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Physics moon gravity question

  • Thread starter astru025
  • Start date
  • #1
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Homework Statement



During Apollo 14, Alan Shepherd hit a golf ball on the Moon. If he hit the ball at an angle of 15° and an initial velocity of 30m/s,
what was the time in the air?



Homework Equations



30 m/s / 1.6
So it takes 18.750 seconds to get to the top where you start at 0. Then multiply 18.75 by 2 to get 37.5 so you have total time going down and up,

I got 1.6 cause that is gravity on the moon.
37.5 was the incorrect answer though.

The Attempt at a Solution


37.5 did not prove to be correct.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Simon Bridge
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
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1,645

Homework Statement



During Apollo 14, Alan Shepherd hit a golf ball on the Moon. If he hit the ball at an angle of 15° and an initial velocity of 30m/s,
what was the time in the air?

Homework Equations



30 m/s / 1.6
So it takes 18.750 seconds to get to the top where you start at 0. Then multiply 18.75 by 2 to get 37.5 so you have total time going down and up,
You are arguing that the ball has an initial velocity of 30m/s and it decelerates at 1.6m/s/s along it's direction of travel, changes direction, and then accelerates back to the ground at the same rate. ... however, this cannot be the case. If it did, then the return journey would put it back on the tee ... but it ended up some distance away. But there is a simpler clue: you haven't used the angle part of the initial velocity.

Take another look at your notes for ballistic motion.
When the ball hits the top of it's trajectory, only the vertical component is zero - the horizontal component is constant for the entire motion.
 
  • #3
SteamKing
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
12,798
1,666

Homework Statement



During Apollo 14, Alan Shepherd hit a golf ball on the Moon. If he hit the ball at an angle of 15° and an initial velocity of 30m/s,
what was the time in the air?



Homework Equations



30 m/s / 1.6
So it takes 18.750 seconds to get to the top where you start at 0. Then multiply 18.75 by 2 to get 37.5 so you have total time going down and up,

I got 1.6 cause that is gravity on the moon.
37.5 was the incorrect answer though.

The Attempt at a Solution


37.5 did not prove to be correct.
Hah! Trick question! There is no air on the moon!

But seriously, what happened to the angle of 15 degrees? Don't you think that makes a difference in how long the golf ball stays aloft?
 
  • #4
380
7
In cases like this when the initial velocity has an angle theta from the horizontal you need to divide the initial velocity into vertical and horizontal components.
 

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