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Easy physics quetion

I know this is probably a super easy question but I have no idea what the answer is.

Which of the following factors are relevant in determining the range of a projectile that is launched on a very large flat plain (i.e. no hills or cliffs):

- initial launch speed
- acceleration due to gravity
- mass of projectile
- initial launch angle
- volume of projectile

Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

Dick
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Mmm. Any guesses? You have to show you've given the problem some thought in a concrete way.
 
I'm pretty sure that initial launch speed and initial angle are factors. My guess would be that acceleration due to gravity wouldn't be since gravity is always the same. I think that the mass must play a roll - the more matter the harder it is to be thrown. And finally I was unsure what they meant by volume of projectile. If that it is talking about how high the projectile goes I don't think that would necessarily be a factor but I"m not sure.
 
Dick
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Good! Volume of the object is just how big it is, is it a cubic foot or a cubic yard. There is a problem with this question in that it isn't stated very completely. Eg. I think the questioner might expect you to say mass doesn't matter, but your point about larger masses being harder to accelerate is quite correct (like if the launcher were a slingshot with a heavy projectile). Similarly changing volume with a fixed mass doesn't matter if there is no air - if there is, it does. So this is not a "super easy problem", in fact, it's just plain ambiguous. Is that the complete statement? Where did you find it?
 
Dick
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How about if we change the question a little. Tell me about each factor listed and tell me if it is "always a factor all else held constant" or "could be a factor depending on other assumptions". That might make life a little easier. I agree with you on speed and angle. Don't agree with you on acceleration due to gravity.
 

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