the peak multiplied by two:**t**_{total}= 2 • t_{up} - At the peak of the trajectory, there is no vertical velocity
for a projectile. The equation v
_{fy}= v_{oy}+ a_{y}• t can be applied to the first half of the trajectory of the projectile. In such a case, t represents**t**and the v_{up}_{fy}at this instant in time is 0 m/s. By substituting and re-arranging, the following derivation is performed.v _{fy}= v_{oy}+ a_{y}• t0 m/s = v

_{oy}+ (-9.8 m/s/s) • t_{up}**t**_{up}= v_{oy}/ (9.8 m/s/s) - The projectile strikes the ground with a vertical velocity
which is equal in magnitude to the vertical velocity with which it
left the ground. That is,
**v**_{fy}= v_{oy}

These principles of projectile motion will need to be internalized and applied to the Set D word problems in order to be successful.

**The Typical Problem**

The typical non-horizontally launched projectile problem will
include two pieces of explicitly stated information and include three
requests for unknown information. The typical given values include
the initial velocity (v_{o}) and the launch angle ().
The typical unknown quantities are:

- total time (t
_{total}) - horizontal displacement (x)
- vertical height above the ground at the peak
(y
_{peak})

While not every problem in Set D fits into this mold, it is the
case for problems 1-3 and 4-5 and 6-8. In such cases, you will need
to make strong reliance upon the principles of a
projectile's trajectory and the *voxvoy*
equations in order to solve for the unknowns. The same principles
will be used in the remainder of the problems in Set D, though the
process will be less routine.

**Habits of an Effective
Problem-Solver:**

An effective problem solver by habit approaches a physics problem in a manner that reflects a collection of disciplined habits. While not every effective problem solver employs the same approach, they all have habits which they share in common. Some of the common habits are described briefly here. An effective problem-solver ...

- ... reads the problem carefully and develops a mental picture of the physical situation. If needed, they sketch a simple diagram of the physical situation to help visualize it (e.g., a trajectory diagram).
- ... identifies the known and unknown quantities in an
organized manner, often times recording them on the diagram
iteself. They equate given values to the symbols used to represent
the corresponding quantity (e.g., d
_{x}= 24.9 m; d_{y}= -4.5 m, v_{ox}???). In the case of projectiles, it is very useful to use a*x-y table*. - ... plot a strategy for solving for the unknown quantity; the strategy will typically center around the use of kinematic equations in a two-dimensional situation.
- ... identify the appropriate formula(s) to use, often times writing them down. Where needed, they perform the needed conversion of quantities into the proper unit.
- ... perform substitutions and algebraic manipulations in order to solve for the unknown quantity.

To be successful on this problem set, you will need to be able to:

- give attention to units, performing proper unit conversions where necessary.
- carefully read and interpret a projectile problem statement, extracting the explicitly stated and implied information relevant to the solution.
- employ the habits of a good problem-solver.

**Additional Readings/Study
Aids:**

The following pages from The Physics Classroom tutorial may serve to be useful in assisting you in the understanding of the concepts and mathematics associated with these problems.

Vertical Velocity Components | Calculating Initial Velocity Components

Horizontally Launched Projectiles Problems | Non-Horizontally Launched Projectiles Problems

View Sample Problem Set.

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