# Why does a projectile sitting on the ground travel further than a

• jdionne29
In summary, the range from a cliff is shorter than the range from a projectile sitting on the ground.
jdionne29
Why does a projectile sitting on the ground travel further than a projectile launched on a cliff? As per HyperPhysics it said that sitting on ground a projectile at 15m/s and 40 degrees above the horizontal would travel +22 m but if you put on top of a 3 m high cliff, the range would be shorter. Can someone explain this?

This is the site:

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/traj.html#tracon

Last edited:

That doesn't sound right. Can you give the exact link where it states that?

I just compare the two scenarios using the simulations.

The first one was the box right above "Will it clear the fence?"

The second one was "Where will it land?" a couple of boxes down.

I used Vi of 15 m/s and angle of 40 degrees and a height of 3 m for the second one.

Now I just noticed that if you add the X1 and X2 together then it matches the answer from the first one but shouldn't it still be further?

I used the one above "Will it clear the fence?" and then "Where will it land?" for the cliff scenario.

initial velocity of 15 m/s at 40 degrees and then a cliff height of 3 m.

Now I did just notice that if you add the two x components, it equal the answer from the first one but shouldn't it still be further coming off a cliff?

The "Will it clear the fence?" problem is different than the "Where will it land?" problem. If you want to compare how far something goes when fired off of a cliff to how far it goes on flat ground, use "Where will it land?" for both. The difference is that for a cliff you'll set y = 3 m; for flat ground set y = 0.

They simulations give the same answer. My concern is that whether it is off the ground or off a cliff, you still get the same range. Is that right? Shouldn't it be further for the scenario off the cliff?

jdionne29 said:
They simulations give the same answer. My concern is that whether it is off the ground or off a cliff, you still get the same range. Is that right? Shouldn't it be further for the scenario off the cliff?
The simulations give different answers. (Note: As stated in the simulation, you must use y = -3 for the cliff example.)

For flat ground (y = 0): x2 = 22.6 m

For cliff (y = -3 m): x2 = 25.7 m

As expected, the range from the cliff is greater.

thanks...otherwise I was totally confused.

## 1. Why does a projectile sitting on the ground travel further than a stationary object?

This is because a projectile has a horizontal velocity component that allows it to cover more distance while in the air, whereas a stationary object does not have this added velocity.

## 2. How does the angle of launch affect the distance a projectile travels?

The angle of launch determines the vertical and horizontal velocity components of the projectile, which ultimately affects the distance it can travel. A higher angle of launch will result in a longer horizontal distance.

## 3. Why does air resistance affect the distance a projectile travels?

Air resistance acts against the motion of a projectile, slowing it down and reducing the distance it can travel. This is why projectiles with a lower air resistance, such as bullets, can travel further than objects with a higher air resistance, such as feathers.

## 4. What role does the initial velocity play in the distance a projectile travels?

The initial velocity, or the velocity at which the projectile is launched, determines the total velocity of the projectile. The higher the initial velocity, the further the projectile can travel.

## 5. How does the mass of the projectile impact its distance traveled?

The mass of a projectile does not have a direct impact on the distance it travels. However, a heavier projectile may have a slightly higher initial velocity due to its greater momentum, which can result in a slightly longer distance traveled.

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