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Homework Help: Distance Traveled

  1. Jan 30, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Not sure where to start, but I've read through many posts trying to figure out which formulas I need to use to solve for the following problem. I'm trying to build a simple golf game that calculates the distance traveled, for example:

    What is the distance a golf ball travels when it is struck with a golf club that has a 15 degree angle at a speed of 100mph.

    2. Relevant equations

    d = v * t

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I honestly have no idea where to begin. Is my relevant formula even relevant?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Much depends on the nature of the golf ball and the precise way in which it is struck.
    You CAN solve for the distance travelled if you know the initial speed and angle of the golf ball after it is hit. This is a 2 - dimensional problem where the horizontal motion is uniform (d = vt) and the vertical motion is accelerated (more complex formulas).
  4. Jan 30, 2009 #3
    usually when doing problems like this, the easiest way for me is to write out two columns of kinematic variables (for x and y) so I would have something that looks like
    v initial=
    v final=
    v average=

    (and the same set up for motion in the y)

    fill in the variables you know and use equations to find the rest. some of the variables are always the same, keep that in mind. from there you can answer anything you're being asked. I hope this kinda helps?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  5. Feb 2, 2009 #4
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Feb 2, 2009 #5


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    All these trajectory problems are solved by making two headings for the two kinds of motion going on, and then writing three formulas:

    Horizontal motion
    d = vt

    Vertical Motion
    v = vo + at, d = vot + .5at^2

    The initial velocity of the ball must be split into horizontal and vertical components using trigonometry. The v in the first formula is the horizontal component. The vo in the others is the vertical component.
  7. Feb 4, 2009 #6
    Great! Thank you
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