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# Projectile Lab Simulation - University of Colorado Boulder

By Teresa Evans,2014-03-17 22:34
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Projectile Lab Simulation - University of Colorado Boulderof,OF,Lab

Click on Simulations, then scroll to the bottom and click on Projectile Motion

1. One day after school, you are enjoying a soda in the back yard. When the can is empty, you decide to

throw it in the trashcan. What affects whether or not it gets in the can?

2. Open the Projectile Motion simulation. Play around with the various things you can change. A tape

measure is present to help you measure heights and distances. Use the simulation to test your ideas

about the things that affect the landing spot of a projectile. Below is a complete list of things that

you can change and things that can be measured by the simulation. Next to each item explain what it

is (for both things you can change and things you can measure) and how it affects the motion of the

projectile (just for things you can change).

Name of variable that Effect of the variable on the motion Describe the variable you can change of the projectile

Object The object that is launched No effect

The velocity of the projectile as it Increasing the initial velocity give the Initial velocity leaves the cannon projectile a greater range.

The angle that the cannon makes Angle of Cannon It effects both the height and the range with the horizontal

Mass The mass of the launched object No effect

Diameter The diameter of the launched object No effect

Whether the sim ignores or uses air Air resistance makes the object not go Air Resistance resistance as high nor as far

The higher the starting height is, the Height of the cannon The starting height of the cannon farther and higher the object will go

Name of quantity Describe what the measurement is measured by the sim

Range How far the object travels in the horizontal direction

Height Displacement of the object in the vertical direction

Time The time it takes for the object to land

3. Play around with the angle of the launch.

a. What angle yields the highest max height?

b. What angle yields the largest range?

c. Are there any angles that yield the same range? If so, what are they?

d. Are there any angles that yield the same range if you look at the zero displacement line (the

horizontal line at the level of where the projectile is lauched? What are they and what is their

relationship? (Only look at the projectile path to answer this, not the measurements given.)

4. Launch an object from the cannon. Turn air resistance off and keep it off for the rest of the sim. Fill

in the table below. You may have to use the tape measure to fill in some of the table.

Variable Value (include units) Measurement Value (include units)

Object Range

Height (vertical Initial velocity displacement)

Angle of Cannon Time

Mass Max height

Height of the cannon

5. If you want the projectile to hit the target, what do you need the height (displacement) and range to

be? Find a combination of initial velocity and angle that hits the bull’s eye. Support with

calculations why it works. In other words, use the velocity, angle and vertical displacement to

calculate the range and show it matches the distance to the target. Show all work on your own

sheet of paper.

6. If I set the initial velocity at 15 m/s and the angle at 60;, use calculations to determine the following

things: max height, vertical displacement, time, and range. Show all work on your own sheet of

paper. Check your answers with the simulation (using tape measure when necessary), editing your

work if you were incorrect. (Don’t just change your answer, figure out what you did wrong!)

7. Suppose your friend asks you to tell them about projectiles. You start to explain, but she interrupts.

“Wait,” she says, “You’re using a lot of words I don’t understand. Can you explain in English?”

Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, draw a picture of a projectile path and label all the

key terms, including any necessary explanations. Do this on your own sheet of paper.

8. Change the initial height of the cannon (as measured from the crosshairs) to 7 meters (use the tape

measure). This way your height (vertical displacement) should be -7 m. Using the same initial

velocity and angle as in #6, calculate the max height (measured from the zero displacement line and

the ground), time, and range. Then check with the simulation, editing your calcs if necessary. Show

all work on your own sheet of paper.

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