Projectile Motion

Projectile problems can be modeled by quadratic equations as well as many motion problems. For projectile motion, the general equation is:

h(t) = -16t2 +vt + s

In this equation, h represents the height, t is time, v is the initial velocity, and s is the starting height. Gravity of the earth, at 32 ft/sec2, is represented by the -16 coefficient of the squared term.

In every equation using earth's gravity, the coefficient of the quadratic term is negative. Gravity is bringing the object to the ground even if it is shot upward. The U-shaped curve opens down.


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