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Homework Help: Change in Magnitude of Acceleration

  1. Nov 9, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A ball is launched at an angle of 37 degrees from the roof of a building on earth and falls to the ground. Describe the magnitude of acceleration as the ball travels.

    2. Relevant equations
    Acceleration is equal to change in velocity over change in time.

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought that the motion of the ball can be split into two components, the vertical and horizontal velocities. The x component has a constant acceleration of zero. The y component has a constant acceleration of -9.8 meters per second squared (i am not sure of this part). From this i concluded that the magnitude of acceleration does not change, but i am not really sure.
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 9, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi wpan, http://img96.imageshack.us/img96/5725/red5e5etimes5e5e45e5e25.gif [Broken]

    That sounds right, providing air resistance can be neglected. (And that it doesn't go waayyyyyy up in the sky so that g varies.)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  4. Nov 9, 2012 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Hello wpan. Welcome to PF !

    Your answer is correct, if you are ignoring the effect of air resistance. Not only is the magnitude of the acceleration constant, but so is the acceleration vector.

    If you include the effect of air resistance, then the answer is much more complicated.
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