Projectile Investigator Worksheet
When reporting your answers you can print this web page, which uses a lot of paper, or click here for page 1 of the answer sheet and click here for page 2 of the answer sheet. Or if you like you can create the tables on other sheet of paper. These links will open in a new window. Click here to view the pdf version of the answer sheet.
You will be using the simulation at the address below.
When you launch the projectile, the “Launch Speed,” “Launch Angle,” and “Launch Height” can be altered.
Some background information
In the diagram above, the image at the top shows the ball accelerating to the right. This is due to an unballanced force pusing it tothe right. Notice how the spacing changes.
In the image below this the the ball is rolling at a constant velocity, notice how its spacing changes.
Recall that the range is the horizontal distance the projectile travels.
What is the relationship between some launch angles and time in the air and range for an projectile that lands at the same height it is launched from?
Choose a launch speed of 5 m/s and a launch height of zero. Launch the projectile at these angles and record the information in the table.
Launch Speed m/s
Launch Angle degrees
Launch Height (m)
Time in the air (s)
Look at your data.
(1) What do you notice about the launch angle and the time in the air?
(2) What do relationship is there between the launch angles and the range?
How does the initial horizontal velocity affect the time in the air?
Imagine a ball rolling off a horizontal table. It becomes a projectile when it leaves the table. At this point the ball is neither traveling up or down. It is traveling horizontally at a an angle of zero. Launch ball at a height of 3.00 m with an angle of zero. Slide the red “Vo” tab up to 3.00 m. Choose 4 different launch speeds, such that the ball does not land off the screen. Fill on the data table below.
Launch Speed (m/s)
Launch height (m)
Time in the air (s)
From your data above answer the following questions.
(3) What effect does increasing the horizontal launch speed have on the range?
(4) What effect does increasing the horizontal launch speed have on the time the projectile is in the air?
What’s going on here?
After launching the ball, the cursor detects horizontal and vertical displacement from the launch point and the time to the cursors location. This information is inthe upper right corner of the screen.
Launch a ball at any speed, angle and launch height as long as you can see the ball landing on the computer screen. When launched, the computer make s ghost of various positions. List the information for each ghost’s position.
Screen Position from left to right
Vertical position (m)
Vertical displacement between positions
Horizontal position (m)
Horizontal displacement between positions (m)
(5) What do you notice about each horizontal displacement and describe why you got the relationships you got for the horizontal displacements?
(6) What do you notice about each horizontal displacement and describe why you got the relationships to got for the vertical displacements?
by Tony Wayne ...(If you are a teacher, please feel free to use these resources in your teaching.)