# Object launched from a moving vehicle

• claudio
In summary: However, if the person were to throw the ball in the same direction as the truck is moving, the ball would have a speed of 120mph relative to the truck and 0mph relative to the ground.
claudio
Got into a discussion today at work with a few co-workers about the physics involved in the below scenario, figured the only way for us to come to a better understanding was to ask someone with more extensive knowledge, so here goes,...

A flat bed truck is moving along at 60mph, a person is standing on the bed at the rear of the truck and throws a baseball forward ( the direction the truck is moving ) at 60 mph.

how fast is the ball moving?

I do understand that forces such as wind resistance factor in. Also that if the speed of the ball is measured from the moving vehicle then its speed is only as fast as its thrown. My question is from a fixed point such as the ground, does the speed of the truck add to the speed of the thrown ball.

please explain keeping in mind my physics knowledge is not as extensive as most of yours !

If we ignore wind resistance... The ball ends up moving at 60 mph relative to the truck and 120 mph relative to the ground. Throw the ball backwards instead of forwards, and it would be moving at 60 mph (in the other direction) relative to the truck and at zero(!) mph relative to the ground- someone standing at the side of the road would see the ball dropping straight down while the truck zoomed away from it.

If you factor in relativity, the velocities don't exactly add, but there are some diminishing returns as you approach the speed of light.
In particular, 60mph combined with 60mph gives 119.999999999905... mph.
For typical human scenarios, the discrepancy from the simple sum is extremely small.

Khashishi said:
If you factor in relativity, the velocities don't exactly add, but there are some diminishing returns as you approach the speed of light.
In particular, 60mph combined with 60mph gives 119.999999999905... mph.
For typical human scenarios, the discrepancy from the simple sum is extremely small.

Not only extremely small, but within the error predicted by quantum mechanics.

Whovian said:
Not only extremely small, but within the error predicted by quantum mechanics.

Also much smaller then our ability to measure either time or distance.

I'm adding this because I think it's an important point to make, too:

If the person on the truck were to just drop the ball then the ball would have a speed of 0mph relative to the truck and 60mph relative to the ground.

## What is the physics behind an object launched from a moving vehicle?

When an object is launched from a moving vehicle, it has two types of motion: horizontal and vertical. The horizontal motion is determined by the vehicle's speed and direction, while the vertical motion is determined by the object's initial velocity and acceleration due to gravity. The object will travel in a parabolic path, following the laws of projectile motion.

## How does the launch angle affect the distance an object travels from a moving vehicle?

The launch angle, or the angle at which the object is launched, affects the horizontal and vertical components of its velocity. When the launch angle is increased, the horizontal component of the velocity decreases, resulting in a shorter horizontal distance traveled. However, the vertical component of the velocity increases, resulting in a longer vertical distance traveled. Therefore, the optimal launch angle for maximum distance will depend on the vehicle's speed and the object's initial velocity.

## What other factors can affect the trajectory of an object launched from a moving vehicle?

Aside from the launch angle, other factors that can affect the trajectory of an object launched from a moving vehicle include the initial velocity of the object, the height from which it is launched, and any external forces acting upon the object, such as wind resistance or air resistance. These factors can alter the object's speed, direction, and ultimately, its trajectory.

## Can an object launched from a moving vehicle reach a greater height than the vehicle itself?

Yes, it is possible for an object launched from a moving vehicle to reach a greater height than the vehicle itself. This is because the object has its own initial velocity and is subject to the force of gravity, while the vehicle's motion is determined by its own speed and direction. Therefore, the object can continue to gain height while the vehicle moves forward.

## How does the mass of an object affect its trajectory when launched from a moving vehicle?

The mass of an object does not directly affect its trajectory when launched from a moving vehicle. However, a heavier object may require more force to be launched at the same velocity as a lighter object. This can result in a shorter horizontal distance traveled, but the object will still follow a parabolic path determined by its launch angle and initial velocity.

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