Name: __________________________               Date: _______________                               Period: M3

PROJECTILE MOTION

(Please complete this on your own paper)

Pre-Lab Investigation

1. What Do You Think?  
One day after school you are enjoying a can of soda.  After it’s empty you decide to toss it in the trashcan.  What variables determine whether or not you make the shot?

2. Key Projectile Motion Measurements
Write out a definition for each term below.

  1. Range –
  2. Height –
  3. Time –

3. Prediction Table
Complete the table below by listing what YOU THINK are the variables involved in projectile motion and describe what YOU THINK their effect will be on the flight path.

When you've completed your table, have your teacher initial it before you begin the simulation.

Variable

Predicted Effect of Variable On Motion of Projectile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lab Activity – Online Simulation


Open up the University of Colorado, PhET Projectile Motion simulation
(http://phet.colorado.edu/sims/projectile-motion/projectile-motion_en.html)

Spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the controls of the simulation before you begin the lab below.

4. Test Your Predictions
Use the simulation to test your predictions.  Fill in the table below with the variables and their effect on the motion of the projectile.

Variable

How did you test this variable?

Actual Effect of Variable On Motion of Projectile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Design a Test:
You’ve heard the claim that a bullet shot horizontally will strike the ground at the same time as a bullet dropped from the same height.  Use the PhET simulation to test this theory

  1. Describe IN DETAIL what you did to the variables on the simulation to test the theory:
  2. Record your findings (time of flight, distances, angles, etc):
  3. Does your data support or disprove the claim?

6. Conclusion Questions:
Compare your predicted effects with your actual effects and answer the following questions.

  1. List and explain the predictions that you found to be incorrect after performing the test.
  2. Name at least two things that surprised you about projectile motion after performing the test.
  3. Draw a picture of a typical path of a projectile.  Label all the key terms, including any necessary explanations
  4. You should have found that launch angle is a key variable.
    1. What angle causes the largest height?
    2. What angle causes the largest range?

 


 

Authors Scott McCurdy, ed. csa
Contact Email scmccurdy@smcps.org
School / Organization Leonardtown High School