Difference Between Free Fall and Projectile Motion

Free fall is a type of motion in which an object falls vertically downward under the influence of gravity. Projectile motion is a type of motion in which an object is thrown or projected into the air and then falls back to the ground under the influence of gravity.

Free Fall

When an object is in free fall, the only force acting on it is gravity. This force causes the object to accelerate downward at a rate of 9.8 m/s^2. The acceleration due to gravity is the same for all objects, regardless of their mass.

The following equations can be used to describe the motion of an object in free fall:

  • v = u + at
  • s = ut + 1/2 at^2
  • v^2 = u^2 + 2as

where:

  • v is the final velocity of the object
  • u is the initial velocity of the object
  • a is the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s^2)
  • t is the time of fall
  • s is the distance fallen

Projectile Motion

Projectile motion is a type of motion in which an object is thrown or projected into the air and then falls back to the ground under the influence of gravity. Projectile motion is a combination of horizontal and vertical motion.

The horizontal component of projectile motion is constant, and it is equal to the initial velocity of the object. The vertical component of projectile motion is accelerated, and it is equal to the acceleration due to gravity.

The following equations can be used to describe the motion of a projectile:

  • Horizontal motion:
    • x = ut
  • Vertical motion:
    • v = u + at
    • s = ut + 1/2 at^2
    • v^2 = u^2 + 2as

where:

  • x is the horizontal distance traveled by the object
  • u is the initial velocity of the object
  • a is the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s^2)
  • t is the time of flight
  • s is the vertical distance traveled by the object

Conclusion

Free fall and projectile motion are two important types of motion that are commonly encountered in everyday life. Free fall is the motion of an object falling vertically downward under the influence of gravity. Projectile motion is the motion of an object that is thrown or projected into the air and then falls back to the ground under the influence of gravity.

Difference Between Free Fall and Projectile Motion

Free fall and projectile motion are two physics concepts related to the motion of objects under the influence of gravity. Although both involve the influence of gravity, there are differences in the context and nature of each movement. Following are the differences between free fall and projectile motion:

Free Fall:

  • Definition:
  • Free Fall: Free fall refers to the movement of an object that is influenced only by the force of gravity. There are no other forces that influence this movement, such as air resistance.
  • Movement Direction:
  • Free Fall: The free fall movement always occurs vertically downward along a straight line. Objects that fall freely will experience gravitational acceleration towards the center of the earth.
  • Initial Speed:
  • Free Fall: Freely falling objects can have different initial velocities, but their motion always takes place vertically.
  • Example:
  • Free Fall: For example, when an object is released from a height, its movement during its fall towards the earth can be described as free fall.

Projectile Movement:

  • Definition:
  • Projectile Motion: Projectile motion refers to the movement of an object launched into the air and affected by the force of gravity. Projectile movement can also be influenced by air resistance and wind forces.
  • Movement Direction:
  • Projectile Movement: Projectile movement involves horizontal and vertical movement at the same time. Objects experiencing projectile motion will form a curved or parabolic trajectory.
  • Initial Speed:
  • Projectile Motion: An object in projectile motion usually has an initial velocity that gives it horizontal and vertical velocity.
  • Example:
  • Projectile Motion: If someone throws a ball upwards at a certain angle, the ball will follow a parabolic trajectory before falling back to the ground. Throwing a ball in sports such as basketball or football is an example of a projectile movement.

Conclusion:

So, the main difference between free fall and projectile movement lies in the direction of movement and the nature of the movement. Free fall always occurs vertically, while projectile motion involves a combined horizontal and vertical movement in a curved path. Projectile motion can include initial velocity in two dimensions, while free fall is more one-dimensional (vertical).

Similar Posts