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Projectile Otion In Sorts Essay

1397 words - 6 pages

A projectile is a body in free fall that is subject only to the forces of gravity (9.81ms‾²) and air resistance (Webster). It was Galileo who first accurately described projectile motion. He showed that it could be understood by analyzing the horizontal and vertical components separately. No one had done this prior to Galileo. People use to think that when something is shot in the air it goes in the air and some how hit something and explode, before Galileo which followed largely Aristotelian lines but incorporating a later theory of "impetus," which maintained that an object shot from a cannon, for example, followed a straight line until it "lost its impetus," at which point it fell ...view middle of the document...

The path followed by a projectile is known as a trajectory. If gravity were not present, a projectile would travel in a constant straight line. However, the presence of gravity forces projectiles to travel in a parabolic trajectory, thus gravity accelerates objects downwards. Examples of projectiles range from a football in flight, to a curve ball thrown by a baseball pitcher to a basketball shot at the rim. The flight paths of all projectiles are affected by two factors: gravity and, on Earth at least, air resistance. No matter where you go or what you do, physics is involved in everything. Even the simplest things have deep roots in physics concepts.
Physics is especially important in sports. When you’re watching sports, you generally don’t think about the concepts and the laws behind what is actually happening. While many things such as aerodynamics and friction affect sporting events, one of the major things that can be observed is projectile motion.Today I will discuss the ways in which football, basketball, and baseball can be seen in projectile motion and how different formulas can be applied.
When talking about projectile motion, one major formula comes in to play. This formula, d=½at2, shows that the distance an object falls towards the earth due to the force of gravity is directly related to the acceleration due to gravity and the square of the time it falls. One interesting thing about projectile motion that is very important to consider, is that the horizontal velocity of an object remains constant during a fall assuming there are no other outside forces involved. This concept is very important when you look at things such as a football being thrown through the air.
When a football is released from the quarterback’s hand, it has both speed and direction. Before the data can be analyzed, it must be broken down into two different components, vertical and horizontal. Using the angle of release and the trigonometric functions, you can find these two dimensions. To find the total time in the air, you apply the formula, a = (vyf – vyi)/t, while remembering that a downward velocity is always negative as is acceleration. Since the acceleration due to gravity on earth is constant at approximately -9.81 m/s2, you can find out what the instantaneous vertical velocity of the ball is at any given time during its flight. When the ball reaches its peak, it has an instantaneous vertical velocity of zero, but it still has a constant horizontal velocity. By deriving other formulas, you can find how far the ball will go, along with its actual velocity at any given moment in its path. All of the formulas can be combined to find out exactly where the football is, and what its horizontal, vertical, and total velocities are. By examining these effects in football, such as the motion of players, the motion of the ball, and the sounds and sights of the game it will be evident that the laws of physics have played a primary role in the way...

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