Broken Family Essay

911 words - 4 pages

What is a Projectile?
In Unit 1 of the Physics Classroom Tutorial, we learned a variety of means to describe the 1-dimensional motion of objects. In Unit 2 of the Physics Classroom Tutorial, we learned how Newton's laws help to explain the motion (and specifically, the changes in the state of motion) of objects that are either at rest or moving in 1-dimension. Now in this unit we will apply both kinematic principles and Newton's laws of motion to understand and explain the motion of objects moving in two dimensions. The most common example of an object that is moving in two dimensions is a projectile. Thus, Lesson 2 of this unit is devoted to understanding the motion of projectiles.
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Projectile Motion and Inertia
Many students have difficulty with the concept that the only force acting upon an upward moving projectile is gravity. Their conception of motion prompts them to think that if an object is moving upward, then there must be an upward force. And if an object is moving upward and rightward, there must be both an upward and rightward force. Their belief is that forces cause motion; and if there is an upward motion then there must be an upward force. They reason, "How in the world can an object be moving upward if the only force acting upon it is gravity?" Such students do not believe in Newtonian physics (or at least do not believe strongly in Newtonian physics). Newton's laws suggest that forces are only required to cause an acceleration (not a motion). Recall from the Unit 2 that Newton's laws stood in direct opposition to the common misconception that a force is required to keep an object in motion. This idea is simply not true! A force is not required to keep an object in motion. A force is only required to maintain an acceleration. And in the case of a projectile that is moving upward, there is a downward force and a downward acceleration. That is, the object is moving upward and slowing down.
To further ponder this concept of the downward force and a downward acceleration for a projectile, consider a cannonball shot horizontally from a very high cliff at a high speed. And suppose for a moment that the gravity switchcould be turned off such that the cannonball would travel in the absence of gravity? What would the motion of such a cannonball be like? How could its motion be described?...

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