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Projectile Motion (Projectile Launcher)

Experiment #8B from Physics with Vernier

Education Level
High School


You have probably watched a ball roll off a table and strike the floor. What determines where it will land? Could you predict where it will land? In this experiment, you will use a projectile launcher to fire a ball horizontally. A pair of photogates in the launcher will help you measure the initial speed. You will use this information and your knowledge of physics to predict where the ball will land when it hits the floor.


  • Measure the launch speed of a ball using a Vernier Projectile Launcher.
  • Apply concepts from two-dimensional kinematics to predict the impact point of a ball in projectile motion.
  • Take into account trial-to-trial variations in the speed measurement when calculating the impact point.

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This experiment is #8B of Physics with Vernier. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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