1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Assumption about Projectile Motion in this Question

  1. Jan 29, 2015 #1

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A test rocket is launched, starting on the ground, from rest, by accelerating it along an incline with constant acceleration a. The incline has length L, and it rises at theta degrees above the horizontal. At the instant the rocket leaves the incline, its engines turn off and it is subject only to gravity, g. Air resistance can be ignored. Taking the usual x-y coordinate system, with an origin at the top edge of the incline, a) what is the position vector when the rocket is at its highest point? b) what is the position vector when the rocket is on its way back down and once again at the same height as the top edge of the incline? Symbolic Answer.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    My question is this: Is it safe to assume that once you find the time it took for the rocket to reach it's highest point, that you can simply multiply it by 2 to find the time it took to reach y=o again?

    I assume this is a yes, but what is throwing my thinking of is that the rocket did have an initial velocity in the y-direction, and when the rocket is at the top of the motion, the rocket no longer has that initial y-velocity coming down, so the time may be skewed.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 29, 2015 #2

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The coming down is the mirror image of the going up (mirrored around the top point). You should compare the initial vertical component with the final one when it hits the ground.
     
  4. Jan 29, 2015 #3

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hm.
    So I am wrong to assume that I can simply multiply the time it took to reach height by 2 to get the total time of flight?
    Or by mirroring the simulation, am I correct in my assumption?
     
  5. Jan 29, 2015 #4

    PeroK

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Why don't you try to prove this for all projectile motion under constant gravity?

    If a projectile is at height h and moving up at t = 0, reaches its max height at time t_1 and returns to height h moving down at t_2, then is t_2 = 2t_1?
     
  6. Jan 29, 2015 #5

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The assumption is correct. If you play a video in the reverse direction at normal speed it will take the same time. If you take projectile motion (neglecting air resistance) and reverse time, it will also look just the same (apart from going in the other direction - but the trajectory is still a parabola).
     
  7. Jan 29, 2015 #6

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Thank you for your help - Orodruin.

    Perok --> I've tried doing exactly what you stated and heres my results:
    T1 = Vi_y/-g
    2T1 = 2Vi_y/-g

    T2 = (-Vf_y+Vi_y)/g

    So therefore, my assumption is correct if i can prove that the final velocity in the y direction is equal to the additive inverse of the initial velocity as that would be 2*T1.
     
  8. Jan 29, 2015 #7

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh. It is this simple, eh?

    Vf_y=Vi_y by the kinematic equation.
    It occurs in every situation like this.

    That is great.
     
  9. Jan 29, 2015 #8

    PeroK

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    You might have more luck with:

    ##s = ut - \frac{1}{2}gt^2##

    You can work out when the projectile has 0 vertical displacement. And compare that with the time to reach the highest point, which you calculated above.
     
  10. Feb 8, 2015 #9

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    A follow up question: When it asks for a 'position vector' what does it want?

    I've calculated the max height to be (L*a*sin^2(theta))/g

    I am ready to turn it in with that answer, but is that a 'position vector' ?
     
  11. Feb 8, 2015 #10

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    A 'position vector' is just what it says: it's the vector drawn from, say, the coordinate origin to the position of the object. There will be two components: either a distance and an angle from the reference point or two components (x and y for 2-D motion).
     
  12. Feb 8, 2015 #11

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That is what I was worried about.
    But my answer has an angle, and represents a distance. Is this a complete answer?
     
  13. Feb 8, 2015 #12

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If the angle is that between a line drawn from the top edge of the incline [as stated in the OP, part a)] to the rocket and the x-axis (using the coordinate system specified in the OP), and the distance is measured from the top edge of the incline to the rocket, then, yes, you have your answer for part a). It could also be expressed in terms of the components of the vector, IMO.
     
  14. Feb 8, 2015 #13

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Hm. What would I do to express it in terms of the vector component? I am a bit lost there.
     
  15. Feb 8, 2015 #14

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Your question suggests you are little hazy on the concept of a vector. Am I correct?

    In any event, it requires the use of basic trigonometry to find the cartesian components of a vector from its polar form.
     
  16. Feb 8, 2015 #15

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I understand the basics of a vector, however, transferring it to polar form will cause me problems. Hm.
     
  17. Feb 8, 2015 #16

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    No, the distance and angle are the polar form. The x and y components are the cartesian form.
     
  18. Feb 8, 2015 #17

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Yes, I am very lost on how to convert this symbolic answer to Cartesian coordinates.

    Max Height (y) = L*a*sin^2(theta)/g
    y = rsin(theta)
    y = (La/g)(sin^2(theta))

    x = d/2 :/
     
  19. Feb 8, 2015 #18

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You seem to already have cartesian (x,y) coordinates. For x = d/2, it's not clear what d is in terms of the information given in the OP.
     
  20. Feb 8, 2015 #19

    RJLiberator

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    d for the total distance, since I solved for max range, i figure I could just divide max range in half which would be equal to the x point at the max height. :p
     
  21. Feb 8, 2015 #20

    SteamKing

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Well, that's great, but you still must state what d is in terms of the given quantities.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Assumption about Projectile Motion in this Question
Loading...