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Physics Department

Location: 180-204
Phone: (805) 756-2448
Fax: (805) 756-2435
Email: physics@calpoly.edu
Chair: Karl Saunders

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Physics 121 Week 3

Projectile Motion Demonstrations

Ballistics Cart

Verify that when two vectors act orthogonally they do not influence each other. When the launcher applies an upward force shooting the projectile into the air, its horizontal velocity will remain unchanged and the ball will return to the launcher. **Make sure to level the track before use**

Projectile Launcher

This PASCO projectile launcher rests on a swivel which can quickly be adjusted to change the launch angle. Based on how far the ball is pressed down, you can also change the initial force of the launch. Use both of these quantities to engage your students in projectile motion investigations.

Trajectory Cart

This cart launches a ball vertically (after the string is pulled) as it moves horizontally. This is another visual example of how orthogonal vector quantities do not influence each other. Have cart move under a bridge and time it to shoot the ball over it to add some extra danger and excitement!

Foam Rocket

Use this air powered foam rocket to shoot a projectile into the crowd as you discuss various aspects of projectile motion.

Free Fall and Trajectory Launcher

Two identical spheres are attached to the launcher. When triggered, one ball falls straight down while another is launched horizontally. Both hit the ground at the same time. Tell students to listen for the balls hitting the ground, as it is easier than watching them.

Monkey and the Hunter Apparatus

A ball (monkey) is held by an electromagnet, and a second ball is rolled down a track. When the projectile leaves its track it causes the electromagnet to release, dropping the "monkey." Both balls then collide, demonstrating that all objects fall at “g”, even a projectile.

Circular Motion Demonstrations

Airplane on a String

A battery powered airplane provides enough thrust to maintain uniform circular motion which can be used to introduce the topic while discussing various defining attributes.

Arrows on a Wheel

Using the attached magnet, the bike wheel can stick to your blackboard. Magnetic arrows can then be added in various directions to illustrate circular motion vector quantities as you discuss them with your students.

Ball on a String

That's pretty much it! Use this ball on a string to help provide a visual while you introduce circular motion!

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