Physics Formulas

Projectile Motion

The key point to projectile motion in physics is to remember that gravity always acts downwards only. When dealing with projectile motion in physics, there is no horizontal acceleration and in most school projection motion problems and activities, negligible air resistance is assumed.

Definition of Projectile Motion

A projectile is any body that is thrown or projected. The projectile motion has two elements: the horizontal projectile motion and the vertical projectile motion. The path of a projectile object and the projectile motion is captured and illustrated in the diagram below. The formula of a projectile motion often used in high school projectile motion problems in physics is given below.

Projectile Motion

Path of a projectile showing projectile motion

Projectile motion problems, activities, formulas and equations

Consider a projectile launched from 0 (in the projectile motion diagram above) with the initial velocity of magnitude  u  in a direction at angle  A above the horizontal.  0, u, and A are shown in the projectile motion diagram above. These three variables are often present in projectile motion problems in physics and are used to derive the projection motion equation.

The formulas for projectile motion in physics and the equations associated with projectile motion in physics can help you solve any projectile motion problems. All of these formulas and equations assume no air resistance or negligible air resistance. If there is air resistance, then the gravitational force acting downwards needs to be modified and you can no longer use -g as the downward force in the equation. There are many toys with projectile motion and any objects in everyday life that you can observe real life projectile motion.