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Kiera Cullen
Juliana Galvan
Paola Hernandez
Nicole Khoury
Mr. Hill
Physics, Period 6
12 October 2015
Velocity of a Projectile Lab
Introduction
The objective of the velocity of the projectile lab is to measure and compare the velocity and
acceleration the projectiles accelerated down different inclined planes. When a ball rolls down an
incline plane, then rolls off the edge of a table, the ball becomes a projectile with some positive
horizontal velocity and an initial vertical velocity of zero. However, the length of the time that
the projectile stays in the air does not depend on the horizontal velocity but on the height of the
table from the ground. In result, the larger the height that the ball is dropped from, the larger the
horizontal displacement is from the table to the landing point.
Materials

Aluminum sheet
C-clamp
Cardboard box
Cord
Inclined plane
Meterstick
Packing tape
Several large sheets white paper
Several sheets carbon paper
Small metal ball/ small metal washer
Support stand and clamp

Lab Procedure
1. Gather materials
2. Place support stand and clamp on the table.
3. Place one end of the wood plank on the support stand and clamp and make sure it's secure on
the stand. Place the other end on the table.

4. Move the clamp connected to the plank up or down for your desired angle measurement.
5. The end of the plank on the table should be about 8 inches away from the edge of the table.

6. Make sure that the transition from the edge of the woodplank to the table is smooth by
connecting a piece of paper from the end of the wood plank to the table, leaving a few inches of
bare table left.

7.Create a landing strip out of printer paper on the ground where the ball will be falling.
8. Place carbon paper, face down, on the printer paper.
9. Determine the vertical height of the ramp at your desired point, distance on the ramp from
your desired point, and angle that you wish to roll the ball.

10. Roll the ball down ramp.

11. Measure how far the ball drops from the table. (DO not measure from the leg of the table if
the leg a few inches underneath the table.) Place a meter stick at the edge of the table touching
the ground so that you can determine the point on the ground at which the table length ends so
that your can measure from that point to the where the ball has dropped. (remove the carbon
paper after the ball hits because it will mark the point on the white paper).
Detailed Description of Measurements
Definition
Angle: The degree the ball rolls down the ramp.
X-Plane: The distance the ball rolls while on the plank.
Distance landed from table: the distance of how far away the ball is from the bottom of the
table when it hits the ground.
Constants:
Height of Table: 76.5 cm
X Plane distance: 87.5 cm, 42.0 cm, 25.75 cm
Data Table (First Angle)
Trial

1
2
3

X Plane

Horizontal

Vertical

Distance away

Distance on Board

Displacement

Displacement Y-

(Constant)
87.5
42.0
25.75

X-Axis
82.5
38.5
24.5

Axis
30.0
15.0
10.0

68.0
51.25
41.5

Trial 1:

1.73

Trial 2:

1.30

Trial 3:

1.05

Data Table (Second Angle)

Trial

1
2
3

Plane

Horizontal

Vertical

Distance away

Distance on Board

Displacement

Displacement Y-

from Table (cm)

(Constant)
87.5
42.0
25.75

X-Axis
68.0
38.4
24.25

Axis
35.0
20.4
13.2

80
60
49

X Plane

Horizontal

Vertical

Distance away

Distance on Board

Displacement

Displacement Y-

(Constant)
87.5
42.0
25.75

X-Axis
75.0
41.75
25.5

Axis
15.5
9.5
6.5

47.75
35.0
29.5

Trial 1:

2.03

Trial 2:

1.52

Trial 3:

1.24

Trial

1
2
3

Velocity of Data Table 3

Trial 1:

1.21

Trial 2:

0.88

Trial 3:

0.75

Calculations
Result:Textbook Questions page 117
Equations
v =d /t This equation is used to find the overall horizontal velocity of a projectile. .
t= This equation is used to find the overall time for the projectile to fall.

Analysis
1. Time interval (for all three angles)
equation:

t=

Trial

y (c
m)

g (m/ s 2

76.5 = .
765 m

9.81

.394

76.5 = .
765 m

9.81

.394

76.5 = .
765 m

9.81

.394

(sec.)

Both are positive because they are going in the same direction at the frame of reference that we
are calling positive.
2. Horizontal velocity
equations: v = d/t
Angle 1 velocities:
Trial

t
(sec)

.394

0.68

(m)

v x (horizontal
velocity) (m/s)
1.73

.394

0.5125

1.30

.394

0.415

1.05

Angle 2 velocities:
Trial

t
(sec)

.394

0.80

2.03

.394

0.60

1.52

.394

0.49

1.24

(m)

v x (horizontal
velocity) (m/s)

Angle 3 velocities:
Trial

t
(sec)

.394

0.4775

1.21

.394

0.35

0.88

.394

0.295

0.75

(m)

v x (horizontal
velocity) (m/s)

4. Graph: Horizontal velocity versus length of travel along the plane

5. What is the relationship between the height of the inclined plane and the horizontal velocity of
the ball? Explain.
The relationship between the height of the incline plane and the horizontal velocity is that the
greater the incline is, the greater the horizontal velocity will be. As the incline becomes greater,
the object is closer to the y-axis. Since the y-axis represents free fall, the object gets closer to free
fall, or 9.81 m/ s 2 . This means that when the height of the inclined plane increases, then the
objects acceleration increases which increases its velocity. Therefore, when the object becomes
projectile, it will go farther. As the height of the inclined plane increases, so does the horizontal
velocity.

6. What is the relationship between the length of the inclined plane and the horizontal velocity of
the ball? Explain.

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The relationship between the length of the inclined plane and the horizontal velocity is that the
longer the inclined plane, the more speed it will gain, thus increasing the horizontal velocity. If
the plank is shorter, than the ball will have less time to accelerate, therefore, it will decrease the
horizontal velocity. As the length of the plane decreases, so does the horizontal velocity.

7. Why might using the vertical displacement to calculate the time interval be more reliable than
using a stopwatch for each trial?
Using the vertical displacement to calculate the time interval is more reliable than using a
stopwatch for multiple reasons. First, the vertical displacement is derived from mathematical
equations which allows the answer be very precise compared to the method of the stopwatch.
The stopwatch is very hard to use accurately because of human error. When using a stopwatch
its based off how fast the person reacted and not when the ball actually landed. Action is faster
than reaction, so the reaction of the person will be slower than the action of the actual object.
Time is easily lost or gained while using a stopwatch, while calculations can accurately record
time with the accurate measurements.

8. In which trials would the total velocity of the ball when it hits the ground be the greatest?
The total velocity of the ball when it hits the ground would be the greatest in the trials that have
the greatest incline and length. As the ball gets closer to the y axis, its acceleration increases.
When it has the longest path length then it has more time to accelerate. Therefore, increasing the
velocity.

Conclusion-

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In our lab, we found that the horizontal velocity dependent upon the incline of the plane and the
length of the plane. We found this because when the incline and length was greater, the ball
ended up farther away from the table then the lower incline and lengths. This proves that there
are more factors to horizontal velocity to get the greatest time in the air.