In this Section we study the motion of projectiles constrained only by gravity. Although historically the mechanics of projectile motion were studied and developed mainly in military contexts, there are many relevant non-military situations. For example botanists study the mechanics of dispersal of seeds from ÔexplodingÕ pods; hydraulic engineers are interested in the distribution and settling of sediments and particles; many athletic activities and sports such as skiing and diving involve humans acting as projectiles through leaping or hurdling or otherwise throwing themselves about. Other sporting activities involve inanimate projectiles e.g. balls of various kinds, javelins. Precise models of some possible situations, for example swerving or swinging or spinning balls, or ski-jumping involve rather complicated kinds of motion and require considerations of resistive forces and aerodynamic forces. First trips around the modelling cycle (see HELM booklet 5), sometimes second trips, are given here.


Learning Outcomes

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