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Projectile Motion

When an object is thrown into space in a direction other than the vertical, its path is curved. This type of motion is seen in
  1. a ball leaving the hand of a bowler
  2. an object dropped from an aeroplane in horizontal flight, etc.
Such a motion is called projectile motion and the object itself is called projectile.
Motion of a particle under the action of gravity with its velocity along a direction other than the vertical is called projectile motion and the particle is called projectile.
The velocity with which the projectile is launched is called the velocity of projection (u). The angle made by the velocity of projection with the horizontal is called the angle of projection (θ). The path of a projectile is called the trajectory. The trajectory of a projectile is a typical curve called parabola. Projectile motion is an example of uniformly accelerated motion in a plane (Figure 4.3). The maximum horizontal distance covered by a projectile is called its range. For a given velocity of projection, the range is maximum when the angle of projection is 45°.
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Figure 4.3 Trajectory of a Projectile


Example of Projectile Motion

  1. A shot-put, a javelin etc., thrown by an athlete.
  2. An object projected horizontally with an initial velocity from a height h above the ground is also a projectile. In this case, the trajectory of the body is half of the parabola.
  3. A shot fired from a gun horizontally, a body dropped from aeroplane in level flight, a ball projected from the edge of table, a water jet gushing out of a hole in a container (Figure 4.4) are few examples of the horizontal projectile (Figures 4.5–4.7).
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Figure 4.4 Horizontal Projectile
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Figure 4.5 Water from the Hose Pipe
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Figure 4.6 A Water Fall
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Figure 4.7 A Football Projected into Air at an Angle with Horizontal

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