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Homework Help: Interesting Question About Classical Mech

  1. Oct 4, 2006 #1
    We all know that 45 degrees is the optimal angle for range when launcing a projectile:

    Does this angle change when adding air resistance?

    If you know the answer please respond,

    If you don't, please go away

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #2
    No. Air resistance slows you in all directions.

    But if you are doing something like launching from a higher or lower ground, then it changes.
  4. Oct 7, 2006 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    In reality it is more complicated than that. Air density changes with height, the higher you fly, the less resistance you meet. Thus the projectile doesn't flow in the constant conditions, which is especially important when targeting far objects (like 30 km range).
  5. Oct 18, 2006 #4
    Depends on how you model the air resistance... while it will be acting both vertical and horizontal, it's frequently modeled as being velocity dependent. With air resistence, the velocity in both directions will be changing... so you get fun equations to solve along both directions for the ultimate motion of the projectile. Also -- what do you mean by "optimal projection"? Furthest distance? greatest height?
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