# This should be an easy question, but I think I'm tricking myself.

1. Aug 31, 2009

### kajasu88

Two identical balls are launched with the same initial speed. The ﬁrst ball is launched directly upwards and the second ball is launched directly horizontally. Do the balls hit the ground at the same time? Do the balls hit the ground with the same total speed?

2. Sep 1, 2009

### rock.freak667

Use the projectile motion kinematic equations for each case and compare.

3. Sep 1, 2009

### InTuoVultu

keep in mind where the ground is. If you're starting at ground level and shoot horizontally, you're never in the air so time of flight is zero.
If both of them start at some height h, then the horizontal one lands first. Your airtime is only determined by the y position and velocity.
Both of the balls started with the same energy, so neglecting air resistance, both of them should have the same energy when they hit the ground and hence the same speed, albeit in different directions. The vertical one will be going straight down and the horizontal one will be at some slant.

If you do take into account air resistance, the vertical one will have less energy. I think. At least that's what my physics gut tells me. You'd have to figure out some slick way of calculating that if you want to because I know that at least for 2-D projectile motion with drag the equations are unsolvable. At least with normal techniques.

4. Sep 1, 2009

### Zaphys

What do you mean with that? Of course they're solvable, they happen to be separable diferential ecuations of first order for velocity as function of time. The derivation of the results, i.e. final time or speed, may be a little more tricky but with a normal calculator you´ll be able to get them.

I´m not sure if you refered to that but hope it helps :)

Zap

5. Sep 1, 2009

### Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
Please don't give out answers in the future. Our practice is to give help in the form of hints, and let the OP's brain do as much of the work as possible.

Since this is an introductory physics problem, it's safe to assume that air resistance is to be neglected

6. Sep 1, 2009

### Red_CCF

forgive me if I'm wrong but I don't think that's correct

7. Sep 1, 2009

### Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
Since the number of responses here is growing, I'll just point out that rock.freak667 has provided the only one that is directly useful to kajasu88:

p.s. welcome to Physics Forums kajasu88

8. Sep 1, 2009

### kajasu88

wow thanks for all the help!

this is my first physics class and all the theories are starting to get mixed up in my head.

9. Sep 1, 2009

### Red_CCF

Is your teacher asking you to find a value or just state one's velocity/time of impact relative to the other?

10. Sep 1, 2009

### kajasu88

No values, just relative to each ball.
ie:
Do the balls hit the ground at the same time?
y/n. which one would hit first? horizontal ball/vertical ball
Do the balls hit the ground with the same total speed? y/n

11. Sep 1, 2009

### Red_CCF

What do you think and why? I'm not allowed to tell you what I think is the right answer

12. Sep 2, 2009

### kajasu88

same speed, different times
the one thrown vertically will take longer, i don't really know why, I would just imagine that it does.

and same speed because they have the same initial velocity..... ??????

13. Sep 2, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

Stop guessing. Use the suggestion from post #2 and stop trying to cheat. You are in school. Do the work.

14. Sep 2, 2009

### kajasu88

I'm not guessing. I'm going off an experiment in lab when he put two balls on a track, one track was curvy and the other was straight. I think this is the same concept. The ball on the curvy track finished first b/c it gains PE as it goes up and down the curves. They also finished at the same speed.

15. Sep 2, 2009

### Staff: Mentor

Wonderful if true. Post your work based on post #2 to the original post (OP) question.

16. Sep 2, 2009

### Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
Another hint, besides the excellent one by rock.freak in post #2:

To answer the question about hitting the ground at the same time, look at the vertical component of motion. Ignore the horizontal motion for this question.

17. Sep 2, 2009

### Red_CCF

For this problem you don't even need projectile motion. Just look at the energy of the verticle component of each one and you can determine the velocity of each one.

18. Sep 2, 2009

### Redbelly98

Staff Emeritus
That works only if the class has discussed kinetic energy. They may or may not have covered that yet.

19. Sep 3, 2009

### kajasu88

we did do KE, but can u seperate KE in components?

20. Sep 3, 2009

### Red_CCF

well don't think of it like components of vectors because energy is NEVER a vector. I would imagine it as the total energy equal to the energy of the verticle motion + energy of the horizontal motion. It's more like it's split with part of the energy going horizontal and part of it going towards verticle motion. You're only interested in the vertical part so you have to break it down.