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Homework Help: Newtonian Mechanics, accounting for wind?

  1. Feb 18, 2010 #1
    hey everyone
    I'm in year 12 physics, and we have a project revolving around the physics of sport
    i selected golfing, and my initial aim is to investigate the inaccuracy associated with predicting the aerodynamic motion of a golf ball (max height, max distance).

    i selected this mainly because it means i can build a pneumatic air cylinder capable of firing a golf ball at approx. 30m/s :)
    for me, that's pretty awesome.

    ok, so i was talking to my physics teacher and he asked me how i was going to account for the wind factor on the day of testing. i don't have any ideas as to how i can control this.
    so, does anyone have any ideas on this?

    i AM fully prepared to change my aim/investigation provided i get to shoot 'stuff' XD
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2010 #2
    There are a number of things you could do, depending on what your teacher thinks is possible or necessary.
    1) measure the wind speed (anemometer) and direction on the day.
    Decide maybe what is "too high" for your results to be valid or acceptable. (Rather like they do at the Olympics for sprinters or jumpers.) You may need to justify what you consider to be too high. Maybe relating to experimental uncertainty in the speed of the golf ball when fired.
    If you go ahead
    2) fire your golf ball
    a) into the wind,(could reduce range) and b) with the wind (could increase range), and compare results. Maybe take an average. Will it affect the height?
    3) fire the ball with wind blowing from left to right, and/or right to left. Will this affect range?
    The point is, the wind needn't be a problem, so long as you intelligently account for its effects using good physics.
    Good luck.
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