Quick question about projectile

  1. Dear physics forum,

    If an object is launched from a water slide with an angle theta, would the angle of launch affect the speed of the object right before contact with the landing pool, with air resistance considered?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nathanael

    Nathanael 1,132
    Homework Helper

    The launch angle affects how much of the speed will be in which direction. For example, if the launch angle is perfectly horizontal, most of the velocity will be forward rather than downward. Whereas if the launch angle is more vertical, you will go up in the air, and then on the way down you will have more of a downward velocity than before (and so the person would go deeper into the water instead of "running into" the water).

    But either way (ignoring air resistance) you will have (about) the same total velocity when you hit the water.

    If you consider air resistance though, then there will be a lesser total velocity if you have a steeper angle, for the simple fact that you will be in the air (bumping into particles) for a longer time.

    The change in velocity due to air resistance could be more or less negligable, though. (Depends on the accuracy you want.)
  4. When air resistance is ignored, the projectile will only be accelerated by gravity. I would think the velocity when hitting the water would then be exactly the same for all angles, only the distribution over the x and z component are depending on the angle.
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