Projectile Motion - Finding Ini. Vel. using Range and Angle

  • #1

Homework Statement


A quarterback throws the football to a stationary receiver who is 31.5m down the field. If the football is thrown at an initial angle of 40.0 degrees to the ground, at what initial speed must the quarterback throw the ball for it to reach the receiver, if the ball is caught at the same level it was thrown?


Homework Equations


R = (Vo2*sin(2*theta))/g


The Attempt at a Solution


The issue I am having is that if gravity is negative I don't get a real number, but I can not understand or explain why gravity would be positive.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
tiny-tim
Science Advisor
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Hi Tearsandrille! :smile:

(have a theta: θ :wink:)
R = (Vo2*sin(2*theta))/g

Did you just copy that equation from a book? :redface:

Yes it's correct, but you'll never be able to remember equations like that in the exam, and anyway you need to be able to prove them yourself …

solve the simultaneous equations for the x and y directions (eliminating t), and you'll see why it doesn't matter that g is negative. :wink:
 
  • #3
No, I did not just copy the equation from the book. I did derive it using the fact that R = Vxinitial*t and t = (2Vosin θ)/g (which I derived from t = (Vf - Vi)/-g)

So, the reason that I don't need to worry about the negative when I use the range equation is that I already compensated for that when I solved for t in the equation Vf=Vi + gt.

Thank you.
 
  • #4
tiny-tim
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So, the reason that I don't need to worry about the negative when I use the range equation is that I already compensated for that when I solved for t in the equation Vf=Vi + gt.

Yup! :smile:
 

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