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Homework Help: Calculating the tangential component of the force acting on a projectile

  1. Jul 10, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Consider a projectile launched horizontally out the window of a tall building at a speed v(0). Determine an expression for the tangential component of the force acting on the projectile in terms of m, g, t, and v(0). Assume that the air has a negligible effect on the motion.

    2. Relevant equations
    F = ma, mostly deductions.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    V(h) = the horizontal velocity = v(0)
    V(v) = the vertical velocity = mt

    From here, I assume that since the horizontal velocity does not change because of negligible air resistance, F(h) = horizontal element of the total force applied on the projectile = zero. F(v) = mass * gravity = mg. However, this brings me to where I'm stuck -- I can't figure out how to determine the angle at which the projectile is falling. It can't be straight down. Do I find the angle using the velocities instead and then apply it to the force?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 10, 2008 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Hi kylera! :smile:

    Yes, the angle changes with t …

    so find the horizontal and vertical components of the velocity as a function of t. :smile:
  4. Jul 10, 2008 #3
    Done! Thanks!
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