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Shooting or dropping a projectile

  1. Oct 26, 2005 #1
    In a vacuum, if you horizontally launch a projectile or drop it from rest it will hit the ground at the same time.

    What about in reallity? IF you shoot a bullet horizontally or drop a bullet from the same height, which will hit the ground first and why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2005 #2
    you have to state which direction horizontaly you are launching these objects.

    if you were to launch it down in a vaccum then the luanched projectile would hit the ground before the on ehtat you dropped because it started with kinetic energy while the one that is dropped has full poteintial energy.

    the same would happen in reality, the only differnce is that in the vaccum there would be no air resistance on the object so if it had a terminal velocity it would be much higher.
  4. Oct 26, 2005 #3


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    This was dealt with fairly extensively in a previous thread here, but my search feature doesn't go back far enough to find it. I believe the concensus was that the dropped one will hit first because the curvature of the Earth would give the horizontal one more distance to fall.
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