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ERIC Number: EJ1024150
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Corrected Launch Speed for a Projectile Motion Laboratory
Sanders, Justin M.; Boleman, Michael W.
Physics Teacher, v51 n6 p359-361 Sep 2013
At our university, students in introductory physics classes perform a laboratory exercise to measure the range of a projectile fired at an assigned angle. A set of photogates is used to determine the initial velocity of the projectile (the launch velocity). We noticed a systematic deviation between the experimentally measured range and the range calculated using the speed as determined by the photogates. In this paper, we will discuss the origin of this systematic error and derive a simple formula to correct it. In particular, we find that the launch speed given by our instrument is significantly different from the actual launch speed of our projectile.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Journal Articles
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A