# Projectile Motion

Projectile A body which is in flight through the atmosphere but is not being propelled by any fuel is called projectile.

# Assumptions of projectile motion

- There is no resistance due to air.
- The effect due to curvature of earth is negligible.
- The effect due to rotation of earth is negligible.
- For all points of the trajectory, the acceleration due to gravity
*g*is constant in magnitude and direction.

# Principles of physical independence of motions

- The motion of a projectile is a two-dimensional motion. So, it can be discussed in two parts: horizontal motion and vertical motion. These two motions take place independent of each other. This is called the principle of physical independence of motions.
- The velocity of the particle can be resolved into two mutually perpendicular components. Horizontal component and vertical component.
- The horizontal component remains unchanged throughout the flight. The force of gravity continuously affects the vertical component.
- The horizontal motion is a uniform motion and the vertical motion is a uniformly accelerated retarded motion.
- In projectile motion, the horizontal component of velocity (
*u*cos*θ*), acceleration (*g*) and mechanical energy remain constant, while, speed, velocity, vertical component of velocity (*u*sin*θ*), momentum, kinetic energy and potential energy, all change. - Velocity and KE are maximum at the point of projection while minimum (but not zero) at highest point.

# Equation of trajectory

A projectile is thrown with velocity

*u*at an angle*θ*with*v*cos*θ*component along*X*-axis and*u*sin*θ*component along*Y*-axis (Fig. 1).**Fig. 1**

(1)

Equation (1) shows that the trajectory of projectile is parabolic because it is similar to equation of parabola,

*y*=*ax*–*bx*^{2}Equation of oblique projectile also can be written as:

(where

*R*= horizontal range = )# Displacement of projectile

Let the particle acquires a position

*P*having the coordinates (*x, y*) just after time*t*from the instant of projection. The corresponding position vector of the particle at time*t*is as shown in Fig. 2.**Fig. 2**

(2)

Putting the values of

*x*and*y*in (2) we obtain the position vector at any time*t*as⇒

and

or

**Fig. 3**

**The angle of elevation**

*Note:**φ*of the highest point of the projectile and the angle of projection

*θ*are related to each other as

# Instantaneous velocity *v*

In projectile motion, the vertical component of velocity changes but horizontal component of velocity remains always constant.

Let

*v*_{i}be the instantaneous velocity of projectile. At time*t*, direction of this velocity is along the tangent to the trajectory at point*P*.Direction of instantaneous velocity,

or

# Change in velocity

- Between projection point and highest point:
- Between complete projectile motion:

# Change in momentum

- Between projection point and highest point:
- For the complete projectile motion:

# Angular momentum

The angular momentum of projectile at highest point of trajectory about the point of projection is given by

*L*=

*mvr*

∴

# Time of flight

The total time taken by the projectile to go up and come down to the same level from which it was projected is called time of flight.

Time of flight,

- Time of flight can also be expressed as: (where
*u*is the vertical component of initial velocity)._{y} - For complementary angles of projection
*θ*and 90° –*θ*,

Ratio of time of flight

=

= tan

*θ*⇒Multiplication of time of flight

=

⇒

- If
*t*_{1}is the time taken by projectile to rise upto point*P*and*t*_{2}is the time taken in falling from point*P*to ground level (Fig. 4), then

**Fig. 4**

or

and height of the point

*P*is given byBy solving

- If
*B*and*C*are at the same level on trajectory and the time difference between these two points is*t*_{1}, similarly*A*and*D*are also at the same level and the time difference between these two positions is*t*_{2}(Fig. 5), then

**Fig. 5**

# Horizontal range

It is the horizontal distance traveled by a body during the time of flight (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6

- Range of projectile can also be expressed as:
*R*=*u*cos*θ*×*T**=**(where**u*and_{x}*u*are the horizontal and vertical components of initial velocity.)_{y} - If the angle of projection is changed from
*θ*to*θ*’ = (90° –*θ*) then range remains unchanged.

So a projectile has same range at angles of projection

*θ*and (90° –*θ*), though time of flight, maximum height, and trajectories are different.These angles

*θ*and 90° –*θ*are called complementary angles of projection and for complementary angles of projection, ratio of range⇒

- For angle of projection
*θ*_{1}= (45° – α) and*θ*_{2}= (45° + α), range will be same and equal to*u*^{2}cos 2α/*g*.*θ*_{1}and*θ*_{2}are also the complementary angles.

# Maximum range

A projectile will have maximum range when it is projected at an angle of 45° to the horizontal and the maximum range will be (

*u*^{2}/*g*).When the range is maximum, the height

*H*reached by the projectilei.e., if a person can throw a projectile to a maximum distance

*R*_{max}*,*the maximum height to which it will rise is (*R*_{max}/4).- Relation between horizontal range and maximum height:
*R*= 4*H*cot*θ* - If in case of projectile motion range
*R*is*n*times the maximum height*H*,*R*=*nH**tan**θ*= [4/*n*]*θ*=^{–1}[4/*n*]*θ*= tan^{–1}[4/*n*].

*Note:*If

*R*=*H*, then*θ*= tan^{–1}(4) or*θ*= 76° or*θ*= 76°.If

*R*= 4*H*, then*θ*= tan^{–1}(1) or*θ*= 45°.# Maximum height

It is the maximum height from the point of projection a projectile can reach.

So, by using

*v*^{2}=*u*^{2}+ 2*as*0 = (

*u*sin*θ*)^{2}– 2*gH*- Maximum height can also be expressed as:
*u*is the vertical component of initial velocity)._{y}^{2}*θ*= max = 1, i.e*.,**θ*= 90°) - For complementary angles of projection
*θ*and 90° –*θ*,^{2}*θ**∴*

# Projectile passing through two different points on same height at time *t*_{1} and *t*_{2}

If a particle passes two points situated at equal height

*y*at*t*=*t*_{1}and*t*=*t*_{2}(Fig. 7), then**Fig. 7**

**Height (**(3)*y*):

Comparing (3) with (4), we get

Substituting this value in equation (3), we get

ﬁ

**Time (***t*_{1}and*t*_{2}):

# Motion of a projectile as observed from another projectile

The motion of a projectile relative to another projectile is a straight line.

# Energy of projectile

When a projectile moves upward, its kinetic energy decreases, potential energy increases, but the total energy always remains constant.

If a body is projected with initial kinetic energy

*K*[ = (1/2)*mu*^{2}], with angle of projection*θ*with the horizontal then at the highest point of trajectory**Kinetic energy***K*’ =*K*cos^{2}*θ***Potential energy***=**mgH***Total energy**= Kinetic energy + Potential energy*=*Energy at the point of projection.*=*

This is in accordance with the law of conservation of energy.