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Homework Help: Physics and Forensics-Projectile Motion

  1. Mar 30, 2009 #1
    Is it possible to use the concepts of projectile motion and etc. in forensics while trying to find out the area from which a gun was fired.

    How else do the concepts of projectile motion apply to forensics?
    From my research, I came up with Blood Splatter, Ballistics and Auto Accident Recreation.

    Does the word ballistics apply to projectile motion? How can I use projectile motion in forensics?

    I appreciate the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 31, 2009 #2


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    Welcome to PF!

    Hi colourstrips! Welcome to PF! :smile:

    Ballistics is the study of projectiles, which are objects which travel through the air with no help other than an initial impulse (shove!)
    I'm just guessing, but judging from programmes like CSI, the distances are usually so short that you can assume the bullet travels in a straight line.

    For much longer distances, you would need to know the speed of the bullet as it leaves the gun, which you should be able to get from manufacturer's data, or from testing the gun itself.
    Blood Spatter … no, that would be from experiments, not from theoretical calculation.

    Auto Accident Recreation? Ballistic motion won't apply unless one of the vehicles becomes airborne! :wink:
  4. Mar 31, 2009 #3


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    Don't forget how far a body may fall from a building, whether pushed or slipped from a ledge.

    And as to a car accident, with no seat belts ... or figuring where the little old lady's walker ended in a tree ...

    Or how far from the bridge a gun used in a homicide may have landed in the water ...

    Or shell casings ejected from a weapon ...
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