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ERIC Number: EJ943451
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Launch of a Vehicle from a Ramp
Cross, Rod
Physics Teacher, v49 n7 p410-411 Oct 2011
A vehicle proceeding up an inclined ramp will become airborne if the ramp comes to a sudden end and if the vehicle fails to stop before it reaches the end of the ramp. A vehicle may also become airborne if it passes over the top of a hill at sufficient speed. In both cases, the vehicle becomes airborne if the point of support underneath the vehicle falls below the trajectory that would be followed by the vehicle in the presence of gravity alone. When the vehicle becomes airborne, the normal reaction force exerted by the ramp or the hill drops to zero, first on the front wheels and then on the rear wheels. Just prior to the vehicle's becoming airborne, the normal reaction force on the rear wheels acts to exert a torque on the vehicle, causing the vehicle to rotate. After the rear wheels become airborne, the vehicle will continue to rotate until it lands some distance from the launch point. (Contains 4 figures.)
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: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A