2D Motion

Projectiles

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Vector Components

Every vector has a horizontal and vertical component.


You can think of putting them together in a way that is similar to a right triangle.

Using Vector Components

Horizontal and Vertical components can be used to determine the resultant.


Components simplify projectile motion because it allows us to analyze one direction at a time.

What is a projectile?

Projectile is simply free-fall, with an initial horizontal velocity.


Anything that is thrown or launched into the air is considered a projectile.

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How do projectiles move?

Projectiles follow a parabolic trajectory.


Horizontal motion is independent of vertical motion. This is why we like to separate the vectors into horizontal and vertical components and study them separately.


The only difference between free-fall and projectile motion is a more spread out curve.

Horizontal vs. Vertical Motion

Coyote Fall
In a projectile that is fired horizontally:


Vertical Motion: Gravity (vertical motion) will cause the object to fall towards to the ground. Gravity places a downward acceleration on the object.


Horizontal Motion: Always remains constant and unchanged.


When you add the vertical and horizontal motion together, you get a parabolic (curved) path.

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Vertical Motion

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Horizontal Motion

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Still Stuck? Watch These!

Introduction to Projectile Motion
(Part 1 of 2) An Introductory Projectile Motion Problem with an Initial Horizontal Velocity
(Part 2 of 2) An Introductory Projectile Motion Problem with an Initial Horizontal Velocity

Just for Fun

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